Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, NIV
The first words you hear in a sermon from many pulpits will be: “Please open your Bible to…” There’s a reason for this. The task of the preacher is to explain and apply what God has said in His Word.
Faithful preachers want you to have your Bible open so that you can see what it says and assess whether what they say is a reasonable explanation and application of what you find there.
God wants you to be actively engaged in assessing what you hear—sifting, evaluating, applying, and discarding anything you cannot see in the text. But you are to embrace, believe, and apply what you do see. Listening to God’s Word is as demanding as preaching God’s Word.
The reason some people do not profit from the ministry of the Word is that they do not know how to listen to it. You need to be asking yourself: How does this apply to me now and how might it in the future? How should I respond to this? In repentance? Faith? Obedience? How can I share what God is teaching me with others?
Test what you hear from your counselors
Many Christians hear the call of the gospel on Sunday, but then they embrace what a counselor says, even if it goes in the opposite direction from the gospel they profess to believe.
Test what you hear from your friends
Your friends may be a means of God’s grace to you, but they may also say what they think you want to hear. So test what your friends are saying. This is what it looks like to be faithful to God.
Do you need to be more diligent in testing what you hear against the Word of God?