1 Thessalonians 5:21
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
I. WHAT THINGS?
1. Ourselves. The work of examination should begin at home — our state before God, our graces, our practice.
2. Others — friends (Proverbs 25:19), candidates for Christian communion, ministers.
3. Doctrines — are they simply sanctioned by councils or by God? Do they minister to pride of intellect, or humbleness of heart.
4. Actions. Do we walk after the Spirit or after the flesh? Do we keep the ordinances of God or of men (Proverbs 14:12)?
II. BY WHAT RULES. Not by outward appearance: this was what Eve did, and what Samuel was in danger of doing. But —
1. By fruits. This applies to both persons and doctrines, and is a test ordained by Christ.
2. The examples of good and wise men in so far as they follow Christ the supreme example.
3. The Divine Word: Search the Scriptures.
4. Our own experience corroborated by the word of truth. "He that believeth hath the witness in himself."
(B. Beddome, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.