Nov 9, 2016
WOFCF Bible Explosion
God’s Discipline – Lesson Two
We have seen how God shows us in our conscience (integrity/truthfulness/morality) what is right and what is wrong in His sight. In this lesson, we will continue to see how God trains His children to walk in obedience to Him.
Point #1 God Disciplines His Children by their Circumstances
How does God discipline us? He disciplines us by our circumstances. God arranges all sorts of happenings to teach us what He wants us to learn. The things that happen to a child of God are not accidental. All the things that happen to us are either ordered by God or permitted by Him, and they are working together for our good. The Bible says, "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) Many things that happen to us do not in themselves seem to be good. Indeed, they may be painful and bitter to us. But God's Word says that we can know that "all things work together for good to those who love God."
Point #2 God Disciplines His Children by Chastening Them
If we do not heed His teaching and His discipline, God has to chasten us. Chastening is a form of discipline from God. God chastens us when we are disobedient. Chastening is not the same as punishment. The object of punishment is to make a person suffer for his wrongdoing; whereas, the object of chastening is to help someone to be a better person by correcting him. There is another difference. Punishment does not involve love, whereas chastening does. A father shows his love for his son by chastening him. The Bible says, "He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him chastens him promptly." (Proverbs 13:24)
Point #3 The Meaning of God’s Chastening
When God has to chasten us, we may feel sorry for ourselves and wonder, "Why is this happening to me?" We may look around and see others who have done the same things we have done, and yet they are not having the problems that we are having. We wonder why. We may even think that God does not love us or that He is angry with us. But these are wrong conclusions. Chastening is proof that we are God's child.
The first thing we need to see about chastening is that it is proof that we are God's child. God does not chasten unsaved people. He chastens only His own children. The unsaved will be punished for their sins in the next life, but God chastens His children in this life. If God chastens you, it simply proves that you are His child. The Bible says, "If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chastens? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons." (Hebrews 12:7-8)
Point #4 Chastening is Proof that God Loves Us
God does not chasten us because He does not like us or because He is angry with us. He chastens us because He loves us. The Bible says, "For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives." (Hebrews 12:6) When we realize that trials and difficulties come from our Heavenly Father, and that they come to us because He loves us, our whole attitude toward them changes. The psalmist said, "Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O LORD, the man you teach from your law." (Psalm 94:12)
How should we receive God's Chastening? God tells us in His Word how we are to receive His chastening. The Bible says, "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor faint [be discouraged] when you are rebuked by Him." (Hebrews 12:5)