Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Trinity's Healing in Discipline

I am doing some preparation for Sunday evening’s corporate meditation on 1 Corinthians 12:8-11.

“But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, but one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills” (1 Corinthians 12:7-9,11).

Notice that the Spirit gives “gifts” (plural) of healing. We usually consider the obvious healing from physical ailments, but the N.T. refers to a spiritual healing that comes from repentance and faith in the saving work of Jesus, Who heals us from sin (Matthew 13:15; John 12:40; Acts 28:27; 1 Peter 2:24).

Another type of healing comes from embracing the discipline of the Father in our lives (an expression of His love for His children) as He separates us from the remaining sinfulness in our lives and draws us closer to Himself (sanctification):
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him Who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, ‘MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES’ [a quote from Proverbs 3:11,12]. It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled...” (Hebrews 12:1-15).

This gift of healing discipline has its Source in the love of the Father, through the mediation of the Son, by the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the Church. I add "in the Church" to this Trinitarian summary of the healing in discipline because we don’t heal ourselves, and this gift is given for “the common good.” O beloved Church, may the Trinity use you to proclaim the Spirit's promise of healing through your sanctifying discipleship.

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