Archive for the ‘Discipline’ Category

Do you sometimes feel “ill at ease” and like you’re out of place and not welcome in some places or in some people’s homes? (Read Psalm 1) Are there times when you’ve apologized to someone for something you said or did and asked him/her to forgive you and yet you feel like you’re not really forgiven? Why should Christians be quick to admit it when they are wrong and forgive others who ask us for it? (See Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 18:15-35.)

Recently I posted a comment on someone’s Facebook page that was misunderstood by the reader. It was short and to the point, but he didn’t quite get what I wanted to convey. So, here’ my explanation to him that might also be of help to you.

Saved? When a person believes and puts his/her faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively, as the One who died for his/her sins…and rose again bodily from the grave on the third day, he/she is instantly saved from the “penalty of sin” (Romas 6:23) and will not spend eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46). Believers are being saved from the “power of sin” (Romans 6:14), and will ultimately be saved from the “presence of sin” (Romans 8:23).

Accepted. When Jesus ascended back into heaven He was accepted and welcomed by God the Father who was satisfied with the payment that the Lord Jesus Christ had made, once and for all (Hebrews 10:10), for mankind’s sins (Romans 4:25). True believers in Christ, in like manner, are “accepted in the Beloved” just as Christ was accepted by God the Father (Ephesians 1:6). Imagine that! It’s pure grace (undeserved favor from God – Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Forgiven. There are two kinds of forgiveness: judicial and parental/family forgiveness. Since Christ paid the debt that we owed to God (1 John 2:2), and since believers accepted His payment as their payment to God the Father, He judicially forgives our sins so that we are no longer under condemnation (Romans 8:1, 35-39). But parental/family forgiveness takes place when a Christian sins (acts lawlessly – 1 John 3:4) and then confesses them (by specifically naming them) to God the Father (1 John 1:9). Before we confess our sins to the Father, we need to discern what we did to offend and grieve God (1 Corinthians 11:28-31; Ephesians 4:30) and then repent (change our minds about what we did – 2 Corinthians 7: 9, 10). When a believer confesses his/her sins, God forgives them and cleanses him/her from all unrighteousness that led up to his/her sinning (1 John 1:9; James 1:13-15).

Questions. Have you been judicially forgiven? If not, why not place your faith in Christ alone, right now, and be forgiven? We aren’t saved by our good works, or by our faith plus our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). If you, as a believer, have confessed your known sins to God, have you accepted His forgiveness and moved on? Do you need help so you won’t keep on committing the same sins (Proverbs 28:13)? If so, ask for it (James 1:4-8; 4:1-4). There are no temptations that you have that others haven’t had too (1 Corinthians 10:13). Temptations aren’t sins. They give us the opportunity to demonstrate our love for God (James 1:12) or to enjoy the momentary pleasure of sin (Hebrews 11:2) that leads to sorrow and a premature physical death (Proverbs 5:1-14). We’re here to help you and others who are “teachable and willing to change” (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17).

Sin Unto Death. If a believer willfully defies God and chooses to live in sin, he/she is in danger of being chastened by God (Hebrews 12:5 ff) and having his/her life terminated prematurely (1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 3:9, 10; 5:16). We have “potential years” and “actual years.” Christians can’t lose their salvation, but they will lose the joy of their salvation (Psalm 51:12) and the crowns, rewards, and praise from God that could have come to them on Judgment Day. This judgment of our works, not us, will not be to determine if we get into heaven or not, but to determine the quality of our works as to whether they are rewardable or not (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10). The Great White Throne Judgment will determine the degree of suffering an unbeliever will experience in the everlasting lake of fire (Matthew 10:15; Jude 1:13; Revelation 20:11-15). We don’t want you or others to go to that awful place.

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The Greatest Rescue Operation”

Fighting fires is a dangerous occupation. Every year fire fighters lose their lives while trying to save others. Most of us have never had to be rescued from a burning building although you may know someone who has had this experience.

Greatest. Today let’s consider “The Greatest Fire Fighter” and what He did for you and me. There are many people in our world who know little or nothing about Him and the personal sacrifice He made to make it possible so that we wouldn’t have to end up in an awful place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth and torment in the lake of fire forever (Matthew 25:30, 41, 46; Mark 9:44, 46, 48; Revelation 21:8).

Unique. Jesus Christ was not just another, ordinary man who lived here on earth about 2,000 years ago. He was/is the God-man (John 1:1-18; 5:18; 10:30), who came to earth to glorify His Father (John 17:4). He presented Himself as the rightful King of the Jews (Matthew 1:1-25; 27:21), and the Savior of the world (Luke 19:10; 1 Timothy 4:10). This doesn’t mean that all mankind will ultimately be saved (“universalism”).

Substitute. In order for Him to rescue mankind from having to spend eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons, He had to offer Himself as a Substitute and die for our sins and then rise again bodily from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Why? Because “the wages [payment] for sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Someone has to pay the debt for the sins we have committed and will commit. Either the individual himself does, or a perfect, sinless Substitute could pay the debt. Jesus, the sinless One (Hebrews 4:15), died as “the just One for [us] the unjust ones” (1 Peter 3:18). The payment that He made on our behalf was accepted by God the Father, who demonstrated this fact by raising Jesus from the dead (Romans 4:25). Only a living Savior can help us.

To the surprise of many people, this rescue operation has three phases: Past tense, Present tense, and Future tense. What God begins, He finishes (Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 7:25).

Initial Salvation. He saved believers from the penalty of sin (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 6:23). This is known as justification. God forgave our sins judicially (Ephesians 1:7) because Jesus, the believers’ Substitute, took on Himself our sins and died for them once and for all (Hebrews 10:10). He paid the debt in full (1 Peter 1:18; 3:18). The guilt and condemnation of sin were removed (Romans 8:1). Justification doesn’t make us innocent or “Just as though we had never sinned.” Rather, it means that God counted us to have acted right when we died for our sins and rose again in the Person of our Substitute, Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:4). Christ’s righteousness was put to our account (Romans 4:16, 25; John 16:8-11). When we understand this truth, and realize that the burden of sin has been lifted from us, and that God the Father sees us and accepts us through the merits of Christ (Ephesians 1:6), it should make us very grateful to God and cause us to do things to please Him (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Progressive Salvation. God is saving believers from the power of sin. This is known as sanctification. God set us aside unto Himself and we don’t have to sin anymore, but we will sin periodically (1 John 2:1, 2; 1:9; James 5:16). Satan is no longer our father, God is (Colossians 1:13; John 8:44; 1 John 3:8-10). The temptations that come from all three of our spiritual enemies can be overcome. Satan (1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-17). Our sin nature (Romans 6:14; 7:14-25; Galatians 5:16, 25; 1 John 1:8). The present world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31; Luke 11:50, 51; Genesis 4:16-24). Christians need to be informed, alert, and realize that no temptations are more than we can bear and that other people have the same kind of temptations that we have (1 Corinthians 10:13). God’s resurrection power is available to all Christians (Philippians 3:10; 4:13). A Christian can demonstrate his/her love for God by overcoming temptations (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10). God has provided everything we need for life and godliness within His Word (2 Peter 1:3). Diligent study is required if we want to grow spiritually (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 3:18). Because of His love for His children, God the Father will chasten/scourge His unruly children so that we will not be condemned with the world (Hebrews 12:5 ff; 1 Corinthians 11:30-32; 1 John 5:16).

Ultimate Salvation. He will save true Christians from the very presence of sin at the time of our death or the Rapture. From that time on we will be present with the Lord forever (2 Corinthians 5:8; John 14:1-3). When the Rapture occurs all Christians will receive new bodies (Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:49-51; Luke 24:33-43) and then our souls/emotions will be saved (1 Peter 1:9). This is known as our glorification.

God’s Desire. Even though the Lord Jesus Christ desires that all mankind be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), and has made it possible for them to be saved from the lake of fire (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2), most people reject “natural revelation” (Romans 1:18 ff; Psalm 19:1). They also refuse to believe in/on Him as the One who died for their sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (John 3:18, 36; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). This is the only “unforgivable sin” that a person can commit today (John 16:8-11). Some people know and believe the facts of the Gospel, but they haven’t placed their faith in Him exclusively. If they believe in hell and heaven at all, they rely on some or all of their good works to get them into heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Are you?

Certain? Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment your die? Why should God let you into His heaven? Is there anything that you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what?

Now! Today is the “day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Make sure you’re truly saved (2 Peter 1:10; 1 Corinthians 15:2; See Mark 8:36; Matthew 7:21-23). If you’re saved, are you sharing the Gospel (1) with others so they can be saved (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8)?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 2 Timothy 3:16. 17). If this information has helped you, please let us know how it has. Then please SHARE this with others. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

  1. Manfred Kober https://www.faith.edu/1993/02/do-we-really-know-the-gospel/

The Bad News & The Good News” – See our website: www.kelseypeach.com

One Christian author pointed out that he believes many of the problems that children have today stem from the fact that some of them have never been disciplined or spanked for being bad. Thanks Dr. Spock. Not all children need spankings. Others of us needed it. Many active little boys often are put on drugs to calm them down instead of letting them work off their energy that God put into them. One drill sergeant put a 5 year old boy among his men and told them to do the same things the little boy did. Within short order, the men were worn out.

Babies – Savages

Some years ago the Minnesota Crime Commission released a statement more in line with what the Bible teaches about man’s basic nature (See Romans 3:10-23; Jeremiah 17:9). “Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish, and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it – his bottle, his mother’s attention, his playmate’s toys, his uncles’ watch. Deny him these once, and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness, which would be murderous were he not so helpless. He is, in fact, dirty. He has no morals, no knowledge, no skills. This means that all children – not just certain children – are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in the self-centered world of his infancy, given free reign to his impulsive actions, to satisfy his wants, every child would grow up a criminal – a thief, a killer, or a rapist.” http://www.family-times.net/illustration/Self-Centered/201632/

Discipline

Cliff Barrows, song leader of the Billy Graham Crusade ministry, tells a story about his children when they were younger. They had done something he had forbidden them to do. They were told if they did the same thing again they would have to be disciplined. When he returned from work and found that they hadn’t minded, his heart went out to them. “I just couldn’t discipline them,” he said.
Any loving father can understand Cliff’s dilemma. Most of us have been in the same position. He said, “Bobby and Bettie Ruth were very small. I called them into my room, took off my belt and then my shirt, with a bare back I knelt down at the bed. I made them both strap me with the belt ten times each. You should have heard the crying. From them, I mean. The crying was from them. They didn’t want to do it. But I told them the penalty had to be paid and so through their sobs and tears they did what I told them.”
“I smile when I remember the incident,” he said. “I must admit I wasn’t much of a hero. It hurt. I haven’t offered to do that again. It was a once-for-all sacrifice, I guess we could say, but I never had to spank those two children again, because they got the point. We kissed each other. And when it was over we prayed together.”
Taken from The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart, Charles R. Swindoll, Word, pp. 543-544.

Jesus Took Our Place

In like manner, God has imposed some rules on us for our good. When they are violated, a penalty must be paid (Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23). God could have maintained His justice if He sent all of us sinners to hell (See 2 Peter 2:4). But God the Father loved the people of this world (John 3:16). So God the Son volunteered (Hebrews 10:7) to come down to earth and become a real man by being born of the virgin, Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He lived a sinless life for 33 years (Hebrews 4:15). Then, when His hour had come (John 2:4; 10:15-18; 18:12; 19:11), He allowed sinful men to take Him and crucify Him on a cruel and shameful cross (Philippians 2:8; See Psalm 22). While He was hanging there, God the Father placed your sins and mine on Jesus (Isaiah 53:6) He paid the debt that we owed to God (1 John 2:2) so we wouldn’t have to end up in the lake for fire to suffer forever with the devil and his angels/demons (Matthew 25:41, 46). Now that’s “Amazing Grace.”

While we might be able to identify with the physical pain that Cliff Burrows experienced as his children spanked him, it’s impossible for us to comprehend the suffering that Jesus experienced as He paid for our sins once and for all (Hebrews 10:10). His spiritual death (i. e. the separation from fellowship with His Father), from noon until 3 P.M., was far greater than His physical suffering on the cross (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46).

The next time you think about engaging in a sinful act to gratify a temporary pleasure (Hebrews 11:2), read and think about the anguish and mourning of a man who got involved in an immoral relationship and learn from his failure (Proverbs 5; See 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Revelation 21:8). If you’re a Christian, learn how to “Walk by means of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16) so you don’t give in to immoral temptations and engage in other “works of the flesh” that are perversions of good things (Galatians 5:19-21). Think about the whipping that Jesus took for you so you wouldn’t have to be separated from Him forever? Trust in Him alone to save you, not in your good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

Scripture

“’My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.’ If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons” (Hebrews 12:5-8 NKJV).

Please note King Solomon’s words carefully. Why? Apart from Jesus Christ, he was the wisest man who ever lived. “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Proverbs 13:25). “Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction” (Proverbs 19:18). “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die, You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell” (Proverbs 23:14). “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15). “Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul” (Proverbs 29:17).

Rules

Are you, as a parent, making up senseless rules without careful consideration? Would you, as Cliff Barrows did, be willing to allow your children to spank you for violating the rules you had imposed on them? Are you sure your children know that you truly love them and have their best interest in mind? Are you being a parent like God Himself is? If not, what needs to change with His help (Philippians 4:13)? When will you begin to implement these things (James 4:17)?

Saved?

Are you sure that if you died today you would go immediately to heaven to be with God (1 John 5:13)? Why should He let you into His heaven (Ephesians 2:8, 9)? If you believe you’re saved, is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation (Romans 8:35-39; John 10:28, 29)? If so, what would it be? Have you placed your faith in the Christ of the Scriptures who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the dead? If not, why not do this right now (2 Corinthians 6:2)? Then let us know about it so we can help you begin to grow spiritually.

Contact

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