Summary: This is a message on Divine Chastening. Much of which I learned by experience in the furnace of affliction.
The Mystery of Divine Chastening
This passage of Scripture is one of the most unique and powerful passages in the Bible. In it Jeremiah portrays God as a potter and man as a lump of clay. He paints us a picture of God in his sovereignty taking man and molding him into whatever type of vessel He chooses.
God uses Four things to accomplish this in the life of the believer.
1. He uses the Word of God.
2. He uses intercessory prayer.
3. He uses trials.
4. He uses suffering.
It is these last two - trials and suffering - that I want to speak on tonight for they are what compose "Divine Chastening." I have entitled my message "The Mystery of Divine Chastening." A mystery is something that is veiled or hidden. Something that is not easily seen. In divine chastening God rarely sits us down and tells us all that He is going to do in our lives. We just find ourselves in the midst of trials and suffering and then must exercise faith to see the end result.
Every Believer Faces Three Judgments.
1. PAST Judgment as a Sinner - This is our judgment for sin - Calvary. This was settled the day we turned by faith to Jesus Christ.
2. FUTURE Judgment as a Servant - This is the Judgment seat of Christ. - I Cor. 3:11-15. This is a judgment of service to determine a believer’s reward.
3. PRESENT Judgment as a Son - Chastening is concerned with this. - Our Sonship.
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:
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9 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.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
God Allows Chastening To Come Into The Life Of The Believer For One Of Four Purposes.
I. Corrective Discipline I Cor. 11:31,32
1 Cor 11:31-32 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
This is for open unconfessed and unrepented sin.
There are Four Things Christians do about their sins.
1. They blame someone or something else. - Adam and Eve
2. They Excuse their sin. - King Saul did this in I Sam. 15 when he didn’t slay the Amalekites.
3. They Cover their sin or try to hide them from God - David did this with Bathsheba.
4. They Confess and forsake them - We must confess our sins or God will judge them for us.
Ps 107:39 Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.
Gods Three Rods: Oppression - Affliction - Sorrow
God Speaks - God Spanks - God Calls Home
Gods Second Purpose For Chastening is for:
II. Enlarging Discipline - Pruning - John 15:2
John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
1. God disciplines us to make us more fruitful. When we have weights or hindrances in our life that keep us from becoming what God wants us to be, God has to prune us.
In the backyard of my first house were several large apple trees. The first year I lived there each tree brought forth a lot of nice apples. The second year was also pretty good. The third year the trees had very few apples on them. They had lots of blossoms in the spring but few nice juicy apples developed. My neighbor told me that my trees had become overgrown with limbs that were taking all the nourishment from the apples. What I had to do was cut back all the useless branches that were robbing the apples. He also told me to cut off half of the blossoms in the spring. Only so much nourishment could come up the tree’s trunk. I would have half as many apples but they would be bigger and juicier.