Your Rod and Staff

By Scott Masson/ August 28, 2011

Series  Powerful Proverbs

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Theology

Scripture  Proverbs 12:1-2

Our church is called to a ministry of nurture, which includes church discipline. You can't sin and say it's no one else's business. We live in community. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. We grieve the Holy Spirit when we fail to discipline and be disciplined. Only biblical Christianity gives life meaning. It gives us social order; and it balances liberty and law.

Scripture: Proverbs 12:1-2; Jeremiah 7:1-28

Sermon Notes:

  1. The book of Proverbs, like all wisdom literature, presents its picture in black and white. There are only two ways to live: the way of the godly, and the way of the ungodly.
  2. The book of Proverbs connects wisdom particularly to the voice of a woman.
  3. In Proverbs chapters 1 – 9, Lady Wisdom is competing with Folly, portrayed as an adulterous woman.
  4. Wisdom is the practical working out in our daily lives of what it means to follow Christ.
  5. There is a necessity of bodily action and bodily obedience. Wisdom is not just abstract intellectualism or blessed thoughts.
  6. The book of Proverbs gives warnings against being idle, overeating, etc. in the form of short sayings or proverbs.
  7. In the final chapter of Proverbs, we see a woman who has learned the lesson of wisdom. It is a life of faithful obedience that blesses the woman and brings blessings upon those around her.
  8. In Psalm 23, David speaks of God's rod and staff as “comforting.”
  9. You cannot be a disciple and avoid discipline. God disciplines those whom He loves.
  10. Covenant obedience and the discipline of living out our faith is central to all Christian community.
  11. Prov. 12:1. If discipline is seen as useful, it is merely a means to an end. If it's not useful, we can dispense with it. This is a danger in our churches today. We think that we don't need church discipline.
  12. You have to love discipline if you are a Christian.
  13. As Christians, we live in community, in commitment to other people. They are there for our benefit, to correct us when we go astray. It is their responsibility and joy to be able to equip and comfort us through accountability and discipline.
  14. The emphasis of Proverbs 12:1 is our attitude toward discipline.
  15. Our contempt for discipline declares our stupidity.
  16. Prov. 5:23. The fool dies for lack of discipline (see also Prov. 6:23).
  17. In the context of Jeremiah 7, there are people who are worshiping God in word, but they are hypocrites.
  18. God is re-opening the door of mercy, but repentance is not optional
  19. The spiritual/moral condition of Canada today is similar to the condition of Israel in Jeremiah's day.
  20. The gods of our day are money, sex, and power.
  21. At present, all types of sexual activity are being called good: prostitution, homosexuality, polygamy, and even pedophilia.
  22. The people of Israel sacrificed their children to Molech. Today, children are sacrificed in abortion clinics, and the state pays for it.
  23. The spirit of our age is absolute freedom. Like the polytheism of Israel's day, it means sex without bounds, death and sacrifice, and no law.
  24. Only biblical Christianity gives life meaning. It gives us social order; and it balances liberty and law.
  25. The terrible consequence of avoiding all discipline is: “truth has perished” (Jer. 7:28).
  26. Our nation will go the way the church goes.
  27. Our church is called to a ministry of nurture, which includes church discipline.
  28. You can't sin and say it's no one else's business. We live in community. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
  29. We grieve the Holy Spirit when we fail to discipline and be disciplined.

Application Questions

  1. What is being emphasized in Proverbs 12:1?
  2. How does David speak of God's discipline in Psalm 23?
  3. What happens when a Christian avoids discipline? What happens when a church avoids discipline?
  4. What does Hebrews 12:5-10 say about discipline?
  5. Are you living a hypocritical life before your non-Christian friends and neighbours?

Sermon Notes