Many Christians desire to have discernment, which is good. Many, however, maintain a narrow understanding of Biblical discernment, limiting its scope to simply calling out false teachers and/or identifying erroneous practices within the Church.
Biblical discernment most assuredly includes those activities, and we must never ignore the importance of exposing deception (Romans 16:17, Ephesians 5:11). But in order to identify false teaching, we must first have a grasp of sound theology. Going after Beth Moore or Joel Osteen takes more than reading a few discernment blogs; we need to know Scripture well enough that we see their errors readily.
I’ve been excited about doing this Bible Study series on Paul’s letter to the Colossians precisely because it demonstrates an approach to discernment that very few Christians emulate today. Yet Paul refutes two major First Century heresies without even naming them. In both cases, he does so by pointing his readers back to Christ.
I said a moment ago that I’m excited about teaching this Bible Study on Colossians. At the same time, I’m nervous about doing it. As I studied it the past several months, I saw how much Paul packed in to these four short chapters. I know how valuable this epistle is in giving us keys to discernment, and so I want to handle it carefully, accurately and reverently.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. ~~2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV)
Today, however, let’s begin with some housekeeping to prepare for our study. First of all, I need to remind any gentlemen who read my blog that I really intend to teach women exclusively. Unless you’re my husband, an elder at First Baptist Church Weymouth or a man vetting a handful of my posts to make sure they’re suitable for women under your leadership, this blog isn’t for you! The Lord has charged me not to teach men (1 Timothy 2:12), and I want to be obedient to His command.
Also, I plan to post these studies on Mondays. As you can see, however, I’m already off schedule with this initial article. As I was writing this Sunday night, John reached a crisis with his intestinal issues and had to call 9-1-1 to rush him to the hospital. He was admitted Monday morning, and I spent the day writing emails and looking for people to help me, among other things. So, although I’ll try to keep on schedule, life might get in the way.
Finally, I really want to encourage comments. Not “what this verse means to me” subjectively, but questions or answers to questions from each other. Have you read a relevant commentary bringing out a point that I neglect? Is my interpretation faulty? Please offer correction. Has the Holy Spirit used the text to challenge you? Let’s talk about it.
The Lord wants us to be discerning. Studying Colossians can help us develop real discernment that will honor Christ. And honoring Him must be the ultimate goal of discernment