God disciplines, but it’s not what you think.
JANUARY 17, 2024
God disciplines, but it’s not what you think. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
That was Steve Brown. He’s an author, seminary professor, and our teacher on Key Life, a program all about God’s radical grace. We’re committed to bringing you Bible teaching that’s honest, straight-forward, and street-smart. Keep listening to hear truth that’ll make you free.
Thank you Matthew. We’re studying Proverbs. Spent a long time, in fact, two programs talking about what God hates and who He loves. That would be you, and that would be me. And later on, we’re going to look at what God loves, because Proverbs gets into that too. But let me show you something about discipline. If you have a Bible, you might want to open it to Proverbs 6:30 through 31. And this is what the writer writes.
People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving. Yet, when he is found, he must restore sevenfold. He may have to give up all the sustenance of his house.
Now, the first part of that says that there are sinners and there is sin in all of us, Proverbs 29 says.
Who can say, I have made my heart clean and impure from my sin.
But then there’s the Proverb I read to you.
Yet when he is found.
A number of years ago there was a great article in the newspaper about a priest by the name of Quinlan, who was, at that time, 71 years old. A chain smoker, a voice like sandpaper, and he seemed to go out of his way to offend people. In fact, this sounds kind of like my kind of guy. He, for instance, he once rode down the Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception on Palm Sunday, on a motorcycle. And he wore a clown outfit on Easter Sunday, and his church was growing unbelievably. He also was a recovering drunk, and he fell off the wagon, and it was sad. He wrote a letter of resignation and said how sorry he was. And do you know what the congregation did? They told him, tear that sucker up. We’re not going to accept it. We don’t want you to resign, we want you to be sober, dummy. And they loved him back into sobriety. That’s what God does. That’s what God does. You have to be careful when you talk about how God disciplines. He does, but if you go to Hebrews, the twelfth chapter, it says that he disciplines as a father, a loving father, who cares about his children, who cares about you, who cares about me. And there are a couple of things you ought to know about discipline. First, he doesn’t discipline you without telling you what it’s all about. People come to me and they say, you know, I’ve got cancer because I stole a quarter from my mother’s pocketbook when I was 12 years old. And I want to say, Are you crazy? You’re making God into a child abuser. He makes it clear that this is for a season, it will get over, and secondly you’ve got to remember you’re not disciplined for everything that you’ve done wrong or every sin you’ve ever committed or you would be dead. So, he’s a father, who knows exactly how to deal with his children, and that would be us. And so, understand I have trouble sometimes teaching these passages on discipline, that Hebrews passage. And this Proverbs 1 and Proverbs 6:30 through 31. Because it seems like, no it doesn’t, it teaches that God is a Father and because He is, He disciplines in a loving and kind and thoughtful and wise way. But there are some people who grab those verses and beat their brothers and sisters over the head with those verses, making them say something they don’t say, that God is a child abuser, and He’s not. And so, you’ll hear, yeah, you’ll be forgiven, but don’t forget, God is going to discipline you, and you’re going to be in real, real trouble. Well, maybe that’s so, but the way that’s spoken and the way that’s understood can kill you if you’re not really careful. And so, whenever I teach any passage that would suggest that God disciplines, I’ve got to do what I’ve done today and spend some time teaching what the Bible says about that God who disciplines. He’s your Father, and he loves you a lot, and he’s not out to kill you. Okay, let me just introduce a subject, and we’ll talk more about it tomorrow. The subject is, Flattery Will Get You Dead, Proverbs 7:21.
With her enticing speech, she caused him to yield. With her flattering lips, she seduced him.
Many entreat the favor of nobility, and every man is a friend to one who gives gifts.
He who goes about as a tale bearer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with one who flatters with lips.
He who says to the wicked, you are righteous, him the people will curse. Nations will abhor him.
A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it. And a flattering mouth works ruin.
So, go ahead and flatter and die. You think about that. Amen.
Well, it’s Wednesday. And on Wednesdays, if I have some time, I take some time to answer some of your questions. And we love to get your questions. As you know, Pete comes in on Fridays and we spend the entire broadcast just answering questions. If you have questions, feel free to let us know. You can send questions to
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What does it mean that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit? Well, it means our bodies are the place where the Holy Spirit resides. But more needs to be said than just that. In I Corinthians 3, Paul talks about our bodies being the temple of the Holy Spirit. But the interesting thing in I Corinthians 3 is that he uses the plural. That is not an individual thing. And if you’re going to use that to get your wife or your husband to stop smoking, it doesn’t work. That’s not what Paul is talking about in I Corinthians 3. He’s talking about the church. He’s talking about the gathered group of Christians, and that the Holy Spirit is in the midst of that gathering. And so, what the apostle Paul is saying there, that when you get together to worship, or to study, or to love, when you get together, count one more, and that would be Jesus. That he’s at the center of it, that God’s Spirit comes Himself and joins you in that being the temple of the Holy Spirit. Now, just so that we cover this subject accurately. If you go over to the sixth chapter of I Corinthians, Paul uses that phrase again. But in that verse, he uses the singular. And so, you can use that with your husband or your wife, or somebody who simply is not following what might be good physical practices that their body might be healthy.
Don’t you know that your body’s the temple of the Holy Spirit?
Don’t abuse it. Be careful. Eat a lot of carrots and take vitamins and you will fulfill the admonishment of the Word of God. Somebody said, you know, if somebody who only eats the right things their whole life, when it comes their time to die, they’ll be like a ship going down in the ocean with not a single thing to throw overboard. Well, the Bible teaches both. In one place it teaches that the temple of the Holy Spirit is the people of God, and another place it teaches that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. And you need to be reasonable, don’t be neurotic about it, but you need to be reasonable about what you do, what you think, what you say, and what you eat. And listen, I’m applying it to myself. I’ve got to go, but first, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.