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In response to the question "How does God discipline us?", we have thus far identified four methods *He wounds   *He refines    *He sifts     *He prunes

To those previous four images of the discipline of the Lord we now add these final two pictures.

Series:   THE DISCIPLINE OF GOD        Session No. 4       Reading:  1 Peter 1/3-9

E. He Judges  (1 Cor.11/27-32)

"A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world. (1 Cor 11:28-32  NIV)

God judges in the sense that He evaluates, separates & exposes the difference between right and wrong (v.29) Notice that judgment here is equated with discipline (v.32)

If we will not judge ourselves quickly in our own lives (31); God will do it for us.

It's important that we recognize that this ‘judgment’ or 'discipline' can be corporate in nature. That is, it applies to the whole local church, not just a few individuals in it.

 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (1 Peter 4/17 NIV)The seven churches mentioned in Rev. 2 & 3 are another case in point. Five of those churches are called upon to repent as they came under the discipline of the Lord.

F. He Corrects/Rebukes (Heb.12/5-11)

For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children." As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Whoever heard of a child who was never disciplined? If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children after all.  (Heb 12:6-8 NLT)

“Judgment” is a legal word. It belongs to the world of courtrooms, lawyers, laws and statutes etc. whereas “discipline” is a family word. It generates images of parents and their child/children i.e. the parent/child relationships.

Question: How might the discipline of the Lord come to us? Could it come during a prayer time . Could it come through a good friend. Maybe a set of circumstances? What is important is that, when a trial arrives, we let it carry us to the Lord.

When God disciplines us, such activity is proof of His love for us & our relationship with Him. There is nothing vindictive, hasty, excessive or unjust about the way God administers discipline in our lives.

Question: What do you learn from the following verses about the test or trial of faith? List your responses under each section.

[1]  But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it. (1 Cor. 10:13 NLT)

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c. __________________________   d. ________________________________

e. __________________________   f ________________________________

 

[2]  Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone.'"  The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendour, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.  So if you worship me, it will all be yours." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'" The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here.  For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" Jesus answered, "It says: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"  When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. (Luke 4:1-13  NIV)

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c. __________________________   d. ________________________________

e. __________________________   f ________________________________

 

[3]  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1Peter 1:3-9 NIV)

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c. __________________________   d. ________________________________

e. __________________________   f ________________________________

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