1 Corinthians 12:10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
The discerning of spirits gives us insight into the spirit world. It is not spiritual “mind reading”, psychological insight, mental penetration or discerning of character or faults. Rather, it is the ability to discriminate between spirits because we are either influenced by the Holy Spirit or by the evil spirits behind the act. 1 John 4:1 also tells us not to believe every spirit, but to test them to see whether they are of God.
Acts 16:16-18 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.
Every word that the girl said was correct because she was possessed by a spirit of divination and fortune telling. If the Apostle Paul had been gullible and affirmed her based on what she said, many would have been led astray. Instead, he discerned in the spirit that it was an evil spirit, he was annoyed by it, and thus cast the demon out of her.
The major purpose of this gift is to discern human spirits or the kind of person they truly are. It is a specific gift for a specific occasion, and it can be an uneasiness, “the velvet feeling” or “I just know”.
Acts 5:3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?
Ananias and Sapphira were judged for their hypocrisy and lying to the Holy Spirit. It is a sobering lesson that Satan has the power to distort the thinking of Christians and it teaches us to give him no room in our lives. The Apostle Peter was able to discern what motivated them and who was behind the influence.
Although Christians cannot be demon possessed, we might still yield to the wrong spirits. Therefore, this gift is the divine ability to discern what motivates someone, and it is a safeguard God has put in place in the body of Christ to protect it against people who are motivated by greed or self-interest and may bring harm and disunity.
Sermon Series: CG Campaign – Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow (Part 4)
哥林多前书12:10 又有人能行异能，又有人能作先知，又有人能辨别诸灵， 又有人能说方言， 又有人能翻方言。
使徒行传16:16-18 后来，我们往那祷告的地方去， 有一个使女迎着面来， 她被巫鬼所附，用法术，叫他主人们得财利 他跟随保罗和我们，喊着说。这些人是至高神 的仆人，对你们传说救人的道。 他一连多日这样喊叫，保罗就心中厌烦，转身对那鬼说， 我奉耶稣基督的名，吩咐你从他身上出来，那鬼当时就出来了。
讲章系列：细胞小组活动 – 教会通过属灵恩赐得以成长 (4)