Thursday, April 09, 2009

James McDonald: Great Damage: The Gift of Discernment Used in the Flesh

James MacDonald has a great article over recent so-called discernment ministries who have attacked him. His take on using the gift of discernement in the flesh brings out some excellent points.

Here is an excerpt:

If you are in Christ by the grace of God through repentance and faith, the Holy Spirit has given you a spiritual gift. Your spiritual gift is a supernatural capacity to serve Christ in this world. Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12, 14 are some of the places these gifts are listed and explained. While Christians debate the number of gifts and their availability for today, there is little debate about the existence of, and need for, the gift of discernment in the church. 1 Corinthians 12:10 lists “discerning of spirits” as a spiritual gift. Further, 1 John 4:1 commands us not to trust every ’spirit’ but to ‘test the spirits’ to see if they are from God. Clearly this is a call to use the spiritual gift of discernment.

The key to using our spiritual gifts well is to use them in the power of the Holy Spirit. People with the gift of mercy can become weak and wishy washy in matters of truth unless they let God’s Spirit direct their ‘mercy.’ People with the gift of leadership can become harsh and insensitive to the feelings of others even in trying to accomplish a God-given mission. When a Christian is operating in the flesh (Romans 8:5) and not under the control of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), they can do a lot of damage.

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