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The Gospel and Its Requirements 7

Distinguishing Right from Wrong as Sign of Maturity

We have many gifted people in the Body of Christ, and they are placed in positions based on those gifts; however, our gifts can only take us so far; we must develop character. A gifted person without character will be a stumbling block to the church soon or later. 

I have been blessed with the ability to sing; I am not the best singer in the world, but I can sing. I remember many years ago, as a young Christian, right before the service, I almost got into a fight with the worship leader. See, I was offended because my microphone was almost off and, I was a backup singer. I was gifted, but so immature. I thank God for my pastor who disciplined me for six months. I was not allowed to sing or be involved in any ministry of any kind. I can say that today I am a little more mature! I hope! 

Salvation is God’s work; discipleship is ours. Our will or our works are not involved in salvation, we can’t save ourselves. However, our will MUST cooperate in the life-long journey of discipleship. Hebrews 5:14 tells us,           “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”[1]

The word “Practice” is the Greek word, héxis; meaning “Habit; practice or exercise.”[2] We are talking about doing something so much until it becomes a habit. “According to a 2009 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit.”[3] Making a habit will not happen magically; an angel from heaven is not going to come down and make us do it; we have to work at it by an act of our will.

We are in the process of training our senses; that is training our minds; the part of the soul that deals with the way we think. The word “Trained” can’t be ignore; this is the Greek word, gumnázō; this is where we get the word Gym. It means “To train naked, as the Greek athletes. Generally, to exercise, train. Thus gumnásion, gymnasium, is a place of exercising. Metaphorically to train in godliness (1 Tim. 4:7; Heb. 5:14; 12:11).[4]

We are in training to: 1) Change the way we think, 2) train in Godliness and 3) train in discerning good and evil. Training naked can be interpreted as transparency. True discipleship REQUIRES transparency; perhaps that is the reason why many are in the church, but not engage in discipleship training.  

Many are saved but have shown very little growths as they continue to struggle with distinguishing good from evil; that is good doctrine from the evil ones. Some can’t distinguish doctrines of demons from the apostles’ doctrine. You have got to know what you believe. The Corinthians Church was a very gifted church; as of matter of fact, they did not lack any spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 1:7). However, this particular church was very immature. In First Corinthians 3:1-3 Paul tells this church,

And I, brothers and sisters, could not speak to you as spiritual people, but only as fleshly, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to consume it. But even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like ordinary people? (NASB)

Jealousy and strive are obvious signs of immaturity. Corinthians had all the gifts of the Spirit; it was a very charismatic church; however, they were infants in Christ, they were not ready for the deep things of God, they were carnal Christians. Now, the church in general will overcome everything; that is a Biblical promise. However, jealousy and strife are killing local churches left and right. 

I think this is an hour where the Holy Ghost is calling the church to maturity; to get ready for the greatest revival we will ever witness. Sadly, we are not ready yet because we will be stumbling blocks with our ignorance and immaturity. IT IS TIME TO GROW UP CHURCH! Be a disciple so that you can learn to distinguish what is good and what is evil and, be ready to fulfil the Great Commission and make disciples yourself. It is our job… it is our duty!

To be continued…  

[1] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Heb 5:14.

[2] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).


[4] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

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