Disciplines of a Believer

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. (2 Timothy 2:3-4)

How grateful we should be that our whole faith rests upon grace. We are saved by grace, sanctified by grace, and will one day glorified by grace. But grace does not replace our best efforts. It fuels them. God grants us His grace that we may live lives that glorify Him. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

In this chapter we want to examine the disciplines needed to let our light shine so our good works produce in men a God-honoring amazement, that they see a difference in us. Discipline is a word often found in the Bible, but little noticed and appreciated. Perhaps the reason for this is because of the form the word takes. It usually appears in the Bible as the word disciple. The word discipline comes from the word disciple. To be a disciple or follower of Christ requires discipline or self-control in many areas of life.

Paul writing to his disciple Timothy says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). The New American Standard Bible translates the verse, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” The English Standard Version says, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self–control.”
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