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by Wayne Blank
Today, "discipline," or disciplinary action," is very often defined as "an act of punishment," and as such it very often has a negative connotation. But originally "a discipline" meant a branch of knowledge, and from that, a system of conduct. Discipline meant both to know and to do e.g. if you are in the military, you know that discipline means to learn the rules, and then to obey them - it's only when someone fails to do both that the other definition of discipline, "an act of punishment," happens.
"And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after Me, cannot be My disciple"
Those who believed in Him were called disciples of Christ before the term Christian was accepted as a positive title (a surprising fact to many, see Christianos) i.e. "the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch" (Acts 11:26 KJV). No where in the Scriptures is it recorded that the Christ used the term "Christians" for His disciples.
Jesus Christ made plain that His disciples were and are expected to put obedience to Him first in their lives. The use of the English word "hate" in the Scriptures below has a different connotation than the original Greek word that Christ spoke which literally meant to love less i.e. Christ's disciples aren't to "hate" their parents (which would violate the Fifth Commandment) or children; they are to love Christ more than anyone or anything.
"If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple."
Fact Finder: What is actually meant by a Christian "carrying the cross"?