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.


Going to Jesus

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Thought for the Morning

Discipline and Chastisement, Part 4

From one of Pastor John’s Old Testament Classes

If I were teaching false doctrine but serving God with a sincere heart, and if Jesus sent someone my way to tell me I was in error, the flesh’s first response will be to perceive that information as an attack against me. But an humble soul listens for the voice of God whenever what we think is challenged. No one who is sincerely seeking truth is insulted by having his beliefs questioned. God’s revelation of truth is a precious form of discipline, and if we receive it, that discipline will mold us into the image of Christ; it will lop off unfruitful boughs, cutting them out of our lives so that we don’t waste any more of our life’s juices on those useless branches.

A biblical example of this would be Jesus’ revelation of himself to Paul on the Road to Damascus. Paul, as a young zealot, was doing the wrong thing, fighting against the saints of God and His Christ, but Paul was doing it with a sincere heart. As an old man, Paul told Timothy that he had served God with a clear conscience from the days of his youth. Can you imagine that? Serving God with a pure conscience while helping to kill God’s saints? But God saw Paul’s heart. Paul was trying to do the right things while he was doing the wrong thing, and God judges by the heart! Jesus didn’t appear to Paul on the Damascus Road as Paul’s punisher but as the answer to Paul’s sincere prayer to know and to please the God of Israel. Jesus came to Paul with stern discipline in the ways of God, to be sure, but not harsh chastisement for his errors. God is that good.

The line between chastisement and discipline can become a little fuzzy in some situations, but it is clear in Paul’s case that Jesus did not merely beat him up for doing the wrong thing. Instead, the Lord showed him the right way and anointed him to pass it on to others. He disciplined Paul rather than chastising him for his terrible error. Paul worshiped God sincerely in the way he had been taught, and he received the discipline of the Lord to bring him in line with the will of the God that he loved, and after Paul recovered from the shock of discovering that Jesus was in fact the Messiah, he was very thankful.

Discipline and chastisement - whichever a child of God receives, the point is the same. God is loving you if he gives you either one. It is evidence that He intends for you to stand clean before him in the Final Judgment.

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