COMMUNICATIONS CLINIC – JESUS TACHES ON PRAYER
Lesson #3 – DEVELOPING SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT – Matthew 7:1-12
· What is discernment?
· What is Spiritual discernment?
· Why is Spiritual discernment important?
· Why do so many Christians lack Spiritual discernment?
· How has prayer ever given you Spiritual discernment?
Matthew 7:7-11 are verses about prayer that are often taught without considering their context. In a day and age when Spiritual discernment is so desperately needed, we need to consider these verses within their context. If we want to be Spiritual “giants” we need the discernment that is referred to in Matthew 7:1-12, and turn our prayers towards gaining that discernment.
SPECIFIC ASSIGNMENTS – Vss. 1-6
1. KNOW WHEN NOT TO JUDGE – Vss. 1-5
· The Scripture is clear that there are times to judge. Jesus did it and even commanded it in Verse 6.
· According to Matthew 18:15-19, what procedure should we use to judge sin?
· According to 1 Corinthians 6:1-8, what problem did the Corinthians lack concerning discernment?
· According to Galatians 6:1-2, how should the spiritual brother use discernment in helping a brother who is sinning?
· Vss. 1-2 – What type of judging is Jesus criticizing here?
· Why do we often hold others to a higher standard than we do ourselves?
· Notice the danger that we face when we judge others. What is it?
· Vs. 3 – A beam is like a ‘2×4’. Why is it so much easier for us to see the speck in our brother’s eye and miss the beam in our own eye?
· Vs. 4 – What problems do we encounter when we try Spiritual surgery on our brother with the beam in our own eye?
· Vs. 5 – How can we perform surgery on the beam in our own eye?
· What happens when we remove the beam from our own eye first?
2. KNOW WHEN TO KEEP SILENT – Vs. 6
· When people mock spiritual things and are antagonistic to Christianity, we should know when to be silent, not giving that which is holy to dogs or casting our pearls before pigs.
· Why does Jesus demand such silence?
· Does this mean there is a time not to witness?
SPECIAL ASSISTANCE – Vss. 7-11
· How do these verses fit with verses 1-6?
· Vs. 7 – In context, what should we be asking, seeking, and knocking for?
· How will such prayers change us?
· The meaning is to keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking. Why must we be so persistent?
· Vs. 8 – We are promised answers to these persistent prayers. Basically we can say we lack Spiritual discernment because we lack persistent prayer.
· In what ways are prayers for Spiritual discernment as important or more important than other prayers that we pray? Mark 8:36
· Vss. 9-11 – How are these verses a real encouragement for us to pray?
· Luke 11:13 – If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
· How does Luke 11:13 give us insight into what the “good things” are in verse 11?
SPECTACULAR ATTAINMENT – Vs. 12
· What is the “Golden Rule”?
· How does the prayer for Spiritual discernment lead to keeping of the Golden Rule?
· When we keep the Golden Rule we fulfill the “law and the prophets”. Leviticus 19:18 – Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. Matthew 22:37-40 – Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
· Besides not being judgmental, what are some other ways we can keep the Golden Rule?
· How will discerning prayer help us fulfill the Golden Rule in ways besides not being judgmental?
· Have you gained any new insights into the importance of prayer?