31For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
If the believer does not take the responsibility to judge or confess his sin, then God will take up that responsibility. Judging self has to do with confessing specific sins (1 John 1:9). God removes all discipline from us when we confess our sins.
The word “if” means that it was contrary to the fact that they judged themselves (if, and it is not true). The sad part is that all these Corinthians had to do was acknowledge and confess their sin before the Lord, and God would deliver them from such things.
But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord,
Discipline comes from the Lord. The word “discipline” in Greek means child training, to bring up or rear a child. God cares for His children. We are children of God, so God will care for us even if that means exerting divine discipline. The idea is to correct or guide children in the right direction. This word occurs in the major passage on divine discipline:
that we may not be condemned with the world.
The word “condemned” is the word judged. This is not eternal condemnation but divine discipline in the form of sickness or premature death. Chastening is a hallmark of sonship. The believer will never stand at the Great White Throne of eternal condemnation.
Not all sickness and death is due to sin, but some are due to sin. If we are not in the pink of spiritual health, God allows us to deal with our sin before He introduces divine discipline in our lives.
The purpose of divine discipline is remedial, not punishment.
Divine discipline is a family matter. The reason parents discipline their children is to put them on the right track. It is an issue of training them for life. The reason God disciplines his children is for our “profit”—“but he for our profit that we might be partakers of his holiness” (He 12:10).
He 12:5-11, 5And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”
7If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.