discipline

Who are the Nicolaitans among us?

September 5, 2019 // 25 Comments

The Nicolaitans are the boogeymen of the Bible. Since the scriptures say almost nothing about them – except that they were false teachers whose deeds Jesus hated (see Rev. 2) – they are a blank sheet onto which we can write just about anything. If there is a group in the church that disagrees with the [...]

The Axe at the Root (Matthew 3:10)

December 9, 2015 // 47 Comments

A ravenous wolf, such as Jesus described in Matthew 7, is someone who uses threats to extort money or service from others. If you were such a person, God forbid, you might to use the following verse to threaten the saints: The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good [...]

Strike Her Children Dead (Revelation 2:23)

June 18, 2015 // 21 Comments

UPDATE: This is an old article. An updated and expanded commentary on this passage can be found in Paul’s book Letters from Jesus. Five years ago I began Escape to Reality by looking at Jesus’ words to the churches of Revelation. My question then was: How do we reconcile Jesus’ harsh words with his heart [...]

Does God Scourge Us? 7 Reasons to say “No!”

June 18, 2013 // 71 Comments

Much of what we believe about discipline in the church is informed by the old covenant. For instance, if you think God’s discipline entails punishment in any shape or form, you’re living in the past. You haven’t seen the cross (Is 53:5). Think about it. If the cross was the once and final solution for sin [...]

Hebrews 12:6 Does God Scourge His Kids?

June 11, 2013 // 128 Comments

Everyone has a mental picture of God. Perhaps you think he is distant, aloof, angry, even terrifying. Possibly you envision him holding a whip in his hands… For those whom the Lord loves he disciplines, and he scourges every son whom he receives. (Heb 12:6, NASB) Yet your heavenly Father is not like this. How [...]

How Does God Deal With Our Sin?

March 15, 2013 // 120 Comments

Lately I have spent more time thinking about my sin than I have in a long time. Don’t panic – I haven’t done anything stupid. It’s just that I rarely think about my sin as sin. Let me explain. I know I am far from perfect. I make mistakes. So let me call a spade a spade and admit that, occasionally, I [...]

Conviction vs Correction

February 28, 2013 // 76 Comments

What I say: “God never convicts us of our sins.” What they hear: “God is oblivious to our sins. He never corrects us nor rebukes us.” What they think: Hebrews 12 says otherwise so Paul is in error. This issue of conviction of sins is fast becoming an unnecessary shibboleth among Christians. Sincere [...]