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Don’t confuse discipline and trials

Don't confuse trials with discipline

A woman wrote me about a miscarriage she experienced. She asked if she was being punished. It was heartbreaking. Miscarriages are painful enough without having to wonder if God is upset with you.

We experience trials because we live in a fallen world

Trials take place as long as we’re on this side of heaven, but they’re not our fault. Why does God allow them? He uses them to:

  • Mature us: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2–4; see also Romans 5:3–5).
  • Strengthen our faith: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6–7).

As I look back at trials I’ve experienced, they were painful, but I’m thankful for them. God used them for my benefit.

We experience discipline because we sinned

Hebrews 12:5­–6 records:

And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”

God punishes us when we sin. He wants to produce fruit and righteousness in our lives. While this doesn’t feel good, we should embrace the chastening, understanding God is doing something worthwhile. The author of Hebrews goes on to say in verses 11–13: Continue reading Don’t confuse discipline and trials

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Generational curses: are children punished for their parents’ sins?

Generational curses: are children punished for the sins of their parents?

If you’ve been in the church for any length of time, you’ve probably heard generational curses discussed. There are two conflicting opinions:

  • God punishes children for the sins of their parents.
  • God doesn’t punish children for the sins of their parents.

Why the confusion regarding generational curses?

Watch the short video of Katie and I discussing the answer and/or read the transcript below…

Verses seem to support and argue against generational curses…

Exodus 20:5, 34:7, Numbers 14:18, and Deuteronomy 5:9 indicate God punishes children for the sins of their parents:

You shall not bow down to [idols] nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.

Other such as Deuteronomy 24:16 and Ezekiel 18:2-4, 20 indicate God doesn’t punish children for the sins of their parents:

Ezekiel 18:2-4, 20 The LORD says, “What do you mean by this proverb, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? This proverb shall no more be used. Behold, the soul who sins shall die…The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father…the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

The people said they were punished (their teeth were bad: “set on edge”), because of their parents’ sins (the “sour grapes” they ate). God said, “Don’t say this anymore. You’ll be punished for your own sins!”

So which is it? Continue reading Generational curses: are children punished for their parents’ sins?

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Are all sins the same?

You’ve probably heard, “All sins are the same!”

While people might mean well when they make this statement, the problem is it’s not true. While sins are the same in some ways, they’re radically different in other ways. This means…they aren’t the same!

How are sins different?

First, there are three different kinds of sin:

  1. We received a passed-on depravity from Adam, which we commonly call our “sin nature.” This is an inherited sin.Are all sins the same?
  2. There’s also “imputed sin.” Even though men were sinners because of their sin natures, before the Mosaic Law was given, sin wasn’t imputed: Romans 5:13 For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. After the Law was given, sins committed in violation of the Law are accounted.
  3. The most common type of sin is personal sin. This is the sin committed every day by every human being as a result of our sin natures.

Second, there are differences between the various sins committed:

Continue reading Are all sins the same?