Little did any of the disciples suspect that after they started off on their journey across the Sea of Galilee that Jesus would be conducting a class in the middle of the lake in the midst of very traumatic circumstances. I would like to dub this lesson ‘Rebuking 101’:
Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with His disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke Him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. (Matthew 8:23-26 NLT)
Matthew Henry has this to say about the above Scripture:
He rebuked the disciples (v.26); Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? He does not chide them for disturbing him with their prayers, but for disturbing themselves with their fears. Christ reproved them first, and then delivered them; this is his method, to prepare us for a mercy, and then to give it us. Observe, (1.) His dislike of their fears; “Why are ye fearful? Ye, my disciples? Let the sinners in Zion be afraid, let heathen mariners tremble in a storm, but you shall not be so. Enquire into the reasons of your fear, and weigh them.” (2.) His discovery of the cause and spring of their fears; O ye of little faith. Many that have true faith are weak in it, and it does but little.
Contrary to what the disciples expected, the very first thing Jesus did when he was awakened was to remain completely calm and address them on the spiritual level concerning their fears and weak faith, rather than excitedly jumping up and tackling the waves first. This was so against-the-grain, especially for the seasoned fishermen on board who knew full well about the dangers of turbulent seas. This set a precedent and took priority over everything else. I can guarantee that this was a life changing event for them. They were rebuked for their flaws in faith. But faith is only one part of our Christian walk where we may need to be rebuked. ‘Rebuking 101’ is only a beginning class for any Christian.
Humanly speaking, no one enjoys to be rebuked, corrected, judged, chastened, corrected, reproved, punished or disciplined for any reason. But we learn through God’s Word that it is necessary when it is done with a godly purpose in a godly manner and it will definitely change us if we allow it to:
For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. (1 Corinthians 11:30-32 NKJV)
And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as His children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when He corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.” (Hebrews 12:5-6 NLT)
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV)
Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20 NKJV)
In the Lord’s next class, ‘Rebuking 102’, He teaches us about holiness so we might share in His holiness. 2 Timothy 1:9 says, “For God saved us and called us to live a holy life.” According to the dictionary, to live a holy life is to have spiritually pure qualites which reflect outwardly in everything we do. The Lord not only calls us to this type of holiness, but He teaches us and instills within us the desire for this holiness. Then it is our job to execute the holiness in our lives. This includes what we say and don’t say and what we do and don’t do. When we don’t match up, He then intervenes:
And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as His children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when He corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as His own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as He does all of His children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really His children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in His holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. (Hebrews 12:5-11 NLT)
Holiness must be a way of life for a Christian because Hebrews 12:14 goes on to say, “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.” It must reflect in our speech, our actions, our way of life, what we impress upon others, and when it doesn’t, the Lord has many ways to get the message across to us which can even be through another Christian:
But when Peter came to Antioch, I (Paul) had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. (Galatians 2:11 NLT)
The majority of Christian churches in America have become extremely anemic. They do not prepare their people for the dire days ahead. One of the major ressons is that they do not instill holiness within the body of believers. Make no mistake, I am not talking about legalism or hardness, but HOLINESS. They preach over and over again about the love of God, but refrain from equally teaching that our Lord is just as much a consuming fire that demands holiness. All appears good in many churches that only preach love. But without a balance between love and holiness, love becomes perverted. That is why practicing homosexuals have crept in and taken positions within many churches. The following Scripture attests to the fact you need both equally, there must be a proper balance:
On some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. (Jude 1:22-23 NKJV)
Update 11/11/15- I make it a point on this website never to not post any teaching that is not prompted by the Holy Spirit and is 100 percent in-line with the Word of God. The Lord is good, because many times after I write and post something, there is something that arises and confirms what I have written. This time it was Gary Wilkerson in the latest World Challenge News Letter I just received in the mail. This is what he had to say:
“Until the past few years, separation (holiness) was a defining characteristic of Christ’s church. Being set apart was a clear command from God’s Word and a part of every Christian’s calling. But today there seems to be very little distinction between the church and the world. This is tragic, because God has set his people apart for his kingdom purposes, to be instruments of change—for the very aim of making a difference in the world.
Instead, a lot of churches today seek to appease the world. They compromise Christ’s gospel rather than stand on the gospel to impact the world. As a result, a lot of Christians have allowed themselves to conform to the world’s values and character rather than to Jesus’.
This can’t make God happy. When the lost souls of this world face serious life crises and are confused with no source of hope, Christ’s church is meant to embody the difference they’re looking for.
Why is there so little separation from the world by the church today? One reason is there’s very little call for separation. When a pastor preaches holiness, he’s seen as old school, negative, legalistic. But that shouldn’t matter. Anyone whose teaching doesn’t include the biblical concept of separation does his people a disservice because it falls short of Jesus’ words.”