Faithlife Sermons

Telling, knowing Good from Evil

Just a closer walk with thee   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  59:27
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Discernment needed

Discernment is needed to know sin (evil) to be freed from sin and to do good.
We have previously looked at understanding the development of sin, helps us have discernment about sin preventing sin from developing in our lives. God wants to always help us to discern when it comes to sin so as to.
God’s power to help us discern and have victory over and to stay victorious!
Change our desires
Limit our opportunities to sin
Exercise self-control
Seek forgiveness
So understanding the development of sin, the consequences of sin, the victory over sin, and walking free from bondage of sin then we also can come to understand the difference between good and evil, that is what spiritual discernment, biblical discernment is all about.
(question slide inserted here)
You want to have a closer walk with thee, then discernment is the place to be. Learning to develop and discern good and evil. Knowing, deciding, discerning good from evil , right from wrong involves asking some simple questions and then doing the right thing with the answers.
So this morning we are looking at a few questions to help us to discern, to know, to be able to tell good from evil, right from wrong.
Does the bible condemn it?
It is similar to something the bible condemns?
Does it violate my conscience because of what the bible says?
What do mature Christians discern on subject?
Can it hinder my influence?
Is it poor stewardship
Finally, what would Jesus do?

Bible Condemned?

Discerning what the bible says is good and evil.
Things that are specifically mentioned as being wrong (Gal5:19-21; Eph5:3-7)
Galatians 5:19–20 NASB95
19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
Galatians 5:21 NASB95
21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Stop, look, the list is pretty specific including the results you read in (v.21) “will not inherit the kingdom of God” - not trying to be a heavy here, just a conveyor of the God’s word.
There are other similiar places in scripture that tell us point blank things, and maybe stop at one more before moving on. The grevious eternal nature of evil, well, it’s important for us to know, to understand, to discern so not to do.
Ephesians 5:3–4 NASB95
3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
Ephesians 5:5–6 NASB95
5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
and look at the final verse noted in your outline in Ephesians
Ephesians 5:7 NASB95
7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;
We should not argue to try to justify what the scripture says.
There should not be a debate on what scripture says is wrong, evil.
As for Christians we are to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel (Eph4:1) so there should be no question on not doing the things the scripture says are evil.
There should be no room for argument, debate on what the scripture condemns.
(Transition) - though the scripture is complete, giving us everything we need to take us to glory, it is not exhaustive and hence why discernment is needed and maybe there are things that are similar to the things condemned in the bible that should be considered too.

Similar things condemned in the bible

The Bible is not exhaustive in telling us everything that is evil, but there is much we can learn so to discern good and evil, right and wrong from what the Bible does tell us.
I think we need to go back for a minute and focus on a few words found in our study passage today.
Galatians 5:19–20 NASB95
19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
Galatians 5:21 NASB95
21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Similar things: “Things like these” (Gal5:21)
Ask yourself if the bible condemns similar things, such as smoking marijuana can be compared to drunkenness,
When ever we are uncertain, unsure, and the bible does not explicitly say, we should consider does the bible speak of “things like these.”
We know Jesus spoke regarding “things like these” (implied at least) (Mt5:21-22, 27-28)
Murder and anger (Mt5:21-22)
Matthew 5:21 NASB95
21 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’
Matthew 5:22 NASB95
22 “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
Adultery and lust (Mt5:27-28)
Matthew 5:27 NASB95
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’;
Matthew 5:28 NASB95
28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Maybe compare to the good things mentioned in bible (Gal5:22-23)
Galatians 5:22–23 NASB95
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Then ask yourself, is the thing I’m concerning myself with more like the “fruit of the Spirit” or the works of the flesh?
(Transition): So we have the implicit things mentioned, the similar things and that may lead us to ask another question too.

Does it violate my conscience?

Having a good conscience is important. To have that we need to know, have understanding, discernment about good and evil, right and wrong, so here are some things to consider.
Acting with a good conscience (1Tim1:5; 1Tim1:18-19; 1Pt3:21)
1 Timothy 1:5 NASB95
5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
Paul’s instructions here to Timothy! A good conscience couples with sincere faith, we do not want to violate our good conscience. Furthermore look what Paul goes on to say, and I think you will gain understanding that we need to protect our good conscience
1 Timothy 1:18–19 NASB95
18 This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, 19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.
Peter says it like this! We appeal to God for a good conscience. A good conscience is important and is God given.
1 Peter 3:21 NASB95
21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
Violating our good conscience which is given to us from God, through His Word, confirmed by His Spirit, and shared by His people, when we do that it is a sure sign of apostasy.
So, beware of a seared conscience (1Tim4:1-2)
1 Timothy 4:1–2 NASB95
1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,
Matters of conscience (Rom14:19-23)
If we were to look at the Romans passage we would see Paul is using food matters as the illustration of matters of conscience, but it is more than about food isn’t it?
(insert personal illustration of matter of conscience for me)
Things to consider on matters of conscience
Doing something when we are in doubt if it is right is to violate your conscience
Look what Paul says
Romans 14:23 NASB95
23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.
Paul says it is sin
If you think it is wrong (because of incorrect knowledge) or you have doubts about it being right or not, Don’t do it!
(Transition) - So we have see bible good and evil, similar things that are good and evil, right and wrong, we have looked at matters of conscience even. Now, time to move on.

Mature Christians discernment

Seeking godly advise is advisable but not the first or last place that we should go. We can learn from others who are mature in faith and have been through things to help us understand good and evil, right and wrong from their experiences.
Be careful, even mature Christians can be wrong (Heb5:12-13; 1Kn12:6-20)
Hebrews 5:12 NASB95
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
Hebrews 5:13 NASB95
13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.
Age does not equate to maturity, time as a Christian does not equate to maturity either. We we need to be careful regarding seeking Godly advise and from whom.
Well in the 1Kng12 there is the story of Rehoboam who did not apply the advise of the mature, so maybe we can learn from that.
Experienced application is great in discerning good and evil (Heb5:14; Php3:17; Tit2:3-5)
Hebrews 5:14 NASB95
14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
Notice the word “practice” which means spiritual good things, right things applied and by doing such are trained to discern good and evil.
Again may we turn to Paul
Philippians 3:17 NASB95
17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.
We are learn, we can apply to knowing, seeing what mature Christians around us are doing, what is their pattern.
In fact, look what Paul said to Titus to instruct the congregation in Crete
Titus 2:3 NASB95
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,
Titus 2:4–5 NASB95
4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
May the younger, younger in age, younger in faith, be willing to look to those who are older, wiser in faith so to learn and to apply.
(Transition) - I know good and evil, right and wrong seem pretty simple to know, to discern, but again, it is important that we know, understand and apply true discernment for without it, well, it can hinder our influence.

Hindering influence

Our words, our actions matter! We are called to be a good example, so consider our words and actions and how they may be perceived by others.
Paul’s words: By words, by deeds our example matters (1Cor9:19-23; 1Cor10:31-11:1)
1 Corinthians 9:19–20 NASB95
19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law;
1 Corinthians 9:21–22 NASB95
21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.
1 Corinthians 9:23 NASB95
23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.
Paul was concerned, as so should we, on how his influence affected the salvation of others.
You have a circle of influence! (expand on this briefly)
Paul also commands us to do the same, you can look at 1Cor10:31-11:1, basically saying imitate me as I imitate Christ
Peter’s words: Be a good example (1Pt3:1-2)
1 Peter 3:1–2 NASB95
1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
Peter’s words illustrate exampled actions, even without a word can influence others
Peter uses the wife’s example, but it is applicable for a Christian example isn’t it?
(Transition) - Helps or hinders may we take that into consideration when we are trying to know, discern, good from evil, right from wrong and all things in between. - Now still a little more to go, God has given us all things to enjoy, but not all things are good for us are they. But what about the things we have, are we being a good steward of them.


Maybe you don’t think of stewardship when it comes to discernment, but when we are trying to have a closer walk with thee, we do need to consider stewardship when discerning good and evil, right and wrong.
Am I being a good steward of my time, money and body (Mt25:14-30; 1Cor6:19-20; 1Tim6:17-19)
In Mt25 you can read the parable of the talents; use your talents, your gifts, what the Lord has entrusted to you for His purpose and glory. You are not being a good steward, using good discernment if you bury them!
Paul speaks of being a good steward with our body, and gives a good reason too.
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 NASB95
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Your body that you have been given stewardship over is the temple of the Holy Spirit; so better know and use good discernment on what to do with it!
Money, we have heard about being a good steward of money too, how we use it, saving it and sharing it, in summarizing 1Tim6:17-19 it says
Command, some versions say instruct those who are rich to do good, to be rich in good deeds, ready to give, willing to share, storing up a good foundation for the time to come. why? so that you may lay hold of eternal life.
(Transition): so telling, knowing, good from evil, right from wrong when it comes to stewardship, using God’s given resources is important. and the ultimate thing to consider when it comes to discerning good and evil is.

What would Jesus do?

Discerning and discipleship, we need to consider them together when we are trying to know, understand, discern good and evil; right and wrong for what would Jesus do is a great thing to consider.
Discipleship, remember it’s goal (Lk6:40)
Luke 6:40 NASB95
40 “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.
We want to be like Jesus, so we need to know what Jesus is like so that we may know.
(What did Jesus say picture inserted here)
Would Jesus do it?
we are familiar with the WWJD slogan but better yet, we need to know His Word, what He says on subjects directly or indirectly so to have good discernment of right and wrong.
If you have to think about it, if something would be acceptable to Jesus or not, then more than likely it is not and don’t do it.
We have God’s word; Jesus words, the prophet’s, the apostles all so we can have the mind of Christ (Php2:5)
Philippians 2:5 NASB95
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
(transition to conclusion, close)
In trying to wrap this up may we ask the following questions when we are trying to have a closer walk with thee through discerning good and evil; right and wrong.
What does the bible say?
It is similar to something the bible condemns?
Does it violate my personal conscience?
What do mature Christians with example experience have to say on the topic?
Am I being a good steward?
Finally, what would Jesus say, do?
(transition to invitation) - first and foremost Jesus would want you to be His and know you are His.
(Invitation slide-Be saved picture inserted here.)
invitation, prayer, close
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