Discipline and the Modern Mind
A Sermon on Ephesians 6:1-4
Children and Parents
1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3so that it may turn out well for you, and that you may live long on the earth …
1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to …
Every new parent knows the stress of navigating advice on raising children. Christian parents especially understand the weight of this calling with the culture’s experts bombarding people with parenting philosophies. No issue is (and has been) more contentious than discipline. How are Christians to understand the modern resistance to discipline in many spheres of life, not just parenting, but civil authority and criminal reform as well? In this sermon on Ephesians 6:1–4 titled “Discipline and the Modern Mind,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows how the Bible presents a sophisticated picture on the topic of discipline and exposes the false idea that the human nature is essentially good. While also rejecting the traditional Victorian model of fatherhood and motherhood with its excessiveness and sometimes brutal treatment of children, the Bible does not deny the need for discipline, righteousness, justice, and punishment. Instead it calls Christians to consider right and true discipline. Christian parents must not misunderstand the themes of law and grace as they care for their children. Neither should they limit their understanding of how God has revealed Himself in Holy Scripture. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones presents how the Old Testament and New Testament provides a full picture for biblical parenting.
- There has been a complete revolution in attitudes towards discipline over the last century. The Victorian view was overly repressive and harsh. The modern view rejects discipline and punishment altogether in favor of encouraging self-expression.
- The opposite of wrong discipline is not no discipline, but right discipline. The Bible teaches both law and grace, not law only or grace only.
- The modern view misunderstands the biblical doctrine of God. God is holy, just, and righteous, not only loving. He punishes sin.
- The modern view fails to recognize the sinfulness of human nature. Man is not fundamentally good and only needs encouragement. Man is rebellious and sinful.
- The modern view misunderstands the atonement and regeneration. The atonement shows God's wrath against sin. Regeneration is needed because man is sinful.
- Until grace changes a person, law is needed to restrain sin. Law requires sanctions and punishment to be effective. Appeals alone do not work.
- The biblical view is that discipline and punishment are needed, but must be exercised rightly, not in a way that provokes to wrath.
The Book of Ephesians
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.