The Law of Discipline

THE LAW OF DISCIPLINE

  SLAVERY IS THE COST OF FREEDOM

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

I)     INTRODUCTION – HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE EVER LISTENED TO A GREAT PIANIST AND SAID, “I WISH I COULD PLAY LIKE THAT!” OR WATCHED AN OLYMPIC RUNNER AND SAID “WOW!, I WISH I COULD RUN LIKE THAT!” OR REMEMBERED YOUR CHILDHOOD DREAM TO GO TO COLLEGE AND BECOME A TEACHER, A DOCTOR OR A LAWYER, A MINISTER OR A MISSIONARY OR START YOUR OWN BUSINESS AND WONDER WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE DREAMS!  ALMOST ANYTHING WORTH WHILE PURSUIT IN LIFE WILL COST YOU A GREAT DEAL OF TIME AND A LOT OF SELF-DISCIPLINE. ONLY THE DISCIPLINED GET REALLY GOOD AT ANYTHING. THE AUTHOR RECOUNTS HIS FIRST GOLF OUTING (PP 84) IT IS NOT UNUSUAL FOR AN OLYMPIC SWIMMER, LIKE MICHALE PHELPS, JUST WON A RECORD 8 GOLD METALS TO GET UP AT 4:00 AM AND SWIM 30 LAPS, SIX OR SEVEN DAYS A WEEK TO ACHIEVE THEIR DREAM TO WIN A GOLD METAL.  THE APOSTLE PAUL COMPARED HIMSELF A VARIOUS TIMES TO A BOXER AND A RUNNER IN HIS SPIRITUAL WALK, WHOSE OBJECTIVE WAS TO WIN THE PRIZE.  TEXT: 1Co 9:25-27 (niv) EVERYONE who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 THEREFORE I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 NO, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

II)    WHAT ARE THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF DISCIPLINE?

A)   MANY PEOPLE THINK OF DISCIPLINE IS LIMITING AND RESTRICTIVE; AND SO IT IS.

B)   MUCH OF LIFE IS A TRADE-OFF BETWEEN FREEDOM AND BONDAGE: THE HOMELESS MAN, LIVING ON THE STREET IS FREE.  HE DOESN’T HAVE TO GET UP IN THE MORNING; NO ONE EXPECTS ANYTHING OF HIM.  HE DOESN’T REPORT TO WORK OR PAY TAXES OR WORRY ABOUT A MORTGAGE OR COLLEGE TUITION FOR HIS CHILDREN BUT HIS FREEDOM COMES AT A HIGH PRICE.

C)   THE MAN OR WOMAN WITH THE NICE HOUSE, MANICURED YARD, BEAUTIFUL CAR, TYPICALLY HAS TO GET UP EARLY IN THE MORNING TO GO TO WORK AND OFTEN WORK LONG HOURS TO MAINTAIN THAT LIFESTYLE FOR HIM/HER AND THEIR FAMILIES.

D)   MOST WHAT THE WORLD MIGHT CONSIDER HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE ARE HIGHLY DISCIPLINED IN CERTAIN AREAS OF THEIR LIFE.

III)   BUT WHAT WE DO NOT REALIZE IS THAT DISCIPLINE IS INEVITABLE 

A)   EITHER WE DISCIPLINE OURSELVES IN LIFE OR WE ARE DISCIPLINED BY LIFE.

B)   OBVIOUS EXAMPLES: EXERCIZING OUR FREEDOM TO OVER EAT, NOT EXERCIZE, DRINK ALCOHOL TO EXCESS, SMOKE CIGARRETTES, USE DRUGS ADVERSELY AFFECTS OUR BODY, OUR HEALTH, OUR LONGEVITY AND OUR RELATIONSHIPS.

C)   OTHER LESS OBVIOUS EXAMPLES:  NOT STUDYING IN SCHOOL, BEING LAZY, BEING DISRESPECTFUL TOWARD AUTHORITIES,  MISSING WORK EXCESSIVELY,  BEING LATE OR APPOINTMENTS BRINGS ITS OWN KIND OF BONDAGE.

D)   RELATING MORE SPECIFICALLY TO OUR SPIRITUAL PROGRESS:  NOT  DISCIPLINING OURSELVES TO PRAY & READ GOD’S WORD, BEING FAITHFUL TO COME TO CHURCH , BEING KNOWLINGLY DISOBEDIENT TO GOD’S WORD AND THE INNER LEADING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ADVERSELY AFFECTS OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE AND THE JOY AND FREEDOM WE HAVE IN CHRIST.

IV)  GOD DISCIPLINES HIS CHILDREN WHEN THEY ARE DISOBEDIENT (HEB 12:4-11)

A)   WE ARE NOT TO MAKE LIGHT OF THE LORD’S DISCIPLINE

B)   IT IS INTENDED FOR OUR GOOD

C)   HE DISCIPLINES US, BECAUSE WE ARE HIS CHILDREN

D)   WE ARE TO ENDURE HARDSHIPS AS DISCIPLINE FROM GOD

E)   AS CHILDREN OF GOD, NOTHING HAPPENS TO US THAT GOD DOES NOT ALLOW

F)    NO DISCIPLINE SEEMS PLEASANT BUT IT PRODUCES A HARVEST OF RIGHTEOUSNES AND PEACE

V)   MATURE CHRISTIANS WILL EXERCIZE SELF-DISCIPLINE

A)   SELF DISCIPLINE IS ONE OF THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT: SELF-CONTROL OR SELF DISCIPLINE (GAL 5:22-26 NIV)

B)   IT TAKES SELF-DISCIPLINE TO REMAIN IN CHRIST AND PRODUCE THAT FRUITFUL CHRISTIAN LIFE:  (JOHN 15:4 NIV)

C)   FREEDOM COMES THROUGH THE CRUCIFIED LIFE; IT IS THE PRINCIPLE OF REPLACEMENT: WE GIVE UP OUR LIFE FOR HIS LIFE: Gal 2:20  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

D)   2Peter 1:5 – 8:  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (empahsis mine)

VI)  HOW FREE YOU ARE IN YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE DEPENDS, IN PART, UPON HOW DISCIPLINED TO WALK ACCORDING TO SPIRIT (AS OPPOSED TO WALKING ACCORDING TO OUR FLESHLY DESIRES)  (ROM 8:5-10)

A)   we are slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness:  Rom 6:16-18  Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 BUT thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 YOU have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

A)   John 8:32 “…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

B)   2Timothy 1:7:  “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

scriptures

 1Co 9:24 – 27 (KJV) Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27  But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Gal 5:22 – 25 (niv) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

1The 4:3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;

2Peter 1:5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall,

2TiMOTHY1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Heb 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Rom 8:5  – 10 (niv) Those who live ACCORDING TO THE FLESH have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6  The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7  The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8  Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. 9  You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10  But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.

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