Discipline part 1 of 2

Instruction of God


    Deu 25:15 and Prov 11:1 and Prov 16:11

Deu 25:15   But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Prov 11:1   Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.

Prov 16:11    A just weight and balance are the LORD's: all the weights of the bag are his work.


The word discipline is only used one time in the KJV of the bible and it means to reprove, warn, and instruct.


(Job 36:10 KJV)  He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.


HB. 4148. muwcar, moo-sawr'; from H3256; prop. chastisement; fig. reproof. warning or instruction; also restraint


In the NKJV it is used two times.


(Prov 15:10 NKJV)  Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, And he who hates correction will die.

  (1 Cor 9:27 NKJV)  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.



Other bible translations use the word discipline more often. 


(Prov 1:2 NLT)  The purpose of these proverbs is to teach people wisdom and discipline, and to help them understand wise sayings.


(Prov 1:2 -3  KJV)  To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;  Through these proverbs, people will receive instruction in discipline, good conduct, and doing what is right, just, and fair.    

(Prov 1:3 KJV)  To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;


(Prov 1:7 NLT)  Fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. Only fools despise wisdom and discipline.


(Prov 1:7 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

  (Deu 11:2 NLT) . . . Listen! I am not talking now to your children, who have never experienced the discipline of the LORD your God or seen his greatness and awesome power.


Discipline--"Instruction'' refers to a process of training in which the learner submits to the teaching and guidance of a wiser person. To benefit from such instruction, we must cultivate a teachable spirit and accept the discipline of firm guidance. Discipline comes from a Latin word "disco" which means to learn or get to know, Discipline refers to the process by which one learns a way of life.


"Training'' is the Greek word, paideia, which denotes a combination of instruction, discipline, and personal guidance.


Accepting God's discipline is a part of being God's people. Discipline is one expression of the Father's love for us, His children.  Personal justice is not the goal of discipline. Our task is not to make sure we get personal justice, but that justice is justice. We are to execute judgment and justice, removing the evil from us.

(Ezek 45:9 KJV) Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD.


Christ's purpose for the church is to sanctify it and present it to Himself without spot or wrinkle.


Eph 5:26,27     That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.


The church should also be striving to be holy. This including discipline, for it is designed to produce a holy character in the one who has to be disciplined. Discipline has a positive and important place in the lives of God's people. God has called us to a way of life that is a holy life. Be not conformed to the world, but be imitators of God as dear children.  We need to learn how to be obedient. The process by which God's people learned obedience was the "discipline of the Lord"

   The Great Commission places the responsibility for discipline disciples in the hands of the church.


Mat 28:18-20    And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


The believers are to teach them "to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you". "To observe" is much more than simple knowledge. Observance is to live in obedience to the commands of Jesus. Learning and doing what Jesus wants requires a process, a discipline, "training".





(1)   To remove the defilement and leavening influence that sin brings

1 Cor. 5:6-8     Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.


(2)   To protect other believers from sinning and challenge them to Godliness

Gal 6:1     Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

1 Tim 5:20     Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.


(3)   To produce soundness in Faith


Titus 1:9-13     Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;


(4)   To reclaim and restore the Erring Brother

2 Cor. 2:5-11    But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.



During the annual fest of Passover and Unleavened Bread leaven was carefully removed from every household. Here Paul throw the inspiration of the Holy Spirit sees this as an analogy for the necessity of holiness in the church. Every bit of yeast, sin must be carefully removed from the Church, believers, God’s children.


1 Cor 5:1-13    It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.


There is open sexual immorality in the church, and they have ignored it. Paul tells the believers to put the guilty person out of there fellowship. Using the figure of yeast that works through the whole lump of dough, Paul warns that the church dare not permit sin to go undisciplined, lest the how congregation become corrupt. We must deal with sin.




 Matt.18:15-20    Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

It may be hard to go to someone and tell them what they did has hurt you. But Jesus commands us to. We are a family and in any family, brothers and Sisters do at times sin against one another. If a brother or sister sin against you, hurt you, you are to go to them privately and given them an opportunity to repent. If the offender will not acknowledge his fault others are brought in because there can be no reconciliation without confession by the one at fault and forgiveness by the one offended. In going to another person we are show our readiness to forgive. If there is still no repentance, even after the whole church has been informed, "treat him / or her as you would a pagan"


repent = GR. to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (mor. feel compunction): reversal "an act, anything done, being done, or to be done" (of [another's] decision)

repent = WB.

  1.   to feel regretful or contrite for past conduct: to repent of an act.

  2.   To be penitent for one's sins and seek to change one's life for the better


penitent = a person who confesses sin and submits to a penance "a punishment undergone as penitence for sin."

  So repent is = a person who confesses sin and submits to a punishment undergone, and seek to change one's life for the better.


Luke 3:7,8    Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

The change of mind and heart represented by "repentance" has to be reflected in a change in behavior.




  Mat 21:28-31    But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 


The Parable of the Two Sons drives home an important point. It's not what we say that reveals our basic attitude toward God. It's what we do.


   Who has the responsible for church discipline?    we all are responsible.


 In 1 Cor 5:1-13 the "you" in Paul's instruction is plural, it refers to the hole church, signifying that the members of the church, the body of Christ are responsible for the purity of the local body. We are to bear the responsibility of imposing discipline on sinning believers. What we see in this passage is a final step rather than the first step in seeking to restore a sinning brother, If the brother continues to sin, then the church is to "assemble in the name of our Lord Jesus" and is to expel the unrepeated brother.


There is a vast difference between the 'judging" involved in this exercise of church discipline and the judgmental attitude we see reflected in passages that warn against judging others. In the case of church discipline the Christian does not make an independent determination of right and wrong, but rather agrees with God in His judgment of a particular practice as sin.


This process isn't an easy one to follow; many would rather just look the other way. That is what happened her in Corinth and it is still happening today in many of our modern churches today also. The Lord tells us that, even though it hurts, church discipline must be enforced.

The church of Jesus Christ is, and must be, holy. There is no room in our fellowships for a lax attitude toward sin. To some extent, at least, the purity of the church is related to its power. We are unlikely to see true revival without also seeing a fresh, total commitment on the part of God's people to both personal and corporate holiness.

The Corinthians had followed Paul's instructions and put the sinner out of the fellowship.  Now in 2 Cor 2:2-11 Paul urges them to show compassion and welcome him back in fellowship for he had repented.

  6   Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.

    So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.


Discipline should be backed with forgiveness. Church discipline is appropriate when offense are involved, but Christians never are free to withhold forgiveness when a person shows evidences of repentance.


2 Cor 12:21- 13:2    And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.  This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.  I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare:





(2 Cor 13:10 NLT) . . . I am writing this to you before I come, hoping that I won't need to deal harshly with you when I do come. For I want to use the authority the Lord has given me to build you up, not to tear you down.


There is a critical difference between spiritual and worldly authority. Spiritual authority builds up others. We have become so used to worldly leadership that unless Christian leaders behave in the same way, we assume they are weak. We wrongly look at "strong leaders" like the world looks at them. Because It makes us feel good to be the followers of "great men" who exalt themselves. But mature believers today, know that spiritual authority is given leaders to build others up. The test of spiritual leaders is not how "weighty and forceful or how much charisma" they appear to have. But whether or not they have the character of Christ and are effective in helping others follow Jesus more closely, producing the character of Christ in them with good works. Don't be taken in by the world's fascination with "great men." Choose instead the "humble," unimpressive man or woman who sees authority as the privilege of building others up.

Rom 13:1-5, 9-10    Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.


 Rulers must bear the sword, the word; that is, they have the power to afflict Discipline. Rulers are a terror to bad people, not to good people; so people who live consistent holy lives need not fear.


1 Pet 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

  2 Cor 13:5   Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?




Mat 18:6-10    But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.  Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!  Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.  Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.


This is strong language, offenses must come; but being told before, that there will be seducers, tempters, and persecutors, exc. let us stand on our guard. For sin is so dangerous, because it leads to eternal condemnation "hell fire", that it would be better to lose hand or eye than to lose life eternally. Jesus came into the world to save souls, and he will punish those who hinder the progress of those little ones which believe in him.


Rom 12:4,5    For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.


1 Cor 12:14,15   For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?





 Rom 14:10 - 15:2     But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.   So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.  Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

We can see from this passage that we are not to judge some things.  



What is it that we are not to judge?


We can see that this passage is taking about meats and drinks. That is ordinances of the law and doctrines of men.  In Colossians 2:14 it says Jesus   “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us,” and warned us in verse 8,


(Col 2:8 KJV)  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.


And goes on to say in verse 16,


(Col 2:16 KJV)  Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:


So the things we don’t judge are carnal ordinances of the law and in 1 Cor 5:12 we are told we do not judge an outsider that is an unbeliever, verse 13 says it is God that judgeth them.


  (1 Cor 5:12 NLT)   It isn't my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your job to judge those inside the church who are sinning in these ways.

(1 Cor 5:13 KJV)  But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.


   What ways?

  1 Cor 5:11, 6:9-10 NLT

5:11   What I meant was that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a Christian yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Don't even eat with such people.

6:9 Don't you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals,

6:10   thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers--none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God.


  So we see from these verses that we are to judge some things that Believers are doing, We do not judge them that are out side the church, unbelievers. We have no basis for judging the convictions of others in the church, that is to say the convictions of ordinances. We are not to judge others for practices which are not specifically condemned in the Word. When doubt exists about whether or not a particular practice is appropriate for Christians, one must follow his own conscience. Don't deceive your own salves if it is in the Word but you just don't won’t to be obedient to it, for if that be the case you are being disobedient and are in danger of the wrath of God.


Col 3:6 . . . For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:


Col 3:1-10    If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.    Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:





John 5:30   I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.


John 7:24   Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.


John 8:15-18  Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.

  John 12:47-49    And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.


  Judge = to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially "fair and impartial"); by impl. to try "to test the effect or result of", condemn, punish

  Judgment = is a decision (for or against); by extens. a tribunal "a seat or bench upon which a judge or judges sit in a court"; by impl. justice (spec. divine law)

  Judgment = decision for or against is by divine law {the word of God}

  just or righteous = equitable "fair and impartial or reasonable; just and right" (in character or act); by impl. innocent, holy (absol. or rel.)

appearance = sight (the act), i.e. (by impl.) the visage "features, expression, countenance", an external show





  Mat 7:1-5 . . . Do not judge

  This does not mean that one is never, to judge another, for verse 5 indicates that when one's own life is pure he should take the speck out of the brother's eye. It does mean, however, that the Believer in Christ is to make a moral and spiritual judgment based on the word of God.

Mat 7:1 - 5   Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.   And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?    Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?    Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.


2 Cor 10:6   And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.


Gal 6:1    Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.


Those that are spiritual and their obedience is fulfilled they have submitted to Christ and forsaken sin in their lives reach out to lift up the fallen and restore them to fellowship. This love involves discipline, that is instruction  in righteousness, offered gently but firmly, exercising care not to fall into the same temptation them selves. 



  1 Tim 5:19-22    Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.


  rebuke = GR. to confute, admonish:

  confute = to prove (a person, statement,ect.) to be in error or false

  admonish = to caution against specific faults; warn

  rebuke = WB. to blame or scold in a sharp way; reprimand, "as a sharp reprimand"


  Deu 19:15    One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.


No one in the church is beyond accountability. The elders' public position makes them more vulnerable than others to hostility and false accusations. And if a false accusations was believed, it cued hinder their effectiveness in the work of the ministry; the perfecting of the saints and the edifying of the body of Christ throw the preaching of the word. If an elder does commit sin he is to be rebuked. If he is protected and not rebuked for his sinful actions, the church is then corrupted by the sin and disobedience, and others will not take warning and fear.



When Faith Doesn't Matter

  We put great emphasis on faith. So it's just next door to heresy to insist that in some things, faith doesn't matter. Still, that is what Jesus is saying here in Luke 17:1-10

    Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.  And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.  But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.


Jesus told His disciples to Take heed one to another. When one sinned, another is to rebuke him. Then if the sinning disciple repents, he is to be forgiven. It seems simple enough, but Jesus went on to make it even more difficult. He said if a brother sins against you he is to be forgiven. Even if he keeps on sinning against you, time and time again. At this point the dismayed disciples cried out, "Lord, increase our faith." Then Jesus used the illustration of a servant and a master. Saying would a servant be praised for doing whatever duty the master assigned? NO. He would only be doing what is expected of a servant.

  Why this story?

  Simply because responding to a command isn't a matter of faith. It's a matter of obedience. And so we have to examine our own lives carefully. How many times have we held back, wishing we had more faith so we could do something we knew God wanted us to do?   And how many times has the longing for more faith simply masked the fact that we have been unwilling to obey?