Hebrews 12:7-8 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
How does a child learn to do what’s right? They learn through the example their parents give, yes, but they also learn through correction and discipline when they do the wrong things. By being taught what the rights things are and disciplined over the wrong things, a child can grow into maturity, knowing right from wrong.
How does a Christian learn what God wants? We have Jesus as our example and we have the commandments to guide us in what’s right. But when we stray from what God has taught us doesn’t He also correct us? Doesn’t He sometimes put us back on the right track because He loves us? There’s a big difference between punishment and discipline. Some have the view that God is up above watching for us to mess up so He can take His vengeance on us. That action out of anger would be punishment. But God doesn’t punish those He loves. He disciplines them.
The truth is, we may not always even know we’re being disciplined. The Father may remove something from us that isn’t good for us in a way that provides correction. We may not even have been aware of what happened. God may also put people in our lives at certain times that give some correction. Whatever the method, God disciplines because He loves. Any parent who provides no guidance and no boundaries to their children does not love them. If a child is allowed to destroy themselves, the parent has no love for them. But our Father does love us, and He loves us enough to make sure we’re everything we’re supposed to be.
Ephesians 1:5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
What’s the foremost priority on God’s agenda? Honestly, you and I will probably never know the answer to that question, but consider the fact that before He created anything and brought a single thing into being, He predestined us to be adopted into His family. That’s pretty big.
In fact, that’s unfathomable. The Creator took you and me into consideration and decided that He’d like to adopt us before He even made time. Does that seem a little bit amazing to you? Now, people focus on the whole argument surrounding predestination, but I think they’re missing the real point. God wanted you in His family. He wanted me. He created a rescue plan for us and sent His Rescuer to redeem us and ransom us from this lost world so that we might be part of His kingdom.
Somehow, your adoption into God’s family as His own fits into His grand plan. It says so right in this letter to the Ephesians that God inspired Paul to write. “According to the purpose of His will,” you have been grafted in as one of God’s people. How does that change the way you live your life?
Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
There are two types of people in this world. There are those who are led by the Holy Spirit and there are those who are lost. There are no other options. When left to our own wisdom to guide ourselves, we get nowhere. Only by the Holy Spirit can we talk in the way God has for us.
To some, this may seem a ridiculous notion, pointing to the achievements of secular mankind who has not consulted God or been Spirit-led in their discoveries throughout the ages. It is an interesting observation, however, those who think that mankind has the potential to know all there is to know, thus disproving the existence of God, are disregarding the fact that God created all there is to discover. The achievements of man are of no eternal consequence.
But those led by the Spirit are children of God, adopted into His family. We have been the recipients of the greatest gift of all time: God himself. There is nothing of greater eternal significance. It doesn’t matter what we accomplish in this temporary life in regards to greatness because true greatness is only found in one place. It is God’s to give.