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Wednesday, April 29 2015

Contributor: Akin Akande

Introduction:
Last week, we recapped the ways by which God personalizes His messages to us namely inward witness or intuition, inward voice and God’s audible voice (the voice of the Holy Spirit). We saw that the voice of the Holy Spirit is authoritative and sometimes can be so real that it appears audible. We concluded that obedience to the Holy Spirit’s messages is most critical and therefore our attitude must be inclined towards carrying out His instructions and directions. May the Lord continue to help and strengthen us to obey (Amen).

This week, we shall look into the importance of putting to test, evaluating and/or judging what we believe the Holy Spirit is impressing on our spirits or the revelations we receive or the voices we hear or even any spiritual experience we have using the Word of God.

Review of I Thess. 5:19-21 and I Cor. 2:15
I Thess. 5:19-21 – Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good (NKJV)
I Thess. 5:19-21 – Don't suppress the Spirit, and don't stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don't be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what's good (The Message)
I Thess. 5:19-21 – Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good (NLT)
I Cor. 2:15 – But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one (NKJV)
I Cor. 2:15 – Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others (NLT)
We have learnt over the last weeks/months during our bible studies to constantly connect with the Holy Spirit via our own spirits for our day-to-day living. We have learnt how we should listen to our inward voices, inner witnesses and our consciences with the readiness to obey since the Holy Spirit oftentimes relays information to us via these means.
A wise believer will go a step further to subject his inward voice, inner witness and conscience to the rigorous test of the Word of God. As a matter of fact, we must always test/judge/evaluate all things, whether from us to others/ourselves or from others to us, using the Word of God.

What does it mean to test/judge/evaluate?
To test means to take measures to check the quality, performance, or reliability of (something), especially before putting it into widespread use or practice or to judge or measure

To judge means to form an opinion or conclusion about or to give a verdict on (someone) in a law court or decide the results of (a competition)

To evaluate means to form an idea of or to assess

One sure/infallible test/evaluation/judge for anything claimed to be from the Holy Spirit is to check whether it aligns with the Scripture, as the noble Bereans did in Acts 17:11. The Spirit of God and the Word of God always agree, II Tim. 3:16 - All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…. Anytime the Spirit of God speaks to you, it will always be in line with the Word of God – The Bible.
You can, and you should, judge all things. You can judge whether spiritual experiences are right or wrong simply by judging them by the Word.
We are not to seek voices. We should not follow voices. We should follow the Word of God.
As believers we are not to accept anything without examining it in the light of the Word of God.

Conclusion
1 Thess. 5:19: … Christians need to test what they hear and read, by comparing it with the Word of God, to determine if it is divine in its origin. This is difficult, but it is possible for a spiritual believer (1 Cor. 2:14). Each Christian has the responsibility and ability to do this, though some have more discernment than others (cf. Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1). What is discovered to be good (i.e. e., in harmony with what has been given by the Holy Spirit in the Word) should be retained (BK Commentary) while the rest should be discarded.
This study is another wake-up call for us to be diligent students of God’s Words (II Tim. 2:15). Our lives depend on His Words!
 

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 03:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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