Summary: 11th message in a series exploring the wonder of God as our loving Father. This message explores the truth that because God loves us, He also discipliness us for our good.

“The Discipline Factor”

(The Fatherhood of God Pt 11)

I. The Likeness Factor

We manifest Dad’s impeccable genes.

II. The Unconditional Love & Acceptance factor

We rest in dad's incomprehensible love.

III. The Protection and Security Factor

We stand secure in dad's impervious protection.

IV. The Presence Factor

We anticipate dad's intimate presence.

V. The Wisdom Factor

We seek dad's infallible counsel.

VI. The Provision Factor

We enjoy dad's inexhaustible provision.

VII. The Affirmation, Encouragement and Acknowledgement Factor

We find courage in dad's inspiring affirmation, encouragement and acknowledgment.

VIII. The Discipline and Training Factor

We need dad’s impartial discipline.

Every child needs training and discipline in order to develop into a mature adult.

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him. Proverbs 22:15

Foolishness describes those actions that come from a failure to understand and follow the ways of God. Foolishness and wisdom are continually contrasted in proverbs.

The fool and the wise. The naïve and the prudent. Paul urged the Ephesians not to be foolish but to understand the will of the Lord. The fool has said in his heart that there is no God to whom he is accountable. The fool lives their life on the premise that they are accountable to no one but themselves and ignores or minimizes the consequences of their actions. Every child enters this world infected with foolishness. Children grow up expecting the world to revolve around them and their desires. They don't understand self-denial. They don't understand consequences for actions. They lack a moral compass due to ignorance of the ways of God and sin’s infection.

The parent’s responsibility then it is to help them to understand that there is a moral standard established by God and his Word. It is the parent’s responsibility to purge this fatal infection of foolishness through discipline. It is the parent’s responsibility to vaccinate their children with the truth of God. Proverbs contains a whole pharmacy of prescriptions intended to fight this fatal disease. A failure to address this illness early in life carries serious consequences.

Though you pound a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, his foolishness will not depart from him. Proverbs 27:22

Just as every child born into the human realm needs discipline, every child born into the spiritual realm needs discipline in order to mature. Even though God plants His divine seed in every born again believer, we still carry the fleshly residual of Adam’s nature. All of us still carry the sin virus. So, just as every child needs training and discipline, so every believer requires discipline. Just as our heavenly father meets our need for love, acceptance, security, presence, wisdom, provision, affirmation, encouragement and acknowledgment, he also meets our need for discipline.

A. What is discipline?

Words used for discipline are translated broadly.

Hebrew = chastise, discipline, instruct, reprove, warn, correct

Greek = correct, discipline, educate, instruct, teach, punish

The core concept of discipline has to do with training and development.

Discipline employs every means necessary to produce maturity.

Training through instruction.

Training through life application and experience.

Training through reproof and correction.

Every profession or discipline understands this kind of training.

There is first a period of instruction regarding the fundamentals.

There is a period of application and practice of the fundamentals.

Throughout the practice period comes reproof and correction where necessary.

Paul reminded Timothy of the Scripture’s value in the training and maturity process.

All Scripture is profitable for teaching.

All Scripture is profitable for reproof.

All Scripture is profitable for correction.

All Scripture is profitable for instruction in righteousness.

These serve to equip and mature every believer for every good work. Paul used the term when he talked about being “educated” under Gamaliel. Hebrews says the Moses was “educated” in all the learning of the Egyptians. Paul told Timothy that the grace of God appeared “instructing” us to deny ungodliness, and worldly desires. We must never confuse discipline with punishment. There is a vast difference between the two.

• Punishment deals with past sin - discipline looks to future growth

• Punishment appeases the offended - discipline restores the offender

• Punishment comes from a judge enforcing law - discipline comes from a father extending grace

• Punishment dismisses the lawbreaker - discipline draws sons

• Punishment expresses wrath - discipline expresses love

• Punishment seeks retribution - discipline seeks repentance

• Punishment condemns - discipline corrects

• Punishment rejects - discipline reproofs

• Punishment harms and mars - discipline hurts and mends

Discipline employs every means necessary to produce maturity. God uses a variety of means to gain our attention and alter our actions.

From just this passage we learn plenty about the father’s discipline.

• His training is superior to any earthly parent.

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