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You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.

Psalm 11:5


5 The LORD [Yahovah] trieth [bachan] the righteous: [tsaddiyq] but the wicked [rasha`] and him that loveth ['ahab] violence [chamac] his soul [nephesh] hateth. [sane'] KJV-Interlinear


5 The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates.  NASB


There are three categories of suffering.

First there is the suffering that is applied to unbelievers. It is a judgment against them for the purpose of bringing them to a decision for belief in Christ. Pressure is brought to bear in one form or another, to help unbelievers to see the error of their ways such that they will believe in Christ and therefore be saved.

Second there are two categories of suffering that may be brought against believers.

The first is discipline against believers who are consistently out of fellowship and/or otherwise disobedient toward the mandates expected of them in Christianity. Those who go their own way, those who define their own spirituality, or those who are simply indifferent, will face various forms of suffering (discipline) in order to gain their attention and bring them back to a functioning spiritual life. They must obviously repent (change their minds) and get back to a daily study.

Those who ignore the discipline warnings, will receive increased warnings and still more increased warnings, until they change back to doctrine or until they demonstrate sufficient stubbornness in remaining outside of Gods will. Then, if they remain stubborn, God may simply allow them to go their way until the end of their life. At which time they will learn too late, the huge mistake they had made during their life.

As the warnings increase, a negative person has ample time to change their mind, but at some point, that increased warning ends with death, and thus all opportunity for change ends as well.

The third category (the second applied to believers) is suffering for blessing. This is not a disciplinary suffering but a growth suffering helping the believer to keep their eyes on God, Christ, doctrine and their spiritual life, applying the knowledge learned in study, to the daily life.

This helps the believer to see in practice, the promises of God, and the realities of this world.

This suffering for blessing is intended to help accelerate the advancing believers growth to maturity.

Whether your suffering is for blessing or for discipline is easy to determine. You simply need to look at your compliance with Gods mandates, or lack of compliance.

In short, if you confess your sins regularly (daily, if not more often), if you study daily (that means daily, and not weekly or whenever you get around to it), if you ponder the things you learn and try understanding them, if you apply Gods principles to your daily life, if you support the teaching of the Word of God, if you practice a charitable, tolerant life, and so forth, then any suffering (any) is categorized as suffering for blessing.

If on the other hand, you do not confess your sins (live out of fellowship), don't study, or even do study but from an out of fellowship status, believe that you have your own version of spirituality, believe that sincerity is enough, try to sing or praise, or otherwise advance yourself through emotion, or simply do not care, or are greedy and refuse or have excuses as to why you are exempt from Christian support or other various principles, and so forth, then you are a good candidate for disciplinary action that is intended to break your arrogance and get you back to a legitimate study program and spiritual life.

No one can learn on their own. Everyone must be taught.

When you were an infant, you did not learn on your own, but you had parents or teachers or other people teaching you?

So it is with your spiritual life. You must be taught, and from their grow up, and from their advance to spiritual maturity.

No one can grow up apart from living in the proper environment. Fellowship is the proper spiritual environment.

No one can grow up by maintaining a compromised attitude or a pick and choose attitude toward doctrine.

A soldier on a live battle field must maintain a constant vigilance, lest he get killed or taken prisoner. Your spiritual life is a live battle field in the angelic conflict. You must maintain an alertness with respect to your spiritual status and function, lest you slip away in the fog of life and thus lose out, or require God to hammer you back to your senses.

Gods hate here is language of accommodation. God does not hate per se, but God does have a policy that is consistent with righteousness and truth and is applied to the pattern of life that you live.

God loves the obedient (truth in action) and God applies judgment or discipline against the disobedient (lies in action).

You clearly can choose which path you want to follow.

If you happen to have fallen off the path of the spiritual life, and happen to get caught up in some form of suffering, then when you repent, when you confess, when you resume or start a pattern of life that is correct, then that suffering immediately becomes a benefit to you in growth and not simply a correction crack across the knuckles.

And like the hurricane that is cruising up the Atlantic coast, often times you will have an opportunity to see trouble coming, and just as you can prepare for worldly trouble, so to, you can get your spiritual act together before trouble hits.

That does not mean that the trouble will miss you, but it does mean that you have an opportunity to place your earthly arrogance in check and realize that your life depends on God and doctrine, and not on luck or some earthly attribute.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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