Continuing the book, Theological Fitness, we come to chapter seven named curiously "Theological Fitness Do "Yes," or Theological Fitness Do "No". Do yes or do no? Aimee's questions are in bold red and my answers are in black.
1. Why is divine discipline a necessary outworking of God's covenant faithfulness?
The LORD shows his love for us when He disciplines us.
How can this truth be a means of gospel encouragement to a believer experiencing a hard trial?
It proves that we are a child that He receives.
In hindsight, what times in your own life have you experienced God's loving discipline to preserve you on the path to righteousness?
Discouragement and seeking my own pleasures rather than depending on Him.
2. What fruits have your afflictions produced?
Patience and perseverance. Faith and hope seeing over the years how circumstances have worked out for the best in God's timing.
3. How do warnings serve as a form of conditioning in theological fitness?
We need them for our own growth.
Why don't you think it would be enough to just receive encouragement without the warnings?
We can be led astray if we just are encouraged as a humanist would encourage us. But disobedience can be either backsliding or out and out rejection of the faith
4. Read the very short epistle of Jude. It's interesting how Jude also encourages a fighting faith (v. 3) that emphasizes pastoral care for one another, just as in Hebrews 12:15-17.
Satan is like a roaring lion, looking for whom he might devour.
This brief letter also stresses the dangers of false teaching in the church and profaning the holy. Why do you think these are such important exhortations in preserving believers from apostasy?
Jude has some strong words, but there is much in contemporary Christianity that needs strong words: people not following the words of God once delivered to the saints.
5. What wisdom do you find in Jude 22-23 that helps us to "see to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God"?
We need to discern whom we should have compassion for and whom we should snatch out of the fire.
Do you take this responsibility seriously?
Not as seriously as I might, but as an older believer I do have a lot of background to share and need discernment in doing that. They may consider me judgmental.
Do you have the kind of relationships with fellow church members to notice if someone is falling into error and sin, or for them to see the same in you?
Recently someone messaged me about where I was going to church--concerned that I was not being fed after I moved here to Huntsville. I did contact them back about all the rich teaching and preaching I am getting here and that I listen to my Florida pastor's podcasts as well.
6. So, to preserve us in the great call to hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, we have some pretty strong warnings, divine discipline, and some specific guidelines. This calls for commitments at a serious level. Without wavering. Every day. Either you theological fitness do "yes,", or theological fitness do "no." How can we possibly walk in the middle of the road with these kinds of incitements?
There is no middle road.
Theological fitness is a way of life. Do you find this level of commitment to be too demanding?
Demanding yes, but I dare not say TOO demanding.
Do you think that you can preserve without constant conditioning in the Christian faith?
No, and the more I study, the more I appreciate this conditioning.
What happens when we waver?
Satan comes in to tempt us. We need the whole armor of God so we do not waver.