Are You Educating A Fool Or Disciplining Wisdom?

Rick Thomas | 5/17/2018 | Daniel Berger II
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Unfortunately, discipline has come to mean “punishment” in most Christians’ and secularists’ understanding. You find seventy-percent of the usages in Scripture (musar, yasar, and paediea) in the book of Proverbs, so Proverbs provides one of the best understandings of the biblical concept.

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Regard - Metaphor - Proverbs - Path - Concept

In this regard, the dominant metaphor used in Proverbs is a path, and the foundational concept of biblical discipline is to take a child from point A to point B. This reality is also why we call learning “academic disciplines;” we are striving to bring students from point A to point B.

In Proverbs, the point A is natural foolishness, and point B is supernatural/divine wisdom. The Holy Spirit and grace, then, become the necessary enablers of children becoming wise, and true biblical discipline has as its core a purposeful direction toward Christ; it is Christo-centric.

Grace - New - Testament - Grace - God

Grace being central to discipline is why in the New Testament “the grace of God that brings salvation” is presented as “disciplining us to deny ungodliness and worldly lust” (Titus 2:11-12). In Hebrews 12:5-13, we see that God disciplines all of those whom he loves for holiness and bearing fruit.

Notice that these usages are not negative. In fact, discipline is only used of an intimate, caring father to a son/child relationship. God never disciplines his enemies, animals, or objects. God not only does not offer discipline to those outside his spiritual family, but he has also taken the punishment/condemnation upon himself for those who he is disciplining.

Words - God - Children - Discipline - Season

In other words, God does not punish His children; He disciplines us. The discipline is not pleasant for the season, but it does yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness (it arrives us at point B). In theological terms, we often refer to this process as sanctification, but the biblical term is discipline.

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