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The Christian Home, Lecture 19: Discipline of the Heart

The Christian Home, Lecture 19: Discipline of the Heart

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By: Pastor R. W. Glenn
December 05, 2004

More messages in this series:
By: Pastor R. W. Glenn
December 05, 2004

More messages in this series:

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Published by: Redeemer Bible Church/Solid Food Media on Jan 24, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Christian Home, Lecture 19: Discipline of the Heart © 2004 by R W Glenn1
Redeemer Bible Church
Unreserved Accountability to Christ.
Undeserved Acceptance from Christ 
The Christian Home, Lecture Nineteen:Discipline of the Heart
Selected Scriptures
Last time we were together we summarized the task of parenting as leading oursinful children into the worship of the true and living God. And since we learned that sin isheart-driven, idol-producing rebellion against God, we were able to discern a particularmethodology for bringing our kids to their knees in worship.The first component of a biblical methodology is that we must be active in showingour kids Jesus; for when they see him as he really is, they will not be able to resist offeringhim worship (review Lectures 16 & 17).This morning we will venture into a discussion of the second component of a biblicalmethodology for eliciting worship from our kids; namely, the practice of discipline. Today’slecture in a very real sense is a continuation of our last lesson in that we previouslyaddressed our authority as parents and the corresponding obedience that is required fromour children. God’s demand for children is clearly set forth in
Eph 6:1-3
: “Children, obeyyour parents in the Lord, for this is right.
HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER(which is the first commandment with a promise),
SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITHYOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.”Children are to obey their parents in the Lord, for it is right. Or as the Apostle Paulsays in Col 3:20, “Children obey you parents in all things for this is well-pleasing to theLord.” Kids must submit to their parents’ just authority, yielding themselves to their willand offering their obedience to their commands. This they do as unto the Lord; that is, theyobey their parents out of obedience to God. In this way, their obedience to us is notultimately directed at us, but at God. Their obedience to our commands, their submissionto our authority becomes a concrete form of worship.It is also important to remember the true nature of obedience. Christian obedience isnot simply compliance with an external standard. It is perfect, heart-felt compliance to thedivine standard. Obedience to be true obedience must be immediate, full, and joyouscompliance with our demands. Anything less lowers the standard and places our childrenoutside the orb of God’s pleasure and God’s blessing.The reason I say that today’s lecture is a continuation of last week’s should now befairly clear. Our children are required to obey us, but since they are sinners—heart-driven,idol-producing rebels against God’s authority—they will be irresistibly inclined to buck
The Christian Home, Lecture 19: Discipline of the Heart © 2004 by R W Glenn2
rather than to bend to our exercise of authority. Today’s lecture gets at the method forleading our children into heart-felt compliance to the divine standard.How, then, do we bring our children to the place where they genuinely obey us?How can we get them to comply? Well, I need to say at the outset that our kids arenaturally unable to comply with God’s demand to obey their parents. They are naturallydisinclined from obeying us. I do not say this to discourage you; I say this for two reasons.First, you must realize something we’ve been saying all along; namely, that the taskof parenting is only possible in the Lord. So I want you to remember that without God’sintervention both with and without means your battle for the hearts of your children is alosing one. In fact, without the Lord, the battle for their hearts is
lost. Can theEthiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots?(Jer 13:23). If our kids are naturallyGod’s enemies, if they naturally resist his authority as mediated through their parents, if thisis who they are as children of the fall, then their only hope is the Lord. Only he can changeour children. So I remind you of our children’s sinful condition in order to drive you toyour knees.Second, I remind you that our kids are naturally unable to comply with God’sdemand to obey their parents in order to drive you to God’s means and methods for leadingthem into submission to God’s authority. Since the Lord is our only hope for our parenting,it follows that not only attention to prayer, but attention to his word is absolutely essentialfor achieving parenting success.I should pause at this point to say that success in parenting is not guaranteed, evenwith the best and most diligent of parents. Our kids are sinners. Only God in his sovereigngrace can change the leopard’s spots. But what I am mean by saying that attention to God’sword is absolutely essential for achieving parenting success is this: we will
beunsuccessful if we willfully neglect the means he has placed at our disposal for the carryingout of the parenting task.We need the Lord’s power and the Lord’s wisdom if we are going to lead ourchildren from death into life, from worshipping idols to worshipping God, from rebellionagainst God to heart-felt submission to God. We need the Lord!Now then, even though our children are unable naturally to comply with God’sdemand to obey us, there is another sense in which children
able to comply with God’sdemand to obey us. In other words, as Ive been suggesting, God has provided us with themeans for bringing about our children’s obedience. There are biblical methods at ourdisposal for moving our children from rebellion to submission. We can sum them up in twowords: the rod and reproof.
The Rod of Correction
Let’s begin with the rod of correction. Turn with me in your Bibles to the book ofProverbs.
The Christian Home, Lecture 19: Discipline of the Heart © 2004 by R W Glenn3
Now before I ask you to turn to specific text, allow me to make two remarksregarding my appeal to Proverbs. First of all, the mandate for children obeying their parentshas not at all been altered by the inauguration of the new covenant. The Apostle Paulquotes the fifth commandment verbatim as the final (new covenant) word on Christianparenting. Therefore appeals to the book of Proverbs are more than justifiable.Second, you ought to remember that the book of Proverbs is called the book of
, not the book of
. Let me explain what I mean with an example from P
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Or you will also be like him.”Answer a fool as his folly deserves, That he not be wise in his own eyes.”
Clearly, we do not have absolutes here. Instead, the wisdom writer suggestscomplementary approaches to fools. Some we ought
to answer according to their follyand others we
to answer according to their folly. The exercise of wisdom is just that, theexercise of wisdom. And it is often very difficult to know which course to take in a givensituation. All this is to say that proverbs by their very nature are not promises, “If you do X,then Y will certainly take place.” Proverbs are always offered with a kind of caveat: “Allthings being equal…Put differently, “If you do X, then the general rule is that Y will takeplace.”Let’s take the often misunderstood
Prov 22:6
. Turn there with me: “Train up a childin the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”Now then, read like a promise, this verse is saying that if you rear a child accordingto his way; that is, toward his God-given bent and away from his sinful inclinations, thenwhen he is old he will never depart from it.If you do X, then Y will certainly take place.”This, I’m afraid, could work to present parents with unbiblical expectations for the outcomeof their childrearing. The necessary conclusion for a parent who has watched his or heradult child
from the way he or she should go is that the parent must not have trained upthat child according to his way. If this verse is a promise, then anything less than successmakes the parent an abject failure.No, the book of Proverbs does not function to relay promises. Rather, we shouldread Prov 22:6 like this, “The general principle is that children persist in life in the way inwhich they have been brought up.” All things being equal, if you train up your child in theway he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Put negatively, “If youdo not actively train up your child in the way he should go, the likely outcome will be thathe or she will drift from their way.”What I want you to see is that understanding proverbs as
does not makemore of them than they are. At the same time, the nature of proverbs should not result intaking them less seriously. For here we have an astoundingly wise man, most often andmost likely Solomon, reflecting on the Law of God and providing the next generation with

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