I recently saw a post on Facebook from one of my friends who is a teacher at a Bible College. He mentioned how in John 16:8 Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will reprove the world of sin. Since believers are not of this world (John 15:19) that verse is obviously talking about unbelievers. However, he also brought up how the same Greek word for reprove (Reprove = elegchō) is used several times when referring to believers. I Timothy 5:20, Titus 1:15, Titus 2:15, Revelation 3:19 to name a few he mentioned.
This post immediately caused many people to either agree, ask questions or disagree and argue his point that believers at times need to be corrected and God does just that out of love. His post and all the various argues and comments about it lead me to really think about it myself. I’ve always believed that just because we’re born again does not mean we’re incapable of sinning or erring. I’ve always believed God does correct us. He does not force us to do something or not to do something, but He corrects or guides us in the way we should.
God is not simply a Father, He is a GOOD Father. Part of being a good father is disciplining your children. The Bible even says he that spares the rod (does not correct/discipline) his son HATES him (Proverbs 13:24). Some translations even use the word correct instead of discipline. One man arguing about my friend’s point brought up how his daughters know he believes in reproof; meaning it as obviously he does because he corrects his children when needed. Well, if Doug, not being nearly as good as God, corrects his children out of love, why would God (whether it be through His Word, others or the Holy Spirit) NOT correct us as his beloved children? Are we saying that we are better than God? Matthew 7:11 says, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” God is the best father. We should be modeling our parenting skills after His. You cannot separate God and the Holy Spirit. That would be like trying to separate God and Jesus and Jesus Himself tells us that He and His Father are ONE. The Holy Spirit is God’s spirit (Joel 2:28/Acts 2:17). It is out of love that the Lord corrects/guides us. If your child is trying to stick a key in an electrical outlet you will correct them so they do not get hurt. We know that they could get seriously hurt or die if they did that, so we correct them. That’s how God is with His children, us as believers. If we are sinning (the key in an electrical outlet) He will correct us so we do not get hurt because He knows what sin does in our lives.