< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Christian Discipline

Monday, January 10, 2011

Christian Discipline

A necessary ingredient of Christian discipline is perseverance. We will fail, but we will keep on trying, and gradually we will see progress. Know we won’t have instant success and every time Satan puts the thought, “what’s the use” in our mind we need to resolve to try again. Sinful habits are not broken overnight.

Proverbs 24:16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.

We don’t quit because God has made us righteous and we have His power in us. The author of the book, The Pursuit of Holiness, spent a chapter talking about how Christians may give in to gluttony or drunkenness or laziness and they don’t consider it sinning. But he said if we aren’t keeping ourselves in good shape to do His work then it is.

It’s interesting that the Mormons abstain from tobacco, liquor and caffeine, and the 7 Day Adventists are vegetarians, maybe even vegans, but we Christians don’t even think about that. He wrote about the Mormons, “Their religion is a practical response to their belief that their bodies are the temple of God. For the Christian, the body truly is the temple of God. How sad then that a false religion should be more diligent in this area than we Christians.”

He said that physical softness often leads to spiritual softness. And that one of the problems of always giving in to what feels good for the moment is it will extend to other areas: sexual, immorality, lust and evil desires, greed, idolatry, etc. He wrote that greed shows up in materialism and materialism makes us discontent and envious of others.

The place to start controlling the cravings of our physical appetites is to reduce our exposure to temptation.

2 Timothy 2:22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Romans 13:14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

We are to take positive steps to avoid temptation.

Proverbs 27:12 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

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