Summary: God disciplines us well and for our growth -- how should we behave in these times?

“Enduring Divine Chastisement”

Text: Hebrews 12:5-11

© 2007, Sterling C. Franklin

Free for your use and encouragement

Context: In the prior passages in Hebrews 11 and 12:1-4 –

(1) Hebrews 11 gives us the ‘Hall of Faith’ – many faithful believers to whom we can look for inspiration. They have walked, so let us walk faithfully just as they have!

(2) Hebrews 12:1-4 is an encouragement to us to keep running the Christian race. It truly is a marathon! We have the ultimate example and inspiration in Jesus Christ, who even gave His life to do the Father’s Will. With His sacrifice, we have hope through belief in His name for Salvation!

(3) Picture in review:

[Picture Resource]

Enduring Divine Chastisement (Hebrews 12:5-11)

Text: Hebrews 12:5-11

12:5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.

12:6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."

12:7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

12:8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

12:9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?

12:10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

12:11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

A. Let us endure Divine chastisement since the Lord disciplines His children (5-8).

Transitional Note: The earlier section of Hebrews 12 (verses 1-4) deals heavily with athletic imagery. Now we reach a section in which the imagery is focused on parental discipline.

1. The Lord disciplines those whom He loves (5-6).

a. Quoted in 12:5-6 is Proverbs 3:11-12: wise words from Solomon.

b. Two exhortations: The author again urges us to do two things:

(1) Despise not when chastened

(2) Faint not when rebuked

c. Two truths: The author lets us know two functions:

(1) Chastisement  out of love

(2) Scourging  out of reception/acceptance: being received as sons

d. Application: Thus we are to keep a good and resolved attitude through the chastening of the Lord, and even through hard times, we are to strive on in the Christian marathon, not growing weary.

Illustration: Job: how did he respond to massive chastisement?

Job 5:17-18

17 Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.

18 For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal.

Consider how much Job lost: family, possessions, health – really everything except his life, and yet he states, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15a).

2. If we are disciplined, it is because He is treating us as sons [children] (7).

a. Discipline has a link to sonship, as is also evident from the quote in verse 6.

b. We have been given the right to become God’s children by God Himself:

John 1:12-13

12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

c. Challenge: Endure discipline. Result of sonship: To be brought before God! Strive in the Christian marathon to receive that acceptance. Press on in the faith!

3. If we are not disciplined, then we are not Sons (8).

a. Definition: Sons are given a relationship definition in verses 7 and 8 (where verse 8 is the converse of verse 7):

(1) A son is disciplined by his father – cared for.

(2) Those who are not disciplined – not cared for – not sons.

b. Illustration: When I was younger, I always thought, what if I put a book in my pants before my parents tried to spank me? Then I thought about how much more ticked off they would be if I did it! Parents discipline their children, and mine were no exception!

B. Let us endure Divine chastisement since the Father has a purpose in disciplining us (9-11).

[Picture Resource]

Illustration: See above slide/image regarding Discipline.

1. The discipline of earthly fathers (9-10):

Note: Discipline is present in this passage, not abuse. Note that proper discipline and chastisement is only a function of love. Anything else needs to be checked at the door.

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Lou Butterfield

commented on Jun 25, 2010

I am interested in practical ways in which God chastises someone today. For example, a non-believer engages in the drug culture and her baby is born deformed. At the same time, a believer, who is trying her best to serve God and has never engaged in the drug culture has a baby and her baby is born deformed too. How does one know what is chastisement by God, the work of Satan or just an outcome that is purely accidental?

Sterling Franklin

commented on Jul 20, 2010

Some situations are more clear-cut than others, most rely on discernment. Example - We know that God can bring illness or even death if we take the Lord''s Supper wrong (1 Cor. 11.30). God disciplines us as sons (Heb 12). This isn''t a blistering scourging, but it is chastisement. But we can also note that we''re under the curse. Much of what we go through is allowed by God by the agent of Satan. God doesn''t tempt us to evil (James 1.13) but we do go through horrible situations in life. So I can''t give any rule-of-thumb. Much is just going to be discernment-based. Perhaps in a season of unconfessed sin, people might note God taking things away or crushing idols that are taking His place. All these things are done so Christ will have the supremacy, but yeah, sometimes seemingly identical situations in life have different outcomes, but God is sovereign and knows what He''s doing. I know that probably doesn''t really tangibly help, so I apologize.

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