Summary: Why does God disciplines?
Please open your Bibles to the Letter to the Hebrews Chapter 12……..
We have noted from Hebrews 12:1-4 that we need to fix our eyes on Jesus Christ as we run with perseverance the race marked out for us! In other words, each one of us are to live the specific life according to what God has given to us individually and consider Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior in everything!
We are also called to never give up, to persevere! God understands that we can be entangled in our sins and anything else which pulls us away from Jesus Christ. God tells us that when we stumble in our Christian life, consider Jesus Christ who did everything for us and pick ourselves up again in our Christian faith! God has given us cheerleaders in Hebrews 11 and in Hebrews 12, we have a Coach and example, Jesus Christ, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. God has done everything for our Christian faith; it is really just up to us to live it! God has given us everything we need to live the right way: we just need to yield to God.
But there are time when it can be difficult at times, right?; A Christian (maybe even us) may just say, “this Christian life is just too hard, I think I want to give up!” I believe God speaks to this in Hebrews 12:5-11……….. Read this passage along with me….
And so, there were Christians in that church 2000 years ago who were finding the Christian faith too hard and they were ready to call it quits! But we note in the very first part of v5….
v5a: God reminds Christians who are struggling how much God loves! God is saying “I want to encourage you that you are in God’s family!” But God is also saying “Understand the choice you make in life about God; make sure you know that you are in God’s family through Jesus Christ; if you’re not in God’s family, you are an enemy of God!
v5b-6: God loves and desires the best for His people, His family, and so He disciplines and rebukes!
v7: Christians are to endure hardships…. Because God the Father loves, Christians will have difficulties in life to direct them to be more like Christ! James 1:2-4 tells us the same thing….. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
And so in v8: We note, Believers of Christ would look for the discipline to be more Christlike. Non-Believers of Christ do not care about any discipline from God for they do not belong to God!
Discipline and rebuke which can be difficult must be understood as God’s love for the betterment of the Christian!
We accept and appreciate any discipline we receive/receive from our human parents who try/tried their best for us. And so, like accepting our Parent’s discipline….
v9-10: There is no reason not to accept God’s discipline to Christians when God is perfectly right and always knows the best!
v11: Discipline will happen and will be unpleasant and painful BUT will produce a harvest of righteousness and peace! Isn’t it nice when you can find the time and the place when and where you can find peace and you close your eyes and you sense God’s righteousness? Look for those times and places; enjoy them for in this world they don’t last long but God desires for us to experience them. Close your eyes for a moment and sense God’s peace and righteousness…..
While on earth, we can only get glimpses of peace and righteousness.
If you’re a Believer of Jesus Christ, you are destined for heaven where you will have peace and righteousness forever!
In the meantime, how do we apply our passage to our lives today in this world?
Remember this chart? show diagram….
1. Every person is a sinner and without Jesus Christ no one can be made holy for heaven!
The first question for us is “Have I accepted the truth that I sin against a Holy God who is my Creator and only my belief by faith in Jesus Christ can I be right with God?” When you make this decision, it is called, biblically, Salvation or Justification! Have you made this decision? When you look at our diagram, do you truly see yourself on the right side of the cross headed for heaven?
2. All Christians are destined to be holy and be with the Holy Creator in heaven forever!
When a Christian dies or be resurrected, they go straight to heaven; this is called Glorification!