God's Way (1)

  • It is difficult for people to discard the God of the Old Covenant when we talk about discipline. God is a God of justice. In the Old Covenant under the law, His justice demanded judgement of pain and even death. In the New Covenant under grace, His justice demands love, grace, mercy, and favor.

    I have used this scripture before, but just look at this again. Isaiah 30:18 in the Amplified bible reads “And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longingTO BE GRACIOUS to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]”!

    He EARNESTLY waits. Waits because He’s expecting, looking and longing TO BE GRACIOUS TO YOU. Come on. It couldn’t be any clearer than that. It’s as if God can hardly contain himself. He’s sitting on the edge of His great big chair just bouncing his feet and twitching his fingers with huge anticipation of trying to get more grace, favor, love, and kindness to you.

    What He’s waiting for is for us to receive what He has for us. Then after He can no longer stand it, He lifts Himself up. Then that verse goes on to reveal to us that we can and should expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]”! When we do, it is then we are blessed, happy, fortunate, and to be envied. It’s not when we try to perform or keep all the religious rules and regulations.

    Right here I can hear the “Ya buts”. Ya but this is an Old Testament scripture. We are a New Testament people. Okay. I agree it’s an Old Testament scripture, but you must put it in context.

    Anytime you study anything out of the book of Isaiah, you must understand that it’s all prophetic. Isaiah is prophesying about what is to come. So take this powerful declaration of the great grace and mercy of God and see if it can be applied to us today.

    As you study the writings of Paul, Peter, Timothy and Titus, you will find that this scripture in Isaiah is exactly truth for us today. Start with Galatians 5:1 which reads in the NAS “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”

    Then there’s the scripture in Colossians 2:9 and 10 which says all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Jesus, and we are complete in Him. If that’s truth, then why would God beat us, harm us, or cause disaster in our lives to discipline us when Jesus already took all of that at the cross? If we are complete in Him, then all punishment was already accomplished on the body of Jesus and there’s none left for us. Come on.

    One more, although I could go on and on, but you do your own study for further truth on this matter. Romans 2:4 reads “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance”?

    Does that sound like the kind of God that would beat you, harm you, or cause you disaster in your life in order to discipline you? Look at these verses and especially Romans 2:4. It says it’s the “riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience that leads us to repentance”.

    Repentance means changing your wrong believing about a situation. Once you get your believing right, you will act right. I’ve said this before. God is more concerned about your wrong believing than He is your poor behavior.

    When you think God disciplines you by hurting you, putting sickness on you, allowing the devil to harm you, that’s just wrong believing and it puts you in bondage to fear. Wondering when you’re going to screw up again so God can hit you with his Louisville slugger (that’s a baseball bat).

    In Titus 2:14 we read “He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds”. Give me a break and a brain. Use a little common sense step logic here. Since He gave His life to free us, cleanse us and make us His very own people, why would we even give thought to the error that he would now harm us? Really?? Are we that stupid and willing to listen to this religious double-speak? We live in a better covenant today.

    So, starting with Hebrews 12:5-8. This set of scriptures is often misunderstood. Especially the part in verse 6 that says in the ERV “The Lord disciplines everyone He loves; He punishes everyone He accepts as a child”.

    Religion loves to take these scriptures and twist them. They wrongly present them to portray God as some daunting grandfather, sitting in the heavenlies just waiting for us to screw up so He can beat us, or harm us in other ways.

    Why is this the case with religion. Because it serves to try and control what it cannot contain. It keeps you under the watchful eye of the legalist who will take every opportunity to point out your failures and tell you God is not happy with you. Or you will be guilted into serving “in the church” in some capacity that you have not been called by God to do.

    “You NEED to serve over here, because we need the help. If you don’t, God can’t bless you.” Your answer ought to be – “Well when God tells me to serve over there, then I will. Until then, you should try and focus on what God told you He has gifted you to do”.

    The best way to combat those “self appointed” law enforcers is to require them to provide chapter and verse in the Holy Scriptures to you for what they vocalize to be truth. Most cannot, because it’s their opinion based on false teaching they have received, or it’s a recent teaching they’ve heard that sounded so spiritual, but had no scriptural basis in truth.

    In the KJV the second part of Hebrews 12:6 says “and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth”. Now we need to do some study, because that word scourgeth sounds really bad. Actually it means as a whip made and used of the scourge of small cords. Jesus used and employed it in the temple. Also, we read about the scourging of Christ. But what does it mean here in Hebrews? Well, it’s the Greek word “mastigoo”.

    In the instance in Hebrews 12:6 it is used metaphorically of the correction by the Lord to us, in great Love. So, what we must remember is that any discipline you’re going through is a sign of the Father’s love. He brings us by his grace to where He purposes for us to be. Everything God does is motivated by love. We miss that when we don’t realize how profoundly He cares for us and how much He loves us. Also, remember that as you increase in revelatory truth those words from God must by necessity be challenged with contradiction. I mentioned that in a recent study.

    Hebrews 12:1-11. As you study this, remember the Hebrew believers were going through some very tough times, because of their belief in Christ. No one had been put to death yet their struggles were immense and persecution was high. What you don’t want to miss is the issue of sonship that was a part of the Hebrew people.

    Hebrews 2:10 tells us that God’s purpose in Jesus is to bring many sons to glory, but also, it was fitting to him to bring Jesus to perfection through suffering. Without Jesus suffering all things He could not be the perfect high priest. So, it was Jesus who suffered, not us. Jesus had to go to the extreme of suffering to the point he felt totally rejected in order to be a suitable high priest.

    Hebrews 2:11-18. Jesus suffered and endured everything that would ever come upon any of us in this life. When we were saved, God never promised you that everything would come up roses. Actually quite the opposite. Your faith will be tested. Remember that challenge of contradiction? Jesus said that in this world you would have trouble? Then he says exactly what we’ve just studied. Be of good cheer for I have overcome the world. He endured the suffering and the trials so that He could bring us through the same when they come upon us.

    It's difficult to find a good stopping place for this first part. There's so much that ties together on this study, so I'll trust you will reflect on this first part when studying part 2, which will be submitted tomorrow. Grace and Peace.