Discipline Is Most Beautiful…


… when it is motivated for the purposes of growing in godliness, by the grace and enablement of God.

“The problem is that although basically your orientation is new, many of your day-by-day practices are not yet oriented toward godliness. The “old man” (old ways of living) is still your unwelcome companion. … “How can I discipline myself?” you ask insistently. It is time to begin to consider the answer to that question. First you must recognize that the very word discipline makes it clear that godliness cannot be zapped. It cannot be whipped up like instant pudding. Godliness doesn’t come that way. Discipline means work; it means sustained daily effort (5-6).

“In Luke 9:23, Jesus commands His disciples: “Take up your cross daily,” denying the self. He does not mean denying yourself something. There is no idea of doing penance in this. “For Lent I’ll stop chewing gum,” says the penitent. That is exactly not what is in view. Rather, Jesus insisted that Christians must deny the self within them. By the self, He meant the old desires, the old ways, the old practices, the old habit patterns that were acquired before conversion. They become so much a part of day-by-day practice that they became second nature. We were born sinners, but it took practice to develop our particular styles of sinning, the old life was disciplined toward ungodliness. That is why Paul says that the believer must daily deny (literally say “no” to) the self. Daily denial of the self indicates the presence of a day-by-day battle inside of the Christian.” (7)


“Taking up the cross doesn’t mean carrying some heavy burden. It is not enduring a trial (“I guess my cross is that I must live the rest of my life with my wife”). No, that isn’t what is in view at all. Taking up the cross means going to the place of death. It means putting to death the old life patterns of the old man.”

“…But that is not enough. Whenever God says “put off” He also says “put on.” On the positive side, each day one also must seek to “follow” Jesus Christ. That is what it means to discipline oneself for godliness. It means to continue to say “no” to self and to say “yes” to Christ every day until one by one all of the old habitual ways are replaced by new ones. It means that by daily endeavor to follow God’s Son, one finds at length that doing so is more “natural” than not doing so. The Holy Spirit thus enables a believer to put off the old man and put on the new man.” (8).


“God gave man a marvelous capacity that we call habit. Whenever we do something long enough it becomes a part of us.” (9)

“The practice of godliness leads to the life of godliness. It makes godliness “natural.”” (11)


“All of the stress that the Bible puts on human effort must not be misunderstood; we are talking about grace-motivated effort, not the work of the flesh.”

May all glory be to God!

And have a lovely day in the Lord 🙂

excerpts taken from “Godliness through discipline” by Jay E. Adams

photography by http://www.nathaliechengphotography.com/

This entry was published on February 23, 2015 at 8:22 am. It’s filed under Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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