Saturday, January 30, 2010

Naturally Supernatural

To listen to audio click on the title above or subscribe to podcast on ITunes.

A clip from the program Sports Science is referenced in this talk. If you wish to see the clip in its entirety check it out here.

Life: Connected
Naturally Supernatural
Speaker – Crispin Schroeder

I. Intro – I Corinthians 9:24-27
II. 2 common misconceptions about spiritual discipline…
1. Discipline is the Christian life (John 5:39-40)
2. Discipline gets in the way of the Christian life
3. A third way – relational discipline
III. Renewing Your Mind – Romans 12:1-2
IV. Conclusion


  1. Response Part I.
    Since there is a 4096 word limit, I have to do this in two parts. Grab a cup of coffee. 8^)

    Nice running story, Bro. Maybe you should start with one mile, 2-3 times a week for a month. If you do that, you can gauge how you feel and go from there. 8^) My favorite statement from this sermon was that we should allow the supernatural to be our natural, that is, to have that constant awareness that in every moment of every day, God is there. And what would He have us think/say/do in those moments? That is analogous to the “pray incessantly” scripture in the sense that it is truly worship to ascribe every moment of every day to God while in the midst of attending to that which is circumstantially evident. Not just on Sunday mornings. Okay, now for the long part.
    I do want to comment if I may on the “discipline” discussion. Certainly I believe I understand where you are coming from. To most, and understandably, the word “discipline” has a negative connotation. It retains its “punitive” definition for most, and frankly, that goes against our rebellious nature. So when you couple punishment with a forced control you get, well, negative feelings. And certainly I could not agree more that if one is serving God from that mental or forced state, then not much is being accomplished. Probably nothing of eternal value so to speak.

    If you consider the fact that while discipline can and often does mean punishment, it also has a more positive connotation. In the New Testament (NIV), not including other forms of the word, “discipline” is found only five times: four in Hebrews and once in Revelation. The translation of that Greek, though I am certainly not a biblical scholar and only a student of the Word, has at its basis “… to instruct, train, or educate, as an on-going matter….” If the one instructing chooses the method of punishment as the means to the end, then that is the point of contention and that needs to be addressed apart from the positive aspects of discipline.

    From an educative perspective, one could say it’s the learning component, as in being “discipled.” And I feel that is significant. While I could easily go another 5000 words on that theme alone, may I suggest that that without self-discipline, one would not necessarily “love my neighbor as myself.” Do I always “feel” like loving others? Of course not. But I know that is what the “greatest commandment” of Christ was (is), so I (try) to do it anyway. (Or when a spouse or friend or child does something that hurts you, you certainly don’t “feel” like loving them, but you do so anyway.) Without self-discipline, we would not exhibit self-control in the countless volatile situations that we often encounter daily. Without self-discipline I (for example) would not study the Word, the sword of the armor of God that leads to understanding and equipping me to, thorough the power of the Holy Spirit, discern the lies of false teaching and the Accuser himself, not to mention allows the Holy Spirit to renew my mind with the Truth of God. But I do this NOT out of compulsion, fear, or from a misguided view or earning God’s favor. I do so rather as a sincere act of worship, and that is the key and is often the missing link for many. I don’t do it so I can beat someone over the head with it. I do so because I can’t wait to do so! It is one part of my worship for the God of the universe that is truly an act of thankfulness on my part. (More on that in my closing paragraph. And I will continue my thoughts in Part Two of my response which follows this one.)

  2. Response Part II.

    Let me an advocate of the fact that even if discipline, in the positive sense, is manifested as correction, that correction does not necessarily have to be punitive, but even if punitive, certainly not brutal. Between Hebrews and Revelation we know that “no discipline seems pleasant at the time,” and that “the Lord disciplines those He loves,” and from Proverbs that “ fools despise wisdom and discipline,” and on and on. We love our children, and so we correct them. Even if we punish them, we can do so lovingly and not brutally, and that is because we DO in fact love them, as our heavenly Father loves, guides, corrects, enlightens, and yes, dare I say, disciplines (in the positive sense) us.

    But before I lose my main theme here, and as I draw this to a close (though as I said it would me easy to continue on), let me be perfectly clear: the partial list of self-disciplines I have mentioned above are done so NOT so one can earn right-standing with God, as we clearly know that we are saved (and loved and forgiven) by the GIFT of faith (and mercy and grace) of God. They are just examples of things I love to do and do not normally loathe the thought of. (I mean that tongue in cheek, as I need a break from even things I love to do at times.) It doesn’t mean that those choices are universal to all Christ followers. Rather it is the ATTITUDE in which one CHOOSES to employ any appropriate self-discipline they feel they are being lead to do. And if the attitude is not empowered by the Holy Spirit, if it does not come from the heart, from a heart that is fully and daily surrendered to God out of thankfulness and love, then it means little and is only going to remain a negative to us, as you pointed out.

    I totally agree that that our Father does not want to “yoke us” or “burden us” with another form of Pharasitical requirements. Any form of worship, including discipline, has to come from the place of wanting to acknowledge God’s love, acknowledging that He wants the best for us, and that some of those disciplines (the ones He puts a desire for in our hearts) are easily distinguishable from the forced ones of which He does not claim authorship. Amen.

  3. Correction to the first sentence of Part Two. It should read "Let me *be* an advocate of the fact...." Thanks, Tim

  4. Thanks for the comments Tim. Good stuff.