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Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:3-8
The Discipline of the Lord
1. We need discipline (regulation, control) in our lives:
a. As children our parents disciplined us for our good, Heb. 12:10.
b. As we grew older we learned self-discipline, cf. 1 Cor. 9:24-27.
c. Our heavenly Father disciplines us for our spiritual profit (12:10).
2. God's discipline is a part of our daily life.
a. We either "endure" it (remain under it, bear with it, accept it, Heb. 12:7) and are "trained by it" (Heb. 12:11),
b. Or, we refuse it and harden ourselves in rebellion against Him (Acts 7:51).
I. WHY DOES THE LORD DISCIPLINE US?
A. Because We are His Children and He Loves Us, Heb. 12:5-6.
1. A fatherís love, Heb. 12:7; Prov. 13:24.
2. A father wants his children to walk in truth, Eph. 6:4; 3 Jno. 4; Prov. 23:15-16.
B. Because God Wants to Receive Us, Heb. 12:6. (acknowledge)
1. For our profit: God wants us to partake in His holiness; to be righteous, Heb. 12:10-11 (2 Pet. 1:4).
2. God's discipline is not vengeful, abusive, fickle or hostile.
3. It is instructive, corrective and at times, painful, Heb. 12:11.
II. HOW DOES THE LORD DISCIPLINE US?
A. Instructive Discipline.
1. Reproof, correction and instruction from the word of God, 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 5:11-14; Acts 20:32.
-God trains us with His word to know good and evil, to choose good.
2. Trials of life (persecution, etc.), Heb. 12:3-7; Jas. 1:2-4.
a. Jesus: Endured "hostility from sinners" and was exalted, Heb. 12:2-3.
b. We must resist and endure..."striving against sin", Heb. 12:4.
c. This is called discipline from God, Heb. 12:5-6.
d. We must "endure" (accept it, remain under it, be trained by it).
B. Corrective Discipline.
1. Personal rebuke of sin and recovery, cf. Heb. 12:5; Lk. 17:3-4; cf. Gal. 6:1; Matt. 18:15-16.
a. By direct rebuke of sin and efforts to bring you to repentance.
b. When Christians do this work they are instruments of God's discipline for our sake! cf. Jas. 5:19-20
2. Church discipline of the unrepentant sinner, Matt. 18:17.
a. Punishment applied in order to correct, 2 Cor. 2:5-8.
b. To destroy the flesh and save the soul, 1 Cor. 5:1-5.
c. Congregational action, 1 Cor. 5:4-5.
d. Individual action, 1 Cor. 5:9-13; 2 Ths. 3:6, 14-15.
3. Careful, thoughtful and timely, Prov. 13:24; Eccl. 8:11.
a. Balance between hasty action and procrastination.
b. God is our example, perfectly blending His love and patient exhortations with prompt rebukes and correction to help us mature and bear righteous fruit.
III. WILL WE ACCEPT THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD?
A. Do not Despise the Lord's Discipline, Heb. 12:5.
1. To regard lightly, to care little for; view as insignificant or puny.
2. The undisciplined (without self-control) are lost! 2 Tim. 3:3
B. Receive it and Improve Yourself, Heb. 12:9-11.
1. Be in subjection to the Father, 12:9.
2. Live, 12:9. (Spiritual life, for our final happiness!) - Profit, partake of His holiness (cf. 12:14).
3. Trained by it, 12:11. Implement what it teaches.
a. Trials: Teach patient endurance, steadfast faith, godly values and what is really important, etc.
b. Rebuke: Teaches us self-examination, 2 Cor. 13:5.
c. Correction: Teaches us the consequences of our sinful actions and the urgency of getting right with God (repentance).
4. Yields peaceable fruit, Heb. 12:11.
-We are not accepting the Lord's discipline when we fight against it, defend ourselves from it, or close ourselves off from brethren who are trying to help us obey the Lord.
1. We discipline our children because of our great love for them.
2. God disciplines us (His children) because of His great love for us.
3. He calls on us to submit ourselves to His discipline and bear the peaceable fruit of righteousness.