Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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This teaching was taken from your Old Testament class in 2004, the ones that I have been listening to for Earl and Betty. It was just so good that I had to type it up. It is better than good, it’s way up there. I loved it.
You said in your class that night . . . “I used to hear, when I was starting out in the Lord, testimonies of old saints about how foolish they had been when they were young, and how they had wandered from the right road with God, and did this, and did that. And they had cancer, and they had this tragedy in their life, and they had this or that, and it frightened me. I can remember pouring my heart out to God and saying, ‘God if the only way I can be made perfect is to go through something like that, ok, but I’m willing to obey you to start with. Help me obey you before those things happen, so they won’t. I’d rather do your will before bad things happen, God; but if I don’t, then I want you to save me anyway, no matter what you have to do to me. I want to obey you now while I’m still healthy, while I’m young. I want to do it right to start with! God help me.’ ”
“Their testimonies made me wonder if it could happen. They really left the impression with me that God was going to grind me on his heel until he made me perfect, that there was no way I could keep from horrible tragedies in my life. That’s what their testimonies sounded like to me. But there is a difference between discipline and chastisement.”
“If you join the army, you get discipline, but you’ve asked for it. They don’t chasten you unless you do something wrong; they know how to handle that. But the discipline and the regiment and the order that’s imposed upon those who enter into the military is the discipline they came for. That’s what is going to save them in battle so they can be victorious, and the ones who are giving it to them know what the discipline is for, and the recruits submit to it because they knew ahead of time what they would receive when they arrived at boot camp.”
“One of the things Jesus did when he first called Saul of Tarsus to be his apostle Paul was this; he said, ’‘I will show him what great things he must suffer for my name’s sake among the Gentiles.’ So Jesus told Paul up front, ’Paul, if you get in this army, I’m going to chasten that old man, Saul, out of you. I’m going to burn the dross out. And so, Paul was beaten with rods; he was stoned to death; he was shipwrecked; he was chased out of cities; he suffered greatly in many ways. But that suffering wasn’t so much chastisement for disobedience as it was discipline in the right ways of God.”
“So, we can obey God, and receive discipline as an answer to our prayer and end up being more like Jesus, becoming a partaker of the holiness of God. Or we can resist the will of God, suffer chastisement, and have a testimony about how we got off track with God, and God had to do this or that to us, and how we disobeyed God and God had to punish us. That’s the love of God too, but I told the Lord when I was young that I would rather go the other way. If he would let me, I told him, I’d rather just obey him. Those testimonies from the older saints about their severe chastisement - I listened to them and learned to fear God!”
Next Time: Discipline and Chastisement, Part 2: Apollos and Peter