I was pushed to write a series on discernment when I heard a famous evangelical pastor define discernment as the ability to see, allegedly by the Spirit of God, obscene things on a kind of imaginary “movie screen.”1 I also wanted to respond with sound exegesis to the opinions of some that any extra-biblical moral judgment violates sola Scriptura or that the use of biblical discernment is a form of the “respectable sin” of “judgmentalism.”
If anything, I have left this study even more convinced that Scripture (the New Testament in particular)2 presses upon the one who believes in Jesus Christ the responsibility to use discernment, the biblically informed judgment whether certain extra-biblical moral actions are good or evil. I have argued this exegetically from seven different New Testament passages:
Not only did we study each of these passages, but we made several other important points from them as the series progressed. It would be good to review those and expand upon them:
Ryan Martin is pastor of the First Baptist Church of Granite Falls, Minnesota. Prior to that, he served as the associate pastor of Bethany Bible Church in Hendersonville, North Carolina. He is on the board of directors of Religious Affections Ministries. Ryan received his undergraduate degree at Northland Baptist Bible College, and has received further training from Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis, Minn. (M.Div., 2004; Ph.D., 2013). He was ordained in 2009 at Bible Baptist Church of Elk River, Minn. (now Otsego, Minn.). He has a wife and children too.