It’s obvious that we all occasionally need correction. It’s usually unpleasant at the time, but we know that blessings radiate from it. In this episode, Robert outlines 6 blessings that come from being corrected.
SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.
ROBERT >> Our message today comes from Job 5:17. Listen to these words of Eliphaz to that man, Job. “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.”
Do you remember Job, that righteous man, a man whom God allowed Satan to tempt and to try?
Satan took everything away from Job, even caused great boils to come upon his body from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. And he was in great affliction, and these friends of his, like Eliphaz, gathered around him, but Eliphaz really misunderstood. Job was not afflicted because he was a sinner who had done something very bad; but because he was righteous God sent this temptation and trial to prove him, to teach him, to perfect him. And having passed that temptation, that great test, he was rewarded with even greater blessing.
Yes, there is blessing in correction. When the Bible says here, happy is the man, he means that he’s truly blessed, that he has great joy. It’s not a mere feeling of happiness as sometimes we talk about it, but true blessedness that comes from the Lord, from a right relationship with him, from fellowship with God. And of course we want everyone to know that blessing; but in order for us to enjoy that blessing and continue to grow in our fellowship with the Lord, we need the Lord’s correction. And isn’t it true that all of us need correction?
I don’t know about you, but I know there are times when I get off track, and I need the Lord to get me back where I need to be. Before coming to Christ, it’s clear that we’ve all sinned; but even now we fall “short of the glory of God,” like the Bible says in Romans 3:23.
In Romans 12:3, the apostle Paul warns us not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. Don’t think that you do not need God’s correction. I know we don’t like it, we don’t want it, but we all need it. And so we need to be careful that we don’t get puffed up in our pride spiritually. Those of us who are Christians may be tempted to think that we’ve already arrived, that we’ve already attained perfection. But it’s not going to happen in this flesh. It’s something we must continue to strive for.
Let’s read together Philippians 3:12-15, where the apostle Paul seems to have this same difficulty that many of us struggle with, the idea that we haven’t yet attained, that we’re not yet the perfect people that God wants us to be. Paul was certainly a great example for us all. He was a great Christian, a mature Christian; but he realized that even he had not yet attained to perfection.
Philippians 3:12, he says, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected, but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”
Jesus laid hold of old Saul of Tarsus and turned him into a preacher of the gospel. He laid hold on him to perfect him. Every day, the apostle Paul was to become more and more like Jesus Christ. And so it is with all of us upon whom Jesus has laid hold. But Paul realized he had not yet attained, but he was pressing on toward that goal.
Look what he says in verse 13. “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those
things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
You see, the prize of eternal life is for those who keep pressing on. Putting their sins behind them, and looking forward, stretching forward, striving to be more and more like Jesus, we press on toward that goal of perfection that we might receive that prize of eternal life.
The apostle Paul went on to say in verse 15, “Therefore let us as many as are mature have this mind, and if anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.”
You see, our mindset ought to be that, no, we have not yet attained, but we’re trying to be just like Jesus Christ in every way, recognizing we need his correction, we need his help as we continue to strive that way.
Look at this prayer from the Psalmist in Psalm 139:23-24. It’s a prayer that we all ought to learn and ought to use every day in our lives. It’s a prayer that recognizes our weaknesses and how much we need the help of the Lord to show us and to keep us in his way.
Psalm 139:23, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties, and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Yes, we all need correction, and we need to look to God for that correction. But how is it that God corrects his people?
How is it that God can keep us on his way, that wayof life?
Well, the correction of God comes in many differentways. It may be your parents that God is using to correct you who are younger. And even now that I’m older, I can always get some good advice and some good correction from my mom, who’s still with us. And you know, all of us, as we grow up recognize that our parents who really love us chasten us and discipline us because they want us to have a better life, they want to keep us where we need to be. In Ephesians 6:1-4, the apostle Paul addresses this very thing.
Let’s read it together. Ephesians chapter 6. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise, that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth. And you fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
Yes, you see, children, you need to listen to your parents. He tells us that if you’ll honor them, truly respect them as you should, that you’ll live a better and a longer life, because your parents can help you to avoid many of the pitfalls in life and may even keep you from death. Listening to your parents and receiving their instruction and their correction in your life will truly bless you.
You know, the Proverbs are full of great words of wisdom that have come by inspiration of God. And many of you know that it also speaks there of the rod of correction and how parents are not to spare the rod. So let’s remember that when we’re corrected by our parents, this very well may be God trying to keep us in his path and correcting our lives. But there are many other ways that God corrects us. He may use the government.
Look with me in Romans 13:1-7. And I want you to notice here what the Bible says about the governing authorities, those who are over us. “ Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. And therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for
he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on those who practice evil.”
And therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. What does he continue to say in those verses? That the government, the governing authorities serve God. And one way they serve God is to bring correction to our world and correction to those who are Christians. It is a restraint on society. It keeps evil in check. Maybe you’ve known of those who got some jailhouse religion. And often when people are corrected by the government, they turn their hearts to God. And so we all need to recognize the governing authorities as another way which God may want to bring correction into our life. But then there’s the church. There are many in the church, and God has given us the church to help us towards heaven, and we ought to be helping one another in every way that we can. A part of that is learning how to correct each other.
Look with me in Hebrews chapter 13, and notice verse 7 about those who are over us in the Lord, Hebrews 13:7. Here he says, Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Those who rule over us are our examples, and we need to follow them.
But he says in verse 17 “obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy, not with grief; for that would be unprofitable for you.”
Listening to those over us and following their lead and their example is another way of God correcting us.
2 Timothy 4:2 was written for preachers. “Preach the word. Be ready in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”
The preacher gets after the church. He wants to correct them, to help them. And this is another way that the Lord corrects us. 1 Corinthians chapter 5, we read about a man who had his father’s wife; and instead of correcting that man, the church was puffed up and boasting about how tolerant they were of his sin, when Paul said put the wicked man away from among yourselves. In Galatians 6:1 the Bible tells us how to help each other when we get caught up in sin. Let’s read that together.
Look at Galatians 6:1. Here we see that we need to be careful when we’re trying to help others out of sin and bring correction to their lives. “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted.”
This is for the spiritual, those who are truly mature and truly care about the souls of their brothers and sisters. He says we need to come to them with gentleness, with kindness, with patience, with forgiveness, with understanding, with grace. This is how we’re able to help one another, and so fulfill the law of Christ, as the Bible says in verse 2 of that chapter.
1 Thessalonians 5:14 also deals with the many relationships that we have in the church and how we ought to learn to deal with each other.
I want you to notice here in chapter 5 verse 14 where the Bible says, “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient withall.”
It’s true that God is going to use elders and preachers and other members of the church to correct us and help bring us back where we need to be with the Lord.And we need to thank those who correct us and not be angry with them. And of course the Bible is a
great means of God’s correction. In 1 Corinthians the 10th chapter we read about those who fell in the wilderness on their way to the promised land, and we’re reminded in that chapter in verse 6 and also in verse 11 how that they are examples and warnings to those of us who now live in this age of grace and salvation in Jesus Christ. And so we need to be warned from the Bible.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 reminds us that,” All scripture is inspired of God and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly furnished unto every good work.”
So we need of course to examine our lives in light of what God says in the Bible. The Bible will always give us the truth and keep us in the right path. But then perhaps you’ve not thought about it, but God also gave you a conscience. And that conscience according to Romans 2:15 is either accusing you or excusing you. Because you see, your conscience will make you feel bad if you do something that you believe is wrong or that you’re not doing what you know you should be doing. The conscience is there to help correct us. Once we have educated our conscience and learned God’s word, then the conscience will help us to stay where we need to be in that word.
What was it that God used to correct Job?
What was it that God used to help perfect him?
It was the trials of life, those difficulties, those tragedies, those sorrows and the miseries that sometimes we have to suffer in this life.
2 Corinthians 12:7, we read about how God gave the apostle Paul a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble, lest he would be boasting because of how he’d been blessed as an apostle.
I don’t know what kind of affliction it was, but it was some kind of trial that Paul had to endure. It was God’s correction.
In Hebrews 12:5 we learn that God disciplines or chastens those whom he loves. It’s all about God loving us enough to correct us to help us to stay on the path of righteousness. This is the way God corrected Job. And perhaps many of you are experiencing that kind of correction in your life today. But I don’t want to leave this lesson without us looking for the blessing in correction, reminding us that God is doing this because he loves us, he’s not against us, he wants to help us.
James 5:19-20 reminds usthat “it is this correction that keeps us from sin and that can save our souls.”
Look with me there at that passage, James chapter 5. This is the way he closes the book. It’s a great book about how God would have us to live our lives, very practical in its application. But he closes with these words: Brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. It’s for your salvation and my salvation that God would correct us. It also gives us understanding. Look at Proverbs 15:32. Proverbs 15:32, He who disdains instruction despises his own soul; but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding. It’s amazing to me how that a lot of times we don’t see our problems and where we’re going astray, but somebody can bring us back to reality. Correction truly does give us understanding. It also perfects us. James 1:2-4 is a passage that tells us to rejoice in our various trials. And you may be thinking, how is it that I can be happy and rejoice, be full of joy when all of these bad things are happening to me?
Look what James says. James 1:2, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience; but let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete,
You see, it’s in those trials that we know our faith is being tested. And we know that in that test our faith produces patience, that perseverance, that endurance, that steadfastness that keeps us going on. God doesn’t always take away our afflictions and our sufferings, but he gives us that patience, that perseverance as we trust him, as we go through those difficulties of life. We’re perfected, we’re strengthened, we’re made whole in the Lord. And you see that in many other passages. But I want you to notice that in these difficult times, this is when we really draw near to God, when we really come to trust him and experience his power more than ever before. Turn with me to 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, and let’s go back to that place where the apostle Paul was given that thorn in the flesh.
Here’s what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 12:7: “Lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing, I pleaded with the Lord three times that I might depart from it. And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you; for My strength is made perfect in weakness. And therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. And therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
You see, it’s in the midst of those trials, those difficulties in life, in the midst of God’s correction that we realize how weak and fragile we are and how dependent we are upon him. It’s in those times that we trust him and we come to experience the power of Christ. Jesus sympathizes with us. You see, Jesus Christ, he, himself was in the flesh. He came here to live a perfect life. A perfect life so he could offer it as a sacrifice for our sins. And Jesus Christ understands what it’s like to go through the difficulties of life, even the torturous death of the cross. But he also knows the power of the resurrection, and he wants to bring that to your life. He as our great high priest in heaven encourages us to come to him when we need his mercy and we need his grace. So I want to encourage you today before we leave this lesson to know that Jesus Christ is encouraging you and is there to help you.
I want to read to you from Hebrews 4:14-16. Hebrews chapter 4, beginning in verse 14. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession; for we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
God sees us in our sin, in our weakness, in our difficulty, in our trial, and he reaches out with his mercy and with his grace, and he tells us to come with great confidence, with boldness to him that we might find his help. Understand today that correction is never without purpose. No, it’s about God loving our soul and wanting to help us towards heaven.
We here at The Truth In Love, that’s what we want to do today, to help you towards heaven. So let us know if we can pray for you.
If you need to come in obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ, we want to help you with that.
If you need to be restored back to Christ and to his church, if we can help you in any way, we hope you’ll let us know today how we can help you towards heaven.
SINGING>> Great is thy faithfulness, oh God, my Father.
There is no shadow of turning with thee.
Thou changest not, thy compassions they fail not.
As thou hast been, thou forever wilt be.
Great is thy faithfulness,
great is thy faithfulness.
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.
Great is thy faithfulness,
great is thy faithfulness.
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.
ROBERT >> Thank you so much for watching our program today. We have but one goal, to help us all towards heaven.
This is the mission God has given us, to go and make disciples of Jesus Christ, baptizing and teaching them, Matthew 28:19.
We know that the gospel of Christ is God’s power unto salvation, Romans 1:16.
And Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by Me,”
John 14:6. Yes, “There’s no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved,” Acts 4:12.
And therefore, like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “We seek to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
Unlike so many other religious television programs, we’ll never ask you for any money. Everything is provided by churches of Christ and individual Christians who support us so that we can bring it to you absolutely free of charge.
So feel free to let us know if you have any questions, comments, or requests.
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, whatever you need, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.
You may e-mail us at email@example.com. Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.
And also, please visit our web siteat ttil.tv.
Again, remember that you’ll never have to pay for any of our materials and services. We want to thank the many churches of Christ who help support this program, and let me also encourage you to visit one of them in your area very soon.
Their names will be scrolled on the screen at the end of the program. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.
SINGING>> Unto the hills around do I lift up my longing eyes.
Oh,whence for me shall my salvation come, from whence arise?
From God the Lord doth come my certain aid,
from God the Lord whom heaven and earth hath made.
From every evil shall he keep thy soul, from every sin.
Jehovah shall preserve thy going out, thy coming in.
Above thee watching, he whom we adore shall keep thee henceforth,
yea for evermore.