100 Bible Verses about Discernment

1 John 4:1 ESV / 597 helpful votes

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.

Philippians 1:9-10 ESV / 486 helpful votes

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 5:14 ESV / 435 helpful votes

But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Hebrews 4:12 ESV / 371 helpful votes

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.

John 7:24 ESV / 267 helpful votes

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

Proverbs 3:1-6:35 ESV / 259 helpful votes

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. ...

Proverbs 2:1-5 ESV / 217 helpful votes

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.

James 1:5 ESV / 191 helpful votes

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 ESV / 185 helpful votes

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.

1 Kings 3:9 ESV / 183 helpful votes

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?”

1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV / 176 helpful votes

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.

Colossians 2:8 ESV / 171 helpful votes

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 14:33 ESV / 170 helpful votes

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,

Romans 12:2 ESV / 156 helpful votes

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.

1 Timothy 6:3-5 ESV / 146 helpful votes

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.

Matthew 10:16 ESV / 145 helpful votes

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 ESV / 137 helpful votes

But test everything; hold fast what is good.

Matthew 24:24 ESV / 90 helpful votes

For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

Proverbs 18:15 ESV / 78 helpful votes

An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

2 Corinthians 11:14 ESV / 70 helpful votes

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

2 Timothy 3:15 ESV / 62 helpful votes

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.

Acts 17:11 ESV / 61 helpful votes

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.

1 Kings 3:11 ESV / 61 helpful votes

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,

John 5:30 ESV / 59 helpful votes

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

Psalm 119:125 ESV / 58 helpful votes

I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!

Ezekiel 44:23 ESV / 53 helpful votes

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.

Psalm 34:18 ESV / 53 helpful votes

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Proverbs 28:11 ESV / 49 helpful votes

A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.

1 Corinthians 12:10 ESV / 48 helpful votes

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 23:1-6 ESV / 48 helpful votes

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. ...

1 Samuel 16:7 ESV / 48 helpful votes

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.”

Ephesians 5:10 ESV / 46 helpful votes

And try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.

Luke 21:25 ESV / 45 helpful votes

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves,

1 Peter 1:23 ESV / 43 helpful votes

Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

Genesis 3:1 ESV / 42 helpful votes

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

Matthew 7:18-20 ESV / 41 helpful votes

A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Revelation 22:18-19 ESV / 40 helpful votes

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

John 10:4 ESV / 38 helpful votes

When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

2 Corinthians 11:4 ESV / 37 helpful votes

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.

Psalm 119:18-24 ESV / 37 helpful votes

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me! My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times. You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments. Take away from me scorn and contempt, for I have kept your testimonies. ...

Revelation 22:16 ESV / 36 helpful votes

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

Proverbs 4:7 ESV / 36 helpful votes

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.

1 Corinthians 12:8-10 ESV / 33 helpful votes

For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 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.

Proverbs 15:21 ESV / 33 helpful votes

Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.

Proverbs 25:1-28 ESV / 32 helpful votes

These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied. It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable. Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel; take away the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness. ...

Proverbs 3:13 ESV / 32 helpful votes

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding,

1 Corinthians 14:29 ESV / 31 helpful votes

Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said.

Psalm 111:10 ESV / 31 helpful votes

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

Acts 17:10-11 ESV / 30 helpful votes

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.

Job 6:30 ESV / 30 helpful votes

Is there any injustice on my tongue? Cannot my palate discern the cause of calamity?

Proverbs 15:14 ESV / 29 helpful votes

The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly.

Hosea 14:9 ESV / 28 helpful votes

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.

Philippians 1:9 ESV / 27 helpful votes

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,

John 17:17 ESV / 27 helpful votes

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

Psalm 119:66 ESV / 27 helpful votes

Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments.

2 Samuel 14:17 ESV / 27 helpful votes

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 John 3:2 ESV / 26 helpful votes

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.

James 4:8 ESV / 26 helpful votes

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

James 3:17 ESV / 26 helpful votes

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

1 Timothy 4:1 ESV / 26 helpful votes

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,

1 Corinthians 2:9-13 ESV / 26 helpful votes

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.

Matthew 24:11 ESV / 26 helpful votes

And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.

Daniel 2:21 ESV / 26 helpful votes

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;

Isaiah 1:1-31 ESV / 26 helpful votes

The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master's crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. ...

Proverbs 1:5 ESV / 26 helpful votes

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,

Proverbs 2:3-5 ESV / 24 helpful votes

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 John 2:27 ESV / 23 helpful votes

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.

1 Corinthians 2:10-16 ESV / 23 helpful votes

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. ...

Matthew 16:3 ESV / 23 helpful votes

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.

Proverbs 14:6 ESV / 23 helpful votes

A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.

Deuteronomy 32:28-29 ESV / 23 helpful votes

“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!

Ephesians 4:14 ESV / 22 helpful votes

So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

Acts 16:6-7 ESV / 21 helpful votes

And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.

Proverbs 17:10 ESV / 21 helpful votes

A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.

Deuteronomy 32:27-29 ESV / 21 helpful votes

Had I not feared provocation by the enemy, lest their adversaries should misunderstand, lest they should say, “Our hand is triumphant, it was not the Lord who did all this.”’ “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!

John 3:16 ESV / 20 helpful votes

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Isaiah 8:20 ESV / 20 helpful votes

To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.

Deuteronomy 32:24-29 ESV / 20 helpful votes

They shall be wasted with hunger, and devoured by plague and poisonous pestilence; I will send the teeth of beasts against them, with the venom of things that crawl in the dust. Outdoors the sword shall bereave, and indoors terror, for young man and woman alike, the nursing child with the man of gray hairs. I would have said, “I will cut them to pieces; I will wipe them from human memory,” had I not feared provocation by the enemy, lest their adversaries should misunderstand, lest they should say, “Our hand is triumphant, it was not the Lord who did all this.”’ “For they are a nation void of counsel, and there is no understanding in them. ...

1 John 3:4 ESV / 19 helpful votes

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.

Philippians 1:9-11 ESV / 19 helpful votes

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.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ESV / 19 helpful votes

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,

1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV / 19 helpful votes

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

John 16:13 ESV / 19 helpful votes

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.

Matthew 24:23-26 ESV / 19 helpful votes

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 / 19 helpful votes

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.

Proverbs 19:25 ESV / 19 helpful votes

Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.

Proverbs 17:24 ESV / 19 helpful votes

The discerning sets his face toward wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.

Galatians 1:1-24 ESV / 18 helpful votes

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. ...

1 Corinthians 12:11 ESV / 18 helpful votes

All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

1 Corinthians 2:11 ESV / 18 helpful votes

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.

Isaiah 44:17-20 ESV / 18 helpful votes

And the rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, and falls down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!” They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

Revelation 22:4 ESV / 16 helpful votes

They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

Revelation 1:7 ESV / 16 helpful votes

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.

Hebrews 5:12-14 ESV / 16 helpful votes

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

1 Corinthians 2:16 ESV / 16 helpful votes

“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Deuteronomy 7:12-16 ESV / 16 helpful votes

“And because you listen to these rules and keep and do them, the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love that he swore to your fathers. He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock, in the land that he swore to your fathers to give you. You shall be blessed above all peoples. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock. And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you. And you shall consume all the peoples that the Lord your God will give over to you. Your eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.

John 7:17 ESV / 15 helpful votes

If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.

Hebrews 13:17 ESV / 14 helpful votes

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.

2 Timothy 4:2 ESV / 14 helpful votes

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

2 Timothy 2:2 ESV / 14 helpful votes

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.

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