Instruction, Correction & Chastening

Instruction Correction Chastening

Sunday 05/17/20

Series: Do we REALLY believe?

Message – Instruction, Correction & Chastening

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Instruction, Correction & Chastening

We’ve been talking about entering into the sufferings of Christ in our series on “Do we REALLY believe?”

Those sufferings take on three primary forms.

  1. Ridding ourselves of all sins.
  2. Trials God in His sovereignty approves for His purposes.
  3. Trials, oppositions, persecutions and afflictions from the world.

In the first category of ridding sin from our lives – that can be done by judging ourselves with the aid of the Holy Spirit or by God chastening us. All of this is partaking of Christ’s sufferings – even though Jesus never sinned, He did suffer towards maturity both spiritually and to become the perfect sacrifice.

Hebrews 2:9-15, “(9) But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.  (10)  For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.  (11)  For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,  (12)  saying: “I WILL DECLARE YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN; IN THE MIDST OF THE ASSEMBLY I WILL SING PRAISE TO YOU.”  (13)  And again: “I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN HIM.” And again: “HERE AM I AND THE CHILDREN WHOM GOD HAS GIVEN ME.”  (14)  Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,  (15)  and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

I told you this week, I would attempt to teach you by what means and methods God chastens His children so that we can be better equipped to recognize when it is happening.

I had several ideas at the time, I just needed to follow through with looking them up and studying their meaning within the context they are stated.

Yesterday morning however, as I was waking, I asked the Lord, “What do I say? I know You guide and correct by the words of Your mouth and that You will sometimes chasten through external pressures and difficulties, but how do I teach and illustrate that from scripture?” 

Then I heard part of a verse spoken in my heart that I was pretty sure was in the scriptures. All I heard was, “I will chasten him with the rod of men”. So I looked it up and found it in 2 Samuel 7:14. Since I’m taking it that this was God’s answer to my question, I say we go look it up.

2 Samuel 7:14, “I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to Me. When he does wrong, I will discipline him with a human rod and with blows from others.”

Again, as I stressed last week, we see the context is that of a Father with a child! We ARE NOT dealing with an angry God with hardened sinners. This is a loving Father, correcting heart issues in children He loves to turn them back from destruction and the grave.

How do I know that?

Well, God Himself used the analogy of a Father with a son…thus determining the context. Whenever God always brings up family relations as illustrative of His relationship with man, He does so within the light of a healthy and loving context. That is something which is universal in scripture.

Also, I read to you from Job last week what Elihu said to Job, which actually was a type of intercession opening a door for God to redeem Job, bringing his heart to a place of repentance for his arrogance and sin, much like Moses did more than once for Israel in the desert. 

We know that Elihu’s wisdom was from God because though Job’s three friends were clearly rebuked by God, Elihu never was and in fact, much of the thought and tone used by Elihu show up in God’s direct words to Job.

Elihu said,

Job 33:14-18,23-24, “(14)  For God speaks time and again, but a person may not notice it.  (15)  In a dream, a vision in the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber on their beds,  (16)  He uncovers their ears at that time and terrifies them with warnings,  (17)  in order to turn a person from his actions and suppress his pride.  (18)  God spares his soul from the Pit, his life from crossing the river of death…  (23) If there is a messenger for him, A mediator, one among a thousand, To show man God’s uprightness,  and what is right for him to do (24)  then God is gracious to him, and says, ‘Deliver him from going down to the Pit; I have found a ransom’;

So God’s good heart is here revealed in His influencing and shaping the hearts of man, if they will just have ears to hear. 

I am reminded of Pilot’s wife who came to him and told him to have nothing to do with coming against Jesus since she had suffered many things in a dream the night before concerning Him. ~Matt. 27:19

So like last week, here in Samuel we have concluded that God is dealing with us as a Father with His children. 

Let’s look further into this verse.

2 Samuel 7:14, “I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to Me. When he does wrong, I will discipline him with a human rod and with blows from others.”

The next phrase tells us that God will only discipline us when we have done wrong. 

Unlike Job’s accusation against God, “I am pure, without transgression; I am innocent, and there is no iniquity in me. Yet God finds occasions against me, He counts me as His enemy; He puts my feet in the stocks, He watches all my paths.’”

NOTE:

Just as a side note, there are some (and unfortunately this includes one of my favorite commentators Guzik) who believe Elihu is putting words in Job’s mouth that he never said. Job did in fact several times admit to sin and to unrighteousness, but he also had times of extreme self-righteousness. In Chapter 9 when Job was answering Bildad he said, “(21)  Though I am blameless, I no longer care about myself; I renounce my life.  (22)  It is all the same. Therefore I say, “He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.”  (23)  When disaster brings sudden death, He mocks the despair of the innocent.  (24)  The earth is handed over to the wicked; He blindfolds its judges. If it isn’t He, then who is it?”

These words are of course not true. Now they do not accurately represent Job’s total heart and character. Job was more good than bad, more honoring of God than accusatory – yet even he had his breaking points where he became angry and perhaps even a little bitter – and who among us could point the finger? Given similar circumstances, I can hardly claim that I’d be any better.

But the point is that God does NOT accuse or judge the righteous WITH the wicked. 

Abram attests to this as does God Himself.

Genesis 18:25, “You could not possibly do such a thing: to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. You could not possibly do that! Won’t the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”

Psalms 1:5-6,  “(5) Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.  (6)  For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

So we can rightly conclude that God will only judge His children, in order to correct us in righteousness. Judge means to separate. So for His children, God is separating then from sin. While His judgement of the world separates the sinners from the righteous. 

2 Samuel 7:14, “I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to Me. When he does wrong, I will discipline him with a human rod and with blows from others.”

  • Chasten – Argue, to convince, to convict, to judge, to reprove. The word usually refers to the clarification of people’s moral standing. The word may also refer to physical circumstances being used to reprove sin.
  • Rod – It is presented in parallel with the word maṭṭeh (H4294) that designates, as in this case, a rod. It represents a common tool used as a shepherd’s staff and figuratively of God against Solomon.
  • Strike – Is best understood as a blemish that has been created by touching or striking. It also referred to a physical injury inflicted by another person or by God Himself.
  • Children – offspring

So how does this fit within the framework of the New Covenant child of God who is disciplined by Him.

Well as we mentioned last week, God’s first line of action is His word which He deposits within the heart.

It is God’s desire that we regulate our own lives and hearts due to the love and respect we have for God and His words.

This is initially placed in the heart as instruction.

Instruction is intended to educate and enlighten and win the heart and so the actions.

If actions do not immediately comply, then reminders are offered. 

This comes in the form of conviction from the Holy Spirit illuminating our hearts by way of our conscience.

  • Rom 8:16 – The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
  • John 16 – He will lead and guide you into all truth. 
  • 1Jn. 3:20 – For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
  • Phil. 3 – Therefore let all of us who are mature believers cherish these thoughts; and if in any respect you think differently, that also God will make clear to you.
  • Heb. 4 – the word of God discern the thoughts and the intents of the heart. And that word is Minister to The Believer by the Holy Spirit.

If convictions fail and it persists long enough, God will graduate to the “blows of men”. 

Contrary to many modern teachings in the church which has gone almost entirely soft on sin and even more soft on the offenders – turning them into victims rather than perpetrators –  the entire range of these disciplinary actions have their place in Christian doctrine and life.

Let’s look at each of these, again they are Instruction, conviction & blows of men. Though they are not always called by those terms.

Instruction – 

2 Timothy 3:14-17, “(14) But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing those from whom you learned,  (15)  and that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  (16)  All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness,  (17)  so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

I gave  you examples of this last week with Paul’s letter to the Corinthians telling them that the reason why the history of the rebellion of the Jewish people in the wilderness had been recorded for all time was for their INSTRUCTION. So that they would not lust after evil things as they had lusted.

So we see that instruction has, as its goal, producing approved character in the child of God. 

A few examples of this type of verbal instruction are:

  • John 10  – where Jesus tells us that His voice is known by His sheep and they will follow His voice.
  • Ps. 32 – which tells us that God Himself will guide us if we will not be stubborn but trust in His mercy.
  • Ps. 17 & 119:9 – David had kept away from the paths of the destroyer by taking heed according to His word.
  • Prov. 27:5“Open rebuke is better than secret love.”
  • Titus 1:12-14 “(12) One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” (13) This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, (14) not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.”
  • Jesus, in John 15  told his disciple that they were now clean through the word He had spoken to them and Paul told Timothy that he had carefully followed his life, doctrine, purpose, faith love, longsuffering and perseverance as well as the teachings of His mother and grandmother in his youth.

If secondary reminders and encouragements are required God does this both directly by the Holy Spirit and through others. 

This has the effect on the soul of convicting us – NOT condemning us!

This is often represented by the word ‘rebuke’ in many translations but carries the idea of conviction as well as sharp rebuke.

Titus 2:11-15, “(11) For the grace of God has appeared, with salvation for all people,  (12)  instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age,  (13)  while we wait for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.  (14)  He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a special people, eager to do good works.  (15)  Say these things, and encourage and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”

2 Timothy 4:1-4, “(1) Before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom, I solemnly charge you:  (2)  proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching.  (3)  For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will accumulate teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new.  (4)  They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths.”

1 Timothy 5:19-22, “(19) Don’t accept an accusation against an elder unless it is supported by two or three witnesses.  (20)  Publicly rebuke those who sin, so that the rest will also be afraid.  (21)  I solemnly charge you, before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing out of favoritism.  (22)  Don’t be too quick to lay hands on anyone, and don’t share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.”

However, if verbal will not work God will seek your attention and salvation of soul by other means and that both are sometimes required is indicated in Jude 1:22-23,

“(22) And on some have compassion, making a distinction; (23) but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.”

We have two words to consider – one I taught you about last week which is  Paideia as well as another which is Kólasis.

Paideia you may recall is correction in terms of educational discipline by deed and NOT by word.

Kólasis – Is punishment. It’s purpose is to correct and better the offender. 

Ps. 141:5“Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, Let my head not refuse it.”

An example of physical discipline is found in 1Cor. 5:1-13 and is of particular note because it aligns with our passage in Hebrews which points to the corruption of sexual sin.

In this case the punishment is administered through the church, where Paul tells them to turn their brother over to satan for the destruction of the flesh SO THAT, their spirits may still be saved in the day of judgment.

So turn to 1 Cor. 5 if you would and we will examine this in closing.

1 Corinthians 5:1-13, “(1) It is widely reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and the kind of sexual immorality that is not even condoned among the Gentiles–a man is living with his father’s wife.  (2)  And you are inflated with pride, instead of filled with grief so that he who has committed this act might be removed from among you.  (3)  For though absent in body but present in spirit, I have already decided about him who has done this thing as though I were present.  (4)  In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, along with my spirit and with the power of our Lord Jesus,  (5)  turn that one over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord.  (6)  Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast permeates the whole batch of dough?  (7)  Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch, since you are unleavened. For Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.  (8)  Therefore, let us observe the feast, not with old yeast, or with the yeast of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.  (9)  I wrote to you in a letter not to associate with sexually immoral people–  (10)  by no means referring to this world’s immoral people, or to the greedy and swindlers, or to idolaters; otherwise you would have to leave the world.  (11)  But now I am writing you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother who is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a reviler, a drunkard or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person.  (12)  For what is it to me to judge outsiders? Do you not judge those who are inside?  (13)  But God judges outsiders. Put away the evil person from among yourselves.”

The word destruction does not mean the annihilation of the flesh but it’s unavoidable distress and torment…and WHY is this to be inflicted? 

To correct ungodliness, that repentance might be secured and their salvation protected.

We see in 2 Corinthians more clearly the method and outcome of this discipline by action or deeds.

2 Corinthians 7:8-16, “(8) For although I grieved you with my letter, I do not regret it–even though I did regret it since I saw that the letter grieved you, though only for a little while.  (9)  Now I am rejoicing, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance. For you were grieved as God willed, so that you didn’t experience any loss from us.  (10)  For godly grief produces a repentance not to be regretted and leading to salvation, but worldly grief produces death.  (11)  For consider how much diligence this very thing–this grieving as God wills–has produced in you: what a desire to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what deep longing, what zeal, what justice! In every way you have commended yourselves to be pure in this matter.  (12)  So even though I wrote to you, it was not because of the one who did wrong, or because of the one who was wronged, but in order that your diligence for us might be made plain to you in the sight of God.  (13)  For this reason we have been comforted. In addition to our comfort, we were made to rejoice even more over the joy Titus had, because his spirit was refreshed by all of you.  (14)  For if I have made any boast to him about you, I have not been embarrassed; but as I have spoken everything to you in truth, so our boasting to Titus has also turned out to be the truth.  (15)  And his affection toward you is even greater as he remembers the obedience of all of you, and how you received him with fear and trembling.  (16)  I rejoice that I have complete confidence in you.”

If this one had not repented, he may have continued on and have become very sick or even died an early death, but even that is with a view of his eternal salvation.

1 Corinthians 11:23-32, “(23) For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: on the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread,  (24)  gave thanks, broke it, and said, “This is My body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” (25)  In the same way He also took the cup, after supper, and said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (26)  For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.  (27)  Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy way will be guilty of sin against the body and blood of the Lord.  (28)  So a man should examine himself; in this way he should eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  (29)  For whoever eats and drinks without recognizing the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.  (30)  This is why many are sick and ill among you, and many have fallen asleep.  (31)  If we were properly evaluating ourselves, we would not be judged,  (32)  but when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord, so that we may not be condemned with the world.”

In the end, Rev. 3:19 are among the very last words Jesus ever spoke to His church and the focus of them is to correct behavior that is not in accordance with His stated will. It says,

“As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be committed and repent.”

The real danger is when we are persistent in our sin and harden our hearts… that can lead down a road to total destruction. So love with all your heart, live with focus and respect towards God and be quick to repent. 

So what should be our response, even if we think we are in good standing?

2 Peter 1:10-13, “(10) Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;  (11)  for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  (12)  For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.  (13)  Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you,”

So, the kind of suffering we are talking about here is one where we swallow our pride and honor God by loving our brother before ourselves!

Remember, you have never looked into the eyes of someone God has not loved!

Do I REALLY believe?

God Bless!

I hope this message will bless you richly…not because I taught it, but because it reveals Christ. He alone is our blessing and if in any way – whether big or small, 100% accurate or even just partially so – I have revealed our great God and Savior to you in a relationally knowable way, then this was time well spent on both our parts.

We at Living Grace Fellowship encourage you to place your trust in Jesus Christ, deliberately choosing Him and bowing the knee to Him as your Master and Lord, so as to come to realize Him as your Savior.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. The fact that you exist… that you are His creation, says you were in His heart, you are His delight!

If you do not know Him, please reach out to us. Give us a call at the number located on every page of this website or use our ‘Contact Us‘ page. We would be deeply honored, if you gave us the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will EVER be mentioned.

If you HAVE been spiritually fed by this ministry and WANT to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but please understand that all the outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.

Blessings!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!