Summary: Christians are not punished for sins. God's people can never by any possibility be punished for their sins, for God has already punished them at the cross.
"Despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him" Heb 12:5
I. Divine Punishments vs. Divine Chastisement
A. Importance to draw a distinction for
1. The honor and glory of God
2. The peace of mind of the Christian
B. Christians are not punished for sins. God's people can never by any possibility be punished for their sins, for God has already punished them at the cross.
C. The difference between punishment and chastisement lies not in the nature of the sufferings of the afflicted. In other words, major suffering does not necessarily mean
major punishment or major chastisement.
D. A three-fold distinction
1. The Character in which God acts.
a. Judge --- sentence is the act of a judge.
The Christian cannot be punished because Christ has been punished for
these sins already.
Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
I Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Romans 5:16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification.
Romans 8:33-34 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?
It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that
died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of
God, who also maketh intercession for us.
b. Father --> The end of a father's action is to correct.
The Christian is a member of the family of God. He may be disciplined, but not punished.
--primarily denotes to train children, suggesting the broad idea of education
--Here of a training gracious and firm
--by correcting with words, reproving, and admonishing
2. The second distinction between Divine punishment and Divine chastisement lies
in the recipients of each.
a. Punishment is for enemies.
II Thes. 1:8-9 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know
not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; Who
shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
These individuals will stand before God at the Great White Throne Judgment.
b. Correction is for children.
Hebrew 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
These individuals will stand before Christ.
II Cor. 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of
Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body,
according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
3. The third distinction is seen in the design of each.
a. Divine Punishment is retributive.
Flows from anger.
Is not for the good of sinners, but for the honoring of God's law and
the vindicating of His government.
b. Divine Chastisement is corrective (remedial).
Flows from love.
Rev. 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous
therefore, and repent.
Sent for well-being of recipient.
Psalms 118: 17 -18
The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death. 19 Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD:
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
E. If therefore this is true then, when the believer is smarting under the rod let him not say, "God is punishing me for my sins." The truth is, God is correcting thee in love, not smiting the in wrath.
Jer 10:24 O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.
Proverbs 3:12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
F. Chastisement should not be regard as some necessary evil. But can be a reassurance and
a blessing. The father of a family does not concern himself with those on the outside