“Of course we have our spiritual liberties. But when we find ourselves unable to enjoy the Christian life without our liberties, then we have become enslaved to them. There is, for example, presumably no built-in evil about owning a new car, or living in pleasant house, or enjoying various foods, spending time in various pursuits, or with certain kinds of people. But when we cannot be content without them; when we simply must have them—they are no longer our liberties, but our chains. The Christian should develop in Christ a sensitivity to those things to which he will most readily allow himself to be brought into bondage. ‘Will this enslave me?’ will be a question never far from his thinking. ‘I will not be mastered by anything’ (2 Tim. 1:7) is a good motto text for the man who has received a spirit of self-discipline.” (Sinclair Ferguson)
“‘Train up a child in the way he should go’ is the injunction God lays on us. But it is, moreover, the principle on which He Himself is acting with His Church. He is training up His children here. This is the true character of His dealings with them. The education of His saints is the object He has in view. It is training for the kingdom; it is education for eternity.
How momentous, then, is the training! It is God who is carrying it on by the Holy Spirit. It is the Church, which is the Body of Christ, that is the subject of it. And it is to prepare her for an everlasting kingdom! In bringing many sons unto glory, it was needful that even the Captain of their through suffering. Surely, then, God lays vast stress upon this discipline. In His estimation it is no unimportant nor unmeaning exercise. Knowing this, the apostle exhorts us on this very point, ‘My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord.’ It is too solemn to be despised, too education of God’s family is concerned with it. The preparation of an heir of glory depends on it.” (Horatius Bonar)