Babylonian exile of the ancient Israelites would be an important metaphor for Calvin to use in describing the Christian’s life on earth because Christians are held captive by sins thus getting punished. The Babylonian captivity is depicted as a punishment for idolatry as well as disobedience to God. The suffering of Jews in Babylonian exile is a clear indication that when Christians sin against God, they will be punished. It is God’s divine discipline that comes to bear on Christians if they continue to act in immoral ways and do not repent. His love and concern for His children would not be the same without it. Christians punish their own children for their good, and the heavenly Father corrects His children in the same way. God treats people as his own offspring in Hebrews 12:7-11. In the event that God does not punish someone as He does all of His children, it indicates that they are illegitimate and not truly His child after all. As earthly fathers chastised children, therefore Christians should willingly submit to the discipline of heavenly Father so that they might live forever. Because Christians shall share in God’s holiness, God’s discipline is always good for them. There is no discipline that is pleasurable while it is being performed. But those who are taught in this way will reap a peaceful harvest of good living in the end.
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As such, God uses discipline to move His children from rebelliousness to submission out of love. The eyes are awakened to God’s viewpoint on the life as a result of the discipline Christians practice. When people discipline themselves, they acknowledge and repent of sins they have not reckoned with yet, as King David said in Psalm 32. Discipline is purifying in this manner, then. And it is also a catalyst for development. In addition, the more people learn about God, the more they understand His plans for their life. There are many opportunities to learn and grow as a Christian via discipline (Romans 12:1-2). What a great thing to be disciplined! Christians should remember that sin is a constant presence in the life as long as they are alive (Romans 3:10, 23). Because of this, Christians must cope with God’s punishment for their disobedience, as well as the natural repercussions of sin. After repenting, God will forgive the sinner, restoring communion between Himself and the Christian who committed. Stealing, on the other hand, may have serious social implications, such as hefty fines or even prison time. As so, they must be endured. Nevertheless, God uses even the negative results to enhance faith and bring Him glory through increasing faith.
People must always keep in mind that God’s feelings toward them as Christians are kind. Despite the fact that God disapproves of their immoral behaviors, habits, and thoughts and punishes humanity, this is nevertheless a kind of his favor to Christians that they should cherish. Just what a good father would do. Israelites endured God’s punishment during Babylonian exile and Christians should also endure punishment from God to see His favor later on. Christian’s life on earth is full of temptation to sin. Once they found themselves in the sin and God punishes them, they need to take the punishment knowing the God is merciful and gracious. God punishes Christians to discipline and they can enjoy walking with Him and rejoicing in eternality the same way He punished Israelites and later blessed them.
Bible, King James. King James Bible. Proquest LLC, 1996.