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Loving Discipline

1 Peter 4.17-18
For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

The apostle Peter here is referring to the act of judging, not to condemnation. Suffering for Christ is a purifying judgment of God’s people because those who are truly believers will suffer for their faith rather than for their sin, and therefore they will be found to belong to God. Those unwilling to stand with Christ when tested by suffering belong to “those who do not obey the gospel of God” who will be both judged and condemned.

God often allows believers to sin and then experience the consequences. He does this for several reasons:
  • to show us our potential for sinning,
  • to encourage us to turn from sin and more constantly depend on Him,
  • to prepare us to face other, even stronger, temptations in the future, and
  • to help us stay faithful and keep on trusting Him.

For believers, God’s actions refine like fire to turn them away from sin. We who believe must learn to recognize and accept God’s correction even if it comes from painful circumstances. As the author of Hebrews reminds us, For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son (and daughter) whom he receives…for the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12.6, 11). God disciplines you because He loves you! He does this for His glory and your eternal good. When you are under the discipline of the Lord, know that He is working to produce in you the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

Pastor Jeff
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