Tag Archives: Father

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A Disciplined Son, Sitting In His Room, In His Father’s House

What is the fear of the Lord? The fear of the lord is defined by its context. At times is simply means to worship the lord, as Jesus quotes to the devil. But at times it means awful dread of judgment. And lastly it can mean, as a legitimate son, to fear the discipline (not condemnation) of your father.

Vincent Cheung writes regarding a besetting sin,

It is good that instead of excusing yourself, you admit your sin and you are taking it seriously. Even if the sin persists, remember to never lose this – never begin to make excuses or to think that it is not a sin.

It is correct that true faith in Jesus Christ leads to holiness. However, a stubborn sin – or two or three – can tend to capture our attention to the exclusion of other aspects of our lives. When you take your entire life into account, is the basic disposition toward holiness? Is there an overall growth in knowledge, reverence, purity, and good works? If so, then this is consistent with a genuine faith in Christ. Instead of allowing a stubborn sin to become a stumbling block for your whole faith, you should consider the fact of your continuing growth in Christ to draw strength and encouragement in the ongoing battle against the remaining evil… So even if you draw on the strength and pressure of a Christian community, see to it that your main focus remains on Jesus Christ. He is the sole Mediator, the Lord of the conscience, and the Shepherd of your soul.[1]

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?[g]
10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way,”
(Hebrews 12:1-3,7-11. NLT)

“Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going,”
(John 13:38, 14:1-4. NIV)

“He will judge everyone according to what they have done.  He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers.”
(Romans 2:6-7 NLT)

“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord,”
1 Corinthians 1:30-31.

So right after Jesus tells Peter that Peter will betray Him (people have forfeited their souls for less), Jesus says not to worry, but remember He is preparing a room in His Father’s house for all the disciples, including Peter.

Peter did suffer the disgrace and sorrow for what he, but Jesus restored him, and Peter upon receiving this freely given love, freely gave it back to the brethren by strengthen them.  Peter never stopped from having a room in the Father’s house.

When I was disciplined by my parents, my mom would make me wait in my room for my dad to come and give me a spanking. As Hebrews 12 says, discipline is not pleasant. How obvious this is. It is proper to “fear” the unpleasantness of discipline. The point to remember is this, it is discipline, and not condemnation. For those in Christ Jesus we never fear condemnation, because Jesus was already condemned in our place. [2] This is a fear a Christian should never experience, and any voice or feeling that says otherwise is a lie from Satan. Our judgment has already happened. Only grace and life are before us. It is a bight day, today in Christ. It is a brilliant future.

However, I want to bring your attention to this aspect.  I waited for my dad’s discipline, in my “room” in my “father’s house.” Think about that. The same is for our heavenly Father. For all those truly born-from-above, we never leave our Father’s house. Even if we wait for discipline, we wait as sons, in the safety of our own rooms.  And even in the extreme example of the parodical son, when the son left his room on his own, the father’s always had a room waiting for the son’s return.

Any discipline is to help you mature as a son. That is, the good things you are seeking, such as blessings, health, prosperity (etc.) God our Father wants to give this to us, more than we want to receive it. We are already in Christ, righteous in God’s sight, reconciled and co-heirs with Jesus. By faith, at any time we can approach God’s throne; our sins do not negate this. However, if our sin is to often or too big, it can hinder our conscience to be sin focused and not righteousness focus, and this will hinder our faith, and this will hinder us freely receiving all the good things from our Father. God’s discipline for His sons, is not to remake us as sons because our sins stopped us from being sons; no, our Father desires to mature us to understand we are beloved sons through Jesus and on this foundation, in faith freely receive the good things promised us. God wants to give more than you want to receive.

When we are sick, we need to have a relentless focus on our healing, on the word of God about healing day and night. We are not to focus on our sickness, we are to focus on the healing already accomplished by Jesus in His finished atonement. We are not to focus on the pain, but the how much God loves us and wants our healing more than we want it. Sickness is from the devil, it is a curse of the law and Jesus started to demolish it in His ministry and has commanded all His disciples to continue this battle. We are commanded to have faith to be healed.

The same for sanctification, even in besetting sins. We need to have a relentless focus on our righteousness in God, and not our sin. Hebrews 12 in context about the sins that so easily ensures us, says to focus on Jesus who began and will strengthen our faith. The application is obvious. We do not focus on what our eyes see, or minds feel, or body experiences; rather, we focus on all the promises of God that are yes through Jesus Christ. We focus day and night that we are the righteousness of God in Jesus, that we are children of God, beloved and reconciled once and for all time. We can march into the throne of heaven at any time and place to ask and receive from Almighty God, as dear children.  We need to see that even all our future sins are forgiven, forgotten and gone. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1 that not only did Jesus become our righteousness for us, but also our “sanctification.” Jesus did not only start our faith, but He will be faithful, (not you), HE will be faithful to mature and finish our faith. In blood, Jesus promises in the New Contract, that God will write His laws on our minds so that we love God, by obeying His commands. This was not your promise to God, but God’s promise to you. The Father pointed to His Jesus’ bloody corpse and said on that day, I promise I will cause you to love Me. This is love, not that we loved God, but that God so loves us that He sent His son to be a wrath appeasing atonement for us. The old man has already died, and the new man is already here. We are free from the law of sin and death and now we reign in this life through Jesus Christ.

This does not diminish our sickness by focusing on our healing promised in Jesus, instead of the pain, but is obedience to focus on what God tells us to focus on. The same for sin and righteousness. It is obedience to focus on our righteousness, sonship and value in Christ and not sin conscience.  Psalm 1 says you will have success in all that you do if you think on God’s word day and night. We know the way. It is Jesus. It is a relentless focus on our beloved identity in Him, and that all the good promises are our definition and yes through Jesus.

ENDNOTES

[1] Vincent Cheung. Habitual Sin. Sermonettes Vol. 6. 2012. Pg.81.

[2] Now, if you are in extreme, gross sin (there are degrees of sin), it is not wrong to remember the dread of condemnation, in the sense that Paul says, check and see if your election is sure; yet, these are extremes that most Christians should not relate to (2 Corinth. 11:20-22, 27, “guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.”). Yet, even in this extreme, God killed them with sickness before they could forfeit their salvation. And yet, in this extreme James 5:15 still applies, “Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven,” NLT. God wants you to prosper.

You are My Sheep, and I Pray for You

In these promises to each other the Father promises that Jesus is a priest according to the order of Melchizedek. In summery, this means Jesus’ priesthood is before and different from the Levitical one. It is an eternal and permanent priesthood, that the Levitical one cannot override, which came later. The Levitical priesthood, particularly with the Day of Atonement, we see a teaching illustration to learn what the substitutionary atonement of Jesus will look like, who has the original and eternal priesthood.

In Jesus’ priesthood, we learn in Isaiah 53:12 that He both bore (like the escape goat) the sins but He also “interceded” for them. For example, the priest in Leviticus 16 on the Day of Atonement, only sacrifice and interceded for the children of Israel, and not Moab or someone else. The atonement is for Israel only, not other people. The priest only intercedes for Israel. As the next chapter says (17) the “life” of the animal is in the blood. This is like “life” currency. Jesus gives us the currency of His life in exchange for our currency (or debt) of death. The “intercession” is about telling the bank where you want the money to go. What would happen if you dropped off a briefcase of money without say where you want it? This is why Jesus intercedes, He is telling the Father where the life currency of His atonement goes.

In John 17 Jesus prays, “not for the world” but only for those whom “Father gave Him.” This means His sacrifice was only for those whom the Father gave Him, and not the whole world, as in every single person. If Jesus did not intercede for ‘x’ group, then Jesus did not die for them. We call this definite atonement. Jesus’ atonement was successful for a definite group and not universally for all.

John 10:26-27, Jesus says, “you do not believe, because you are not of my sheep! My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” The “you do not believe” is the conclusion, the “you are not my Sheep,” is the major premise for why we have this conclusion. If you are not already part of Jesus’ sheep, then it concludes you do not believe, and will not believe. Jesus is answering a question with a separate statement about metaphysics and its effects. The ones not believing Jesus, ask if He is the Messiah. To put Jesus’ statement into a syllogism, (1) if you are not my sheep, then you do not believe.” (2) You are not my sheep. (3) Thus, you do not believe what I say.” Also, Jesus in other places says there is only two options, sheep and goats. By saying they are not sheep He is saying they are goats.

If you are not part of Jesus’ sheep then you will never listen and believe what Jesus says. “And I have other sheep which are not from this fold. I must bring these also, and they will hear my voice, and they will become one flock—one shepherd. (v.16)” Combining this with the above meaning we learn, if a future person is not already now part of Jesus’ sheep, then they will not believe. Jesus teaches if someone is a sheep now, even if they are not-born-again now, they will believe in the future. His sheep, including those who are “going to believe” (future), believe because they “are” (present) already His sheep. These are those who Jesus interceded for, therefore they will believe at God’s predetermined times.

Jesus says “My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them eternal life, and they will never perish forever (v27-28).” After saying those who asked if He was the messiah, are not part of His Sheep, He says straight to their face that He gives eternal life to His sheep, which excludes those He is talking to, because He said they are not part of His sheep. There is no teaching of TWO groups that receive Jesus’ “eternal life,” in the scripture. Therefore, the law of excluded middle applies here. If you are not part of this group, then you are a goat, a reprobate.

This also kills the very stupid teaching that says predestination, election, reprobation and God’s absolute sovereignty is an insider doctrine for mature Christians, and not outsiders. Jesus in a mixed audience, in the face of those He is calling reprobates, is teaching these doctrines. Jesus does this again, for example, in John 6, where He says only those the Father draws will come to Him to receive eternal life, and it is for these, that He gives up His life for. If Scripture is going to be your first principle for all knowledge, then get all those answers there, not from men.

The foundational we learn from this are two things about salvation. One is the decrees of God. God in His sovereignty plans and does all the saving of sinful man. Since we have already dealt with the overall doctrine of God’s sovereignty we will focus on this second important point. Jesus’ statements teach the foundation of salvation is about metaphysic, or reality that is. God decides ‘x’ is a sheep and ‘y’ is a goat. The sheep is in the category of a sheep and gets all the category realities that belong to it, and the same with the goat. The world is God’s playdough. He makes up categories from nothing, with all their attributes. He then creates individuals out of nothing, to put into these categories that He wants.

Jesus says for the sheep that He dies for them. He will give them eternal life and they will live with Him forever. This is the reality, the category of being a sheep. He is the only Potter. If God decides ‘x’ is a sheep, then it is so. No one, not even Satan, not even the ‘x,’ can stop it, not because the person will believe against their own will, but because the Potter molds their will to be a sheep, and thus they will believe. Salvation at its foundation metaphysics, not ethics or about man and his choice. Because it is metaphysics first, then therefore, choice and ethics, which are conclusions of epistemology and reality, will follow.

This is great news for all God’s chosen ones who have cried out to God to save them. They will not be disappointed. Despite their internal struggles (even besetting sins) and the attacks of men and devils, even all this cannot stop them from being sheep, cannot separate them from God’s love, and cannot stop them from inheriting eternal life. This becomes a cornerstone for the believers to correct themselves and mature their faith, knowing they are winners. Their faith has overcome the world, because they are children of God.

[this is taken from my Systematic Theology book]