The Lord’s Discipline

Posted by Jerry White on Sep 24, 2009

And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
Hebrews 12: 5-6 (ESV)
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“How could I have done such a thing?” pride asks. “I should be further along than to behave that way!” pride exclaims. “Will God forgive me again after so many failures when I resolved never to do it again?” unbelief questions.
The work of Christ is complete. God has forgiven you for all your sins, and He declared you righteous with His own Son’s righteousness. This is God’s gift of grace through your faith. Do you believe this glorious truth? Now with tender love your Father is training you to be like Jesus. It is a process, sometimes painful but always fruitful (Hebrews 12:11). In this ongoing process he arranges your circumstances, your trials, and your battles to expose your sin He wants you to deal with. He reveals your weakness so you will learn to live more dependently on your indwelling Lord. The disgust you sometimes feel about yourself He does not feel. The discouragement you sometimes experience He does not have about you. He will finish the work He has begun, and peace comes when you fully cooperate with Him in this endeavor.
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“The assurance that God no longer counts my sin against me does two things. First it assures me that God is for me, not against me (see Romans 8:31). I am not alone in this battle with sin. God is not watching me from His heavenly throne saying, ‘When are you going to get your act together? When are you going to deal with that sin?’ Rather, He is, as it were, coming alongside me saying, ‘We are going to work on that sin, but meanwhile I want you to know that I no longer count it against you.’ God is no longer my Judge: He is now my heavenly Father, who loves me with a self-generated, infinite love, even in the face of my sin. That assurance greatly encourages me and motivates me to deal with the sin.”
Jerry Bridges
Respectable Sins, 35