37, 38. How does such discipline go beyond just fathers and children?
37 Then, too, there is the discipline that must prevail with that larger, more comprehensive institution, the organization of Jehovah God, which is now represented on earth by the congregation of his Christian witnesses. This represents the house of the great heavenly Father, the “house of God.” Its rules, regulations and way of operation are righteous, and any member of the household who thinks and acts in harmony with them learns righteousness.
38 We must be given instruction as to how to conduct ourselves inside God’s organization, and this was why Paul gave instruction to Timothy, writing: “I am writing you these things, . . . that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in God’s household, which is the congregation of the living God, a pillar and support of the truth.” (1 Tim. 3:14, 15) Paul’s instructions to Timothy are now contained in inspired “holy writings,” and so “all Scripture” that God inspired is beneficial “for disciplining in righteousness.”
39. Again, with what motive is discipline to be given, and what does this mean to Christians?
39 The motive behind Christian discipline, whether in a God-fearing home or in a congregation of Jehovah’s witnesses, is love. It will therefore be established and carried out in a proper manner. How this education by deeds within theocratic laws and regulations is to be conducted the inspired “holy writings” plainly tell us. Because it is motivated by love and is meant to be educative, with our salvation in mind, it should be submitted to, although it does not permit us to speak, act and live in the loose way in which the world does, either inside the congregation or outside.
40. What obstacles may we have to face in this world, but what joy is had too?
40 Proceeding in this disciplined way may subject us to criticism, opposition and persecution from the world, but all this goes along now with our disciplining in this world. It may make our God-given work of preaching the “everlasting good news” a hard experience for us “publicly and from house to house,” but this is good discipline for us, with good results in view. “True,” says Hebrews 12:11: “no discipline seems for the present to be joyous, but grievous; yet afterward to those who have been trained by it it yields peaceable fruit, namely, righteousness.” So let us love God our heavenly Father for it.
41. If we pay attention to “all Scripture,” what will we become?
41 Today we must live our lives, we must unitedly carry on our worldwide work, as disciplined Christian witnesses of Jehovah. We must act and serve as men of God, his dedicated people. Our wisdom for eternal salvation lies in faithfully studying and using his Book of “everlasting good news.” It was lovingly given to us “that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.”—2 Tim. 3:17; Rev. 14:6.
◆ At Romans 16:23 the apostle Paul, writing from Corinth, sends greetings from some of his co-workers; for instance, “Erastus the city steward greets you.” Erastus apparently was in charge of the financial affairs of the city. During excavations in Corinth in 1929 Professor T. L. Shear discovered a pavement or paving block with this inscription: “ERASTVS PRO: AED: S: P: STRAVIT” (“Erastus, procurator and aedile, laid this pavement at his own expense”). Whether the Erastus mentioned in this inscription is the same one as Paul mentions is uncertain, but the pavement is believed to have existed in the first century A.D.—Biblical Archaeology, G. Ernest Wright, p. 262.