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Spiritual Gifts: Discernment

Mark Driscoll

Continued from: Part 7 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. (1 Cor. 12:8-10 NIV)

What Is the Spiritual Gift of Discernment?

The spiritual gift of discernment is the ability to quickly perceive whether such things as people, events, or beliefs are from God or Satan. People with the gift of discernment know that Satan and his demons disguise themselves as holy (1 Cor. 11:14-15). They also know that Satan empowers counterfeit miracles (Ex. 7:11-22; 8:7; Matt. 7:21-23; 2 Tim. 3:8) to deceive people (2 Thess. 2:9), and that he empowers false teachers (2 Pet. 2:1), false prophets (Matt. 7:15), false apostles (2 Cor. 11:13), and false doctrines (1 Tim. 1:3; 6:3).

Discernment in Scripture

Jesus was able to know the presence of Satan (Matt. 4:1-11), see when someone was influenced by Satan (Luke 22:31), and know when someone's words were influenced by Satan (Matt. 16:23). John (1 John 4:1), Paul (Acts 16:16-18), Peter (Acts 5:1-11), and the disciples (Matt. 10:1) all demonstrated the gift of discernment.

Do You Have This Gift?

  • Have you felt a special responsibility to protect the truth of God's Word by exposing that which is wrong?
  • Do you often make a swift evaluation of someone or something that was said, that others did not see but yet proved to be correct?
  • Do you have a solid understanding of Scripture and a sensitivity to the leading of God the Holy Spirit?
  • Are you keenly aware of moral sin and doctrinal heresy?
  • Can you read a book or hear a teacher and almost immediately uncover any false teaching?
  • Do you have an awareness of demonic presence and how to help people be free of demons?

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