My Question: How does God discipline his children?

Hi everyone, a friend of mine argued with me that as believers we sometimes face tough times or pain in life because of certain sins we commit and thus God is punishing us for them. He backed his debate with the Bible verse "the Lord chastens those he love… " My Question : based on the finished work of Christ, does God still punish believers who may sin? And how does God discipline his children?

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@Amponsa Great question :slight_smile: It appears, based on Hebrews 12, that God does still discipline those whom He loves, but I would avoid the word punish. Discipline is for the good of the child - punishment is retributive justice, which the believer no longer has to fear in Christ. A few thoughts and verses on this topic below.

  • suffering is complex and we should never assume we know exactly why it is happening - but we can use suffering as an opportunity for humble self-examination (see Gospel Coalition article by D. A. Carson below)
  • God’s discipline of His children always leads to righteousness, eternal life and greater joy - not shame, self-contempt or exclusion from the Kingdom
  • God’s grace and mercy are always waiting for those who come to Him in humility, no matter what they have done
  • sin often carries consequences naturally, even after we have repented - in the form of broken relationships or a harder road (potentially) - but that is not necessarily the same as God’s discipline

2 Corinthians 7:10 - Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 4:15-18 - If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Hebrews 12:4-11 - In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

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Very educative thanks alot

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@Amponsa Sure thing :slight_smile: Christ grant you wisdom as you study the Word.

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But sometimes the discipline or teaching seems erroneous. I find it hard to know the MIND OF GOD. A sister struggled with work. They overburdened her. Took credit for her contributions and when working 930A to 12-130A 5 days a week, they were never satisfied. I suppose that God wanted to show her His faithfulness in RELENTLESS STORMS of life. Praise God. They got her so drained and pushed out, telling her that she was reaigning… when she hadn’t. God helped her. We all prayed endlessly. Prayers for the LORD to touch her, revive and renew her, and for her to hid under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91. Living through this amazing. She is now in a more humbler hospital. Praise God! She is breathing and moving on. Jesus first. Perhaps that’s what we all need to learn professionally.

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@Mkibos I agree that the question of why we are suffering is very often beyond anyone’s ability to know except God Himself. That is one thing D. A. Carson emphasized as well—the cause of suffering is often a mystery. But when we are going through a difficult time, we can always go to Christ the Good Shepherd. Whether in life or in death, He is the victor! The sufferings of this world shall soon pass.

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I think that’s it. When I hear anyone telling me that they are stressed and not having a moment’s rest.
It’s like a RED FLAG that the Devil is at work. God gives us tests and disciplines us. In Heaven, the Devil asks God for permission like with Job. Yet what do we do. I think for me. It’s a take blame for the harsh unfair treatment. What did I do wrong? No no no. Need to go to Jesus first. The Holy Spirit lives in us. He will check our spirits and give us direction regardless of where, when, and who we are. He is always LORD. And are we fierce enough to believe Him. Trust Him. And go through the storm praying and resting on His words of truth. His promises. Regardless of being stuck in a Lion’s Den. Are we willing to believe what is impossible for us through God all things are possible. He is LORD. He will carry us through.

@Mkibos I don’t think it is always the adversary - I think oftentimes life is just hard. But I am 100% confident the Lord will walk with us through every storm :slight_smile:

Yes, but remember he goes to the father asking permission… like when in Chronicles to deceive the King of Judah/Israel. But…I never said always.

We are tempted by our own stupidity AKA affinities in is life, AKA lusts. These can be intangibles and what we may think about ourselves in error, about others or situations, etc. But discernment and Gods wisdom is needed A L W A Y S. And our relinquishment onto the WORD of God that doesn’t pass away or change.

“God is not a man that He should lie.” “His knowledge is insurmountable.” Isaiah 40. And we know Isaiah 14 and Matthew and Luke and Revelations, chapters sorry, that the Devil is the accuser of the brethren. He is a liar, stealer, and murderer. He rules people’s lives even if they don’t know it.

2 Corinthians 10. The weapons of our warfare against the unseen forces of evil is the WORD of God, His blood, and ‘the word of our testimony.’ We worship the LORD in Spirit and Truth.

Okay. At the hospital volunteering.

This makes me to think about my medical nurses in my family that seem to be like you. They at times seem adverse to accepting that the Devil causes pain even in Believer’s life. The LORD reminds us to give no opportunity to the Devil to take a foothole in our lives. But we are under the BLOOD. We have to stay in the WORD to hear His Voice. We can’t trust flesh. Only God is supreme. Righteous. Merciful. And Kind. Eternal.

I suppose He has always been the LORD God our Savior. Always leading, teaching us, and drawing us closer to Him. Yehoshua the LORD God our Savior. Savior for all people. His love. His eternal ways.

Have a good day. God made it so it must be good. I will be glad in it. Peace Brother.

His peace be with you :slight_smile:

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