Sometimes we shirk off responsibility for gifts mentioned in the Bible. “If discernment is a gift, what if I don’t have it?” But with every gift there is a responsibility, even if we don’t have that gift. Learn about the gift and responsibility of discernment and why we all need to be seeking it today. Watch the message Why discernment is non-negotiable for every follower of Christ at this link.
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100 Bible Verses on Discernment
“Discernment is God’s call to intercession, never to faultfinding.”Corrie Ten Boom
1 John 4:1 ESV
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Hebrews 5:14 ESV
But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
Philippians 1:9-10 ESV
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
Hebrews 4:12 ESV
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
1 Kings 3:9 ESV
Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”
Romans 12:2 ESV
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
James 1:5 ESV
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
John 7:24 ESV
Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
1 Corinthians 14:33 ESV
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,
1 Thessalonians 5:21 ESV
But test everything; hold fast what is good.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 ESV
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
Matthew 10:16 ESV
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
Colossians 2:8 ESV
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:10 ESV
To another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
Psalm 119:125 ESV
I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!
Proverbs 3:1-6:35 ESV
My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. …
1 Timothy 6:3-5 ESV
If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.
Proverbs 2:1-5 ESV
My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
1 Timothy 4:1 ESV
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,
Hosea 14:9 ESV
Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.
1 Corinthians 14:29 ESV
Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said.
Proverbs 15:14 ESV
The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
Proverbs 18:15 ESV
An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
Proverbs 15:21 ESV
Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.
1 Samuel 16:7 ESV
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
James 3:17 ESV
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
1 Kings 3:11 ESV
And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right,
Proverbs 28:11 ESV
A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.
Matthew 24:24 ESV
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
Psalm 119:66 ESV
Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments.
John 16:13 ESV
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
1 John 2:27 ESV
But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.
James 4:8 ESV
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Psalm 111:10 ESV
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!
Proverbs 1:5 ESV
Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,
Philippians 1:9 ESV
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,
Acts 17:11 ESV
Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Acts 17:10-11 ESV
The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
2 Samuel 14:17 ESV
And your servant thought, ‘The word of my lord the king will set me at rest,’ for my lord the king is like the angel of God to discern good and evil. The Lord your God be with you!”
1 Corinthians 2:9-13 ESV
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
John 15:26 ESV
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.
1 John 3:2 ESV
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
Philippians 1:9-11 ESV
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Proverbs 28:7 ESV
The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding, but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
Daniel 2:21 ESV
He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;
Proverbs 19:25 ESV
Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.
1 Corinthians 2:10-16 ESV
These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. …
Proverbs 14:6 ESV
A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.
Proverbs 3:13 ESV
Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding,
1 Corinthians 2:11 ESV
For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Proverbs 17:10 ESV
A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.
Proverbs 2:3-5 ESV
Yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
Job 6:30 ESV
Is there any injustice on my tongue? Cannot my palate discern the cause of calamity?
Matthew 24:11 ESV
And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.
1 Corinthians 2:9-16 ESV
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. …
Ephesians 4:11-12 ESV
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
2 Timothy 3:15 ESV
And how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Proverbs 17:24 ESV
The discerning sets his face toward wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
2 Timothy 2:2 ESV
And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 4:2 ESV
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
Proverbs 3:21 ESV
My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion,
John 17:17 ESV
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
Revelation 1:7 ESV
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
1 Timothy 6:2 ESV
Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these things.
1 Timothy 3:2 ESV
Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
Romans 8:16 ESV
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
Hebrews 13:17 ESV
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
1 Timothy 4:11 ESV
Command and teach these things.
Revelation 22:4 ESV
They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
1 Corinthians 2:16 ESV
“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Galatians 4:6 ESV
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
Proverbs 4:7 ESV
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.
2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
1 Corinthians 4:16-17 ESV
I urge you, then, be imitators of me. That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.
1 Corinthians 2:1-16 ESV
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. …
1 Corinthians 13:12 ESV
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10 ESV
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
Matthew 16:3 ESV
And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
Psalm 23:1-6 ESV
A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. …
Acts 8:26-38 ESV
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” …
John 21:17 ESV
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Matthew 24:45 ESV
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time?
2 Corinthians 11:4 ESV
For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.
Ezekiel 44:23 ESV
They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.
1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
Matthew 24:32-33 ESV
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
1 Corinthians 12:11 ESV
All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ESV
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
Matthew 6:22 ESV
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light,
Matthew 24:23-26 ESV
Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.
Matthew 24:4-5 ESV
And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.
Matthew 5:8 ESV
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Isaiah 59:2 ESV
But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
Jeremiah 23:5 ESV
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
1 John 3:4 ESV
Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
Isaiah 11:3 ESV
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
Isaiah 7:15 ESV
He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.
Deuteronomy 32:28-29 ESV
“For they are a nation void of counsel, and there is no understanding in them. If they were wise, they would understand this; they would discern their latter end!
Galatians 1:1-24 ESV
Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— and all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. …