Why does God need to discipline His children?

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God is a loving Father (1 John 4:8) and true love administers discipline at times (Acts 17:31). No child is born with a perfect character, and every child therefore needs correction in order that he may fill a useful place in society and be a blessing to the family.

The apostle Paul in Hebrews 12:7-11 tells us, “As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Whoever heard of a child who was never disciplined? 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 after all. Since we respect our earthly fathers who disciplined us, should we not all the more cheerfully submit to the discipline of our heavenly Father and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”

Discipline is the tool that God uses sometimes to turn His children from rebellion to obedience. Children who do not receive discipline are being cheated of the very preparation they need for the duties and responsibilities of life. It would not be just for our heavenly Father to fail to correct us.

God’s punishments can have two different effects on people. Either it brings repentance and change or, if rejected, it hardens the heart in rebellion against the Lord. God’s punishment resembles heat. On certain elements, heat causes them to melt like wax and on others it causes them to harden like clay.

We need not be discouraged when God punishes us to correct us. Jesus the innocent One bore the ultimate punishment that we deserve for our sins in His own body when He died to save us (John 3:16). Therefore, we can rejoice when we are disciplined knowing that, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things” (Romans 8:32).

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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