How to Discern Life from Death – By Father Andrew Bahhi

How can we gain simplicity and strong faith in God? We need to have the gift of the Holy Spirit, called the gift of discernment.

We have two ways in our lives: 1) the way of life, the way to walk with God, the way of good deeds and virtues or 2) the way of sin and death. And through discernment, we choose between the two.

This is what our Savior said in John 3:17 “For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him.” He came for the people to save them. And then He continued to say this is the condemnation and judgement. “The light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” – John 3:19

The light God incarnated, Jesus, came into the world. And the way of humans chooses darkness. Those people who choose darkness are the ways of evil. They have big sins and refuse to repent. This is the condemnation.

But he who comes to the true comes to the light. The ones with the gift of discernment will come to the light and follow Jesus’s step “He who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” – John 3:21

We can all gain the gift if we ask God through our deeds, prayer, receiving communion that we will learn and have humility.

The spirit of discernment is not only distinguishing between right and wrong, or major and minor mistakes, or essential and unessential things for salvation, or good and better or better and the best. But the spirit of discernment through the Holy Spirit will give you very beautiful eyes that can see what’s beyond the deeds – there is something more beyond them.

The sin is not only when we do bad things, but when we know the good things and we don’t do it, that is also sin (James 4:17).

That’s why savior said in the sermon on the mount – “the lamp of the body is the eye.” We should be very careful especially in this time because we are still celebrating the feast of the Resurrection of our savior.

Paul in Thessalonians 5:21 says test all things but hold fast to what is good. As a Christian, we have to test everything, but only follow the good things.

Believe everything that belongs to God. But the spirit of the world, evil, earthly desires – you have to test it.

The condemnation when we do the bad things in darkness and not accept light. The spirit of discernment shows us how to choose the true light.

May God bless you and protect you all and give you the power and spirit of discernment so we can follow Jesus in our life and be with Him in the eternal life.

Learn more from Father Andrew’s sermon video here.

Syriac Hymns for the Fourth Sunday after Easter