“… the wages of sin is death” (Romans, 6:23).Death as retribution for sin isn’t just painful; it is also eternal. Jesus described hell as the place where “their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched” (Mark, 9:48). Jesus died for the salvation of the humanity, – for all of us, sinners. Jesus did that because He loves us! That is why today God disciplines His children! God disciplines us so that we would not have to experience again the death that Jesus has already suffered and tasted for us. Through discipline and love God desires to protect us from the chief effect of sin, which is death. So we see that God sometimes chooses to use pain and suffering in the lives of His disobedient children as a way to punish and discipline them. Now let’s see what the main purpose of God’s discipline is in more detail. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF GOD’S DISCIPLINE? We can miss many important and useful opportunities in life if we underestimate what is going on in our lives. God’s discipline is one of these opportunities. Believers have a tendency to despise the discipline of their Heavenly Father. Yet in the Epistle to Hebrews The Lord is calling us to resist the wrong attitude of some believers towards God’s discipline. It says in the Bible:
« My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him» (Hebrews, 12:5).The believers that are focused on comfort usually are indifferent towards the truth of God disciplining them. Some of them aren’t even bothered by their sins or irresponsibility. People like that want to be blessed by God, yet they despise God’s discipline. The Bible also tells us that punishment is profitable for us and not God. Discipline is one of the ways how God transforms His children into the image of Jesus Christ. Discipline might be painful today, but it is not meant to destroy our lives, but to perfect it and bring out of us our best qualities. That is what Apostle Paul talks about in Hebrews:
«You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For the indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it» (Hebrews, 12:4-11).We see that God’s chastening is not a sign of His displeasure towards us, but a sign of His acceptance. We can see that in many verses of the Scripture. The verses above tell us that God’s punishment is a sign of acceptance and sonship:
«If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons» (Hebrews, 12:7-8).If God cannot discipline you, then you are not His legitimate child. Whomever God accepts as His children, He disciplines and chastises. Tomorrow we will discuss in more detail the purposes of God has in disciplining His children. May God bless you and your loved ones! Pastor Rufus Ajiboye
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