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Relationship With Jesus
The Key To Effective Ministry

Section 4, Chapter 13

How to Discern What Is
Truly Jesusí Voice

Chapter Illustration

Page 1 of 2 Pages
Study Questions

INTRODUCTION

This Chapter on principles of discernment really constitutes the intent and goal of both the Basic and Advanced School of Evangelism Textbooks written by this author. This Chapter is a summary of these two books. For this reason the reader, when possible, should make the effort and exercise the discipline necessary to go through both the Basic and Advanced schools of evangelism. The goal of both the Basic and Advanced School of Evangelism is to teach you how to hear Jesusí voice in all aspects of your walk with Him. The importance of that is that it will lead you into Jesusí full purpose for your life in a spirit of love and Jesusí presence, with the least amount of wrong roads as possible. Therefore, do not cheat yourself by limiting yourself to this summary alone, but make plans to go through both these schools when Jesusí will for your life and sufficient time make that possible.

The Apostle Paul states in Acts 14:22, "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God." He states here that we will not be able to avoid trials in life. So learning principles of discernment is not a guarantee of total avoidance of trials, but a guarantee of having the best tools to know clearly Jesusí direction in your life no matter what your circumstances are.

Covered in this pamphlet are,

  1. Foundations Necessary for Discernment

  2. Required Conditions for Discernment

  3. Required Motivation for Discernment

  4. Primary Principles for Discernment

  5. Miscellaneous Principles for Discernment

FOUNDATIONS NECESSARY
FOR DISCERNMENT

The first step to knowing what is truly Jesusí voice is understanding foundations necessary for discernment. The first foundation necessary for discernment is understanding that Jesus is the answer to all our discernment needs which involves what it means to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. Accepting Jesus as Savior means that we put our trust in Him and what He did on the cross and that alone to save us from the penalty of sin, nothing else (Rom 10:9-10, 4:25).

Accepting Jesus as Lord means three things: First, that Jesus loves us and has a present and eternal plan for our lives and that He is the ONLY way to that plan. (John 10:10; 10:1, 9; 14:6). Second, receiving Jesus as Lord means to repent of any known sin as outlined in the Bible (1 Cor 5:11-13, 6:9-10, Gal 5:19-21 and not limited to these passages). Third, receiving Jesus as Lord means recognizing that we are no longer under the ritual of the Law for salvation or sanctification (Rom 10:4, Acts 13:38-39, 2 Cor 3:5-6); and since we are not, recognizing that confessing Jesus as Lord now means to obey His will and plans for our life revealed through the Holy Spirit (Heb 3:7-8, Matt 7:20-23, 1 Cor 3:10-15). Finally, this involves understanding that we personalize making Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives by simply entering into a personal relationship with Him. Jesus said in the Gospel of John 17:3 that knowing Him is eternal life and the way we come to know Him according to the Apostle John and Jesus Himself recorded by John is to invite Jesus to come and live in our hearts and live with us as Savior and Lord of our lives (John 1:12, Rev 3:20).

The second foundation necessary for discernment is knowing how to approach Jesus for the answer to our needs. This involves: first, understanding the relationship of the Trinity (John 5:19, 10:48-50, 16:13-15). Jesus only acts out of the initiative of the Father and the Holy Spirit only acts out of the initiative of Jesus. Second, this involves understanding Jesusí desired relationship with the church (John 17:18, 20:21). Jesus said in John 17:18, "As You [Father] did send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world." Jesus did not act or speak out of the initiative of His soul or flesh, but only out of the initiative of the Father through his human spirit. Jesus wants us to walk with Him in this same kind of relationship. Third, this involves understanding that man was created a tripartite being with a spirit, soul and body (Gen 2:7, 1 Thess 5:23); and that Godís order for man is to be ruled over and led by His Holy Spirit through His human spirit, not through his soul and flesh. Fourth, this involves understanding the importance of approaching Jesus through worship and praise in Spirit and truth with uplifted hands (Ps 100:4, Jn 4:23-24, 1 Cor 14:13-15, Jude 20, Lam 3:41, 2 Tim 2:8). Jesus is the answer to our needs (John 14:6). The importance of worship is that it gets our eyes off of ourselves, the problem; and onto Jesus, the solution to our problems. The importance of praying in the spirit is that it is the Holy Spirit praying through us to Jesus the answer to our needs. We need to pray for interpretation so we can bring our mind, our soul, into unity with our spirit and thus pray in truth and according to Godís will about the need. (See Chapter 4 in Section 2).

REQUIRED CONDITIONS FOR DISCERNMENT

There are two required conditions for discernment: First, understanding the importance of unconditional surrender and commitment to do Jesusí will. Jesus said in John 7:15-17 that the Father will only reveal His will and the truth to a person who is first already 100% committed to do his will. If you are asking Jesus to show you His will and plan for your life but are getting no answers, it may be because you havenít come to the place of being willing to do that will no matter what it may require.

Second, understanding the importance of aggressive pursuit of a pure heart. Jesus said in Matthew 5:8, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." What does it mean to have a pure heart? Paul gives us the answer to this in 1 Timothy 1:5. He states, "But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, and a good conscience and a sincere faith." Having a pure heart according to this verse involves, one, striving for love from a pure heart; two, doing all we can to maintain a clear conscience; and three having a sincere faith based on the Word of God.

Gaining a clear conscience involves repenting of any known sin, asking forgiveness of anyone you have wrongly offended, and such things as returning stolen property or the monetary value thereof. It involves correcting past wrongs you can correct. If you cannot, then it involves spiritually breathing about the issue before God.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:23-24 that a pure heart involves having right relationships with others.

"If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering."

This means doing whatever we can to be at peace with our brethren in the faith. Sometimes, though, no matter how hard we try we are not able to reconcile a bad relationship. Jesus will not hold us accountable for this, but before He will reveal Himself to us it involves our making the effort (Rom 12:18).

The Apostle Paul again tells us in 2 Timothy 2:15 and 3:16-17 that we stand approved before God and have a pure heart when we handle accurately and line up our lives with the truths of Godís Holy Word: the Bible.

REQUIRED MOTIVATION
FOR DISCERNMENT

The next step to discerning what is truly Jesusí voice is understanding what the required motivation for discernment is. This is discussed extensively in Section 3 of the Advanced Textbook titled, "The Salvation Work of Jesus". Simply stated, it states that the required motivation for discernment is asking Jesus the question: Jesus, in what vocation, life-style and relationship with the opposite sex can I best be a light for you? (John 4:34-35, Eph 5:15- 17, Matt 5:16).

PRIMARY PRINCIPLES FOR DISCERNMENT

Now let us look at primary principles for discernment. The first primary principle of discernment is understanding that we look to Jesus first for the answer to our needs and not to the Bible or man. Jesus said,

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light." (Matt 11:28-30).

"You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life, and it is these that bear witness of Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life." (John 5:39-40). (See also Jer 17:5-8, 2 Cor 2:9-10).

The second primary principle of discernment is that once we have received what we believe is an answer to our need from Jesus, we need to ask ourselves the question "Does it line up with Godís Holy Word the Bible?" Isaiah said in Isaiah 8:20, "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn." Jesus said in John 8:47, "He who is of God hears the words of God." (2 Tim 2:15, 3:16-17; Heb 4:12, 5:13-14). Jesus and the Word of God are one and the same. The reason we turn to Jesus first and not to the Bible is because only Jesus knows what principles of His Word apply to any one given situation. Jesus will never lead us contrary to the Word of God. Therefore, when we receive what we believe is an answer from Jesus concerning our need we need to ask ourselves if it lines up with the Word of God. If it does not, the voice or leading is not from Jesus or the Holy Spirit and is therefore to be rejected. (Matt 24:35).

Once we are certain that the answer we have received from Jesus does not contradict the Word of God, we then need to ask ourselves the question, does it contradict Godís authority?  Whenever authority does not contradict what the Bible teaches on moral conduct, we are to submit to it. Paul states about governing authority,

"Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. . . . for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil." (Rom 13:1-5).

Paul states about parental authority,

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth." (Eph 6:2-3).

Paul states about the relationship between a man and his wife,

"Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything."

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her." (Eph 5:22-25).

Jesusí Word clearly teaches us that if a woman is married, she is to submit herself to her husband just as a single woman is to submit herself to the Lord. We are to submit our lives to the Lord 100%, therefore, a woman is to submit herself to her husbandís leadership in the home 100% so long as it does not contradict the moral teaching of Scripture. For a woman to submit herself to her husband is to submit herself to Jesus. To not submit to her husband, according to the word of God, is to not submit to Jesus. It is not rebellion against her husband but against Jesus. What this means in practical terms is that when a woman believes that Jesus is leading her to do something with her life which would effect her relationship with her family, the way she can know for certain that it is of Jesus or not is by bringing the issue to her husband. If he agrees and gives her his support, then it is truly of Jesus. If he does not agree then it is Jesus telling the wife that this subjective impression is not from him and is to be rejected. If the husband is wrong, Jesus can change his heart in time (Prov 21:1, 16:1); but in the mean time the wife is to submit to her husbands decision. To not do so would not be rebellion against her husband, but Jesus. If anyone rejects this teaching of Scripture, Paul gives the following admonition,

Study Questions
Continued on page 2
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