“Let’s take our Bibles this morning and let’s turn to Hebrews. Hebrews chapter 12, I’m looking at the second part of a message on the Father’s love. It really has to do with discipline.
In fact, the Lord is saying to us here in this section of scripture, “trust me to discipline you.” Don’t misunderstand my discipline in your daily life. Instead, gain the correct information in the Word of God that speaks to you about My doings and My will for My beloved children and that includes discipline.
In doing that don’t let anything induce yo to abandon faith in Christ. Worldliness will try to lure you into loving things rather than loving God. Materialism, also, will tempt you to ultimately forget God and to trust wealth and yourself. Then to thinking of yourself as dependent. Of God not needing Him at all. Don’t let family, friends, peers or social pressure. These may be factors to shaky questionable faith. Cynical voice is always casting doubt over the things of God and what God has said and the things that God deems the most important. Don’t let suffering or persecution or discipline.
These things may tempt you to grumble, to complain and even to despise God. For some to abandon the faith all together showing to whom they really belong. Don’t let the unpredictable events of life shake your faith.
These may work out in a way that will test your faith. Don’t be surprised by these things there. They are tests given by God. They are trials for our faith because our faith must be tested to its genuineness, its strength and its endurance.
I was reading the short story about a father, who of course was a grandfather too at the end of his life.
He’s in a bed in the hospital dying. Family standing around him. They ask him a question. “Are you afraid to die?” He lived his life by faith. He loved the Lord. You know where he was going and he simply said this to his family, “My father owns everything on both sides of the river.”
Thats faith. That’s where we want to be, but it’s not going to be without discipline. We have already learned in chapter 10 of Hebrews that believers gained endurance through this particular thing. Hebrews 10:32 says,
But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings
Sufferings being plural. This ill treatment came upon these believers as a direct consequence of their having embraced the christian faith. They have become open followers of Jesus Christ. In turn all believers must learn that through trials your spirit will become stronger and your faith will become more firm. See we need endurance. Verse 36 of Hebrews chapter 10.
I’ve been saying that the proof of faith lies in perseverance. It lies in endurance. After that professional of faith the rest of your christian life you’re running a race. You’re enduring in that race. You’re enduring to finish the race, to pass the goal line.
That’s what God has called us to and it says verse 36,
you have need of endurance.
That’s what we all need. Presently, while we’re alive we have a great and essential need. All of us need to continue to endure and remember endurance means to persevere absolutely and emphatically under misfortunes, under trials, under pressure, under the difficulties of life without holding and letting go Christ but holding fast to our faith in Christ. Never giving that up because that becomes the most precious thing in our life. That becomes the focal points. Christ becomes the focus of our life. Christ becomes the goal of our life.
Everything is about Jesus Christ, not just the cross because the cross has far-reaching eternal implications for us every single day. Why are we to do that? Because trials force us to depend on God.
Trials mature us spiritually and develop in us a proven character. Trials purify causing us to lay aside the weights that hold us back from running the race and lay aside the entangling sins in our life. The things that so easily tempt us to get out of the race. Lay them aside. Put them to death. You’re able to do that now because you’re in Christ and trials cause us to long for heaven. Long for God’s presence. All these things are preparing us to run the christian race.
To reach the goal and to finish to receive the reward. That’s what it’s all doing. It all has an eternal purpose for us. In this second part preaching on the Father’s Love, let us look up verse 2 to 3 of chapter 12 because that’s what I kind of left off last time. I mentioned some things about it, but I’m going to begin there. Hebrews 12:3 says,
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
He is giving somewhat of a solution not to quit because Jesus is the goal of our race.
He is also the companion in our race. He already has reached glory because He has already made the journey. Endure to the end and reached the goal. We therefore are to rely on Him for support and help.
We know from the Word of God He is the perfecter of our faith. That right now Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father on high. Having endured the cross and the shame for us, now He is for us. It tells us in verse 3,
to consider Him. W
e are commanded to consider Him in what way? Consider the perserverence of suffering that Jesus underwent. Consider also the opposition that He encountered from sinners against Him.
who has endorsed such hostility by sinners against Himself. T
hat the Lord Himself did this. No one helped Him to do it. He did it for Himself for our benefit.
It really means to carefully estimate one object with regard to another. Compared His unparalleled sufferings with the little that you and I have to pass through.
We’ll never be able and we’ll never go through what Christ went through. Why? Because we don’t have to. He went through it for us, but it doesn’t mean that we’re going to be exempt from suffering and from trouble.
Those are many things ordained by God for us. In the scripture saying listen think about Christ when He suffered for your sake. The little we go through can’t be compared.
It says in Hebrews 12:4,
You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;
In His endurance of hostility from sinners Jesus suffered death. Violence and death represent the supreme degree of opposition in a struggle against sin. We never had to do that. While those who have received this letter had previously endured severe persecution, including back in chapter 10, reproaches, afflictions, imprisonment and dispositions of their goods and property. They had not yet sealed their testimony with their blood. Some of the patriarchs that went on before them did.
Today there’s a special group of martyrs that God’s called to be martyrs in this world and all through the different generations, but that’s a special group. Not everybody is going to be in that group.
Most of us are in the group where we suffer the daily routine of life. The daily routine of living for our faith amongst family, friends and coworkers. Here’s the purpose for considering Jesus in verse number 3 and 4.
that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
By considering Jesus it will prevent us from growing weary and fatigued in our race. Jesus will enable you to remain under and hold out under the most severe strain.
Why? because He said He would do that. That’s what He said and God keeps His promises. Jesus had remained faithful in spite of great suffering. That’s the point He’s making here.
He was faithful in spite of great suffering. Now some people say, “well, He was Jesus. I’m not Jesus.” But He was a man and that’s the point of Hebrews 2, He was a man who took the full brunt of what evil can give Him as a man.
He did not give out. He didn’t call on heaven for it. He did it and suffered great suffering for our benefit. Here’s the question that remains in this text.
Can we remain faithful in the race in lesser suffering? We can and we will, only if we avoid the dangers of misunderstanding the necessity and how necessary discipline is that comes from our heavenly Father. Hence this morning let’s consider three scriptural directives that will help us gain clarity and understanding. I believe that’s what He is doing here.
He is clearing up for His audience, for His readers what God actually does in discipline and what’s the whole purpose of it. This is applied to all suffering, all discipline, and all trouble that comes our way because of you’re God’s kids and you’re in God’s family.
Remember God knows everything that’s going on in your life. Every detail that’s going on in your life. There is nothing that He does not notice or does not know about. Here’s the first directive. It is simply this, remember the encouragement in divine discipline.
Remember the encouragement. What’s the encouragement? Look at Hebrews 12:5. It says,
and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My Son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him
The word exhortation is also translated to encouragement. He’s saying here, you have forgotten something. What did you forget? You forgot the exhortation which is address to you as sons. What’s the address? It says right there in Hebrews 12:5-6,
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.”
I covered that last week so I’m not covering that this week. That’s a quote directly from Proverbs 3 in the wisdom literature about a young son growing up to be wise and listening to the voice of his father and his mother and then taking that information and applying it in a very specific way to everyday life. Part of that was the discipline that came to the young man because of the rod of the parents on their backside to drive away rebellion, unbelief and disobedience. Then also the reproves that came from the voice of the parents saying, “Don’t walk this way, don’t go there.”
This is the difference between righteousness and unrighteousness. This is the difference between good and evil, this is God’s way. This is every other way and the young man begins to log that in and then begins to apply it to his life. The affliction that comes through discipline is necessary for that growing young person as they grow up.
Why? Because the only thing that’s going to drive away rebellion, unbelief, and disobedience is the rod on the chunky side of their body.
That’s the only thing. That’s God’s wisdom. Jesus would have disciplined His son like that. in a matter of fact He disciplines us like that. The children of God learn and respond to His discipline. What do they do? Number one. They don’t forget but they remember this is how my heavenly Father’s does things because it’s right in His word.
Next thing is that they don’t despise it. I carry this from last week, but they accept it. They receive it. They receive it with gladness. They receive it in this sentence.
I need this now. I don’t understand why I need this now, in all its implications, but I need this now. The third thing is that they don’t faint and quit because their parents discipline them.
They perseveringly endure. That’s what they do and why is that? Hebrews 12:7 says,
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
There’s the question. It is assuming the father is taking responsibility to do that job. Of course, it’s the wise father and mother training up a young man from being foolish and naive.
It’s possibly a scoffer to that of being a wise person. Knowing how to veer down the narrow path and not go down all the broad paths that are introduced to him.
Here’s the most plain and convincing evidence that you truly belong to the family of God. The Heavenly Father who is deeply concerned for His children chastises them. It is for discipline.
It is for chastisement that you endure. Why ?because You are my children. Now however, painful it may be at the time. Painful discipline is necessary. In order to rid us of unnecessary weights, entangling sins and things we’re not going to take care of by ourselves.
Then what it produces in us is maturity that bares the characteristics of Christ Himself. The chastisement, I love that old english word. Discipline, it means you are going out to exercise. Chastisement, it’s like a boot coming down.
This is a woodshed experience. This is what you need at this time. Chastisement is applied to all God’s children not to kill us but to correct us.
To show that we truly belong to the family of God as legitimate sons and daughters and special objects of God’s care and love. What was the encouragement in all of that? Here’s the first thing.
If you have discipline from the Lord you’re in. Get that. If you have discipline from the Lord you’re in. That’s the encouragement. God is not trying to do me in.
He’s not trying to do any of those things to harm me at all whatsoever. You are one of God’s kids, that is the encouragement. That’s the exhortation. This is what you ought to go away believing very firmly in your heart because if you’re going to grow in faith, you grow in the character and knowledge of God.
When you grow in the character and knowledge of God, then this is what’s going to happen. You are going to realize and it should be ringing in your ears with assurance.
When God disciplines me, however that may come, it’s because I’m in His family. I have entered into that family through the suffering and death of Jesus Christ, which I don’t have to go through because He was my substitute in my place, dying for my sin, and making it available to me by faith to be right with the father who is in heaven. Now I am in God’s family and now I have a Heavenly Father. Even if I didn’t have an earthly father. I have a Heavenly Father now and the Heavenly Father is going to correct in my mind what a real father is and what a real father does.
There’s at least two things that we should never forget when it comes to God disciplining us. Here’s the first thing. You should never forget that God is constantly at hand and His gracious help is ever available to us.
That’s what you should never forget. Why shouldn’t you forget that? Because it’s been said all over Hebrews. Hebrews 2:18 says,
For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
The Lord’s able to come to our aid for those who are tempted. Why? He was tempted to the fullest extent of temptation.
We are not. We give in way too soon. He went the full distance and therefore He knows exactly what we’re going through. He knows the power of temptation and He knows how to help you in it and aid you in it so you don’t get pulled down and completely destroyed.
Hebrews 4:15-16 says,
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
When you’re in God’s family, even though He comes in and He disciplines you and it made me through a great trial of suffering and maybe a small trial of suffering. Nonetheless, I should always consider that God knows about this. He’s ordained this for me and I want to respond in the right way. I should, number one, remember that God’s for me and His help is available to me.
That means in discipline, part of it could be get to prayer and talk with God about what’s going on in your life. Stop trying to handle it yourself in the flesh, by the world.
By means that do not help. They just drag you deeper into depression and discouragement. It says here to be encouraged. God has help right there available to you. Do you believe that. It has to take faith. If I believe it I will pray and ask God for help.
What do you know about what’s going on in my life right now, and give Him the details. Give Him the pain that’s in your heart. Give Him the thoughts that are going through your mind. Give Him all of it. Why? He is wanting you and maybe using the discipline to bring you to depend on Him.
So you pray. Because this is where Satan wins the most. Keep God’s people away from prayer. Keep God’s people away from praying together. Give him a lot of good stuff to do fill their schedule so that never happens.
We never feel the guilt of it because it’s really not sin, I had to do this. Something was required of me and it goes on and on and on. You don’t think satan wants to keep you there.
He does. That is how skilled he is. Hebrews 7:25 says,
Therefore He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Who’s praying for us? Christ Himself. Why? We are His kids who know Christ. He’s praying for us. Why? He knows the suffering we have to go through. He knows the difficulty of living in our bodies to have remaining corruption.
He knows the Temptations that you’re being blasted with from all kinds of places. He knows that but He wants us to come and pray as He’s praying to the Father. For what reason? To keep us in the race. To keep us encouraged because we know all the lies that satan can hurl at me at this point.
Hey, God’s for me. I read His word. You deal with Him. This is what He says. You can throw all the lies you want at me about who I am, that I’m not worthy, that I don’t deserve salvation, that God not for me and that this discipline has come into my life because God actually hate you.
That’s all lies. how do I know it’s lies? Because the Word of God says God is for me and God aids me and all those things. I should never ever forget that God is constantly at hand and His gracious help is always available to me. Day or night doesn’t matter what the weather is doesn’t matter what time of day it is it doesn’t matter where you are. It’s available to you. The greatest resources in the universe are available to God’s kids, right now. Not in eternity, now.
There is a second thing that we shouldn’t forget and we ought to remember. It’s that anything we suffer for the gospel. We suffer sometimes things for our own sin and we make our own problems. But when we suffer for the Gospel, it should always point us to recognize that God so far from neglecting us is actually showing Himself to be a true Father to us by treating us, truly, as His kids.
You get out of line. You’re in God’s family. I’m going to get you in line. You want to continue in this sin. This sin is giving you pleasure. You don’t want to take care of it.
I will take care of it by sending you trouble. You haven’t entangling encumbering thing in your life. Maybe you love something more than God. Maybe you’re going in direction you shouldn’t but it’s not benefiting your spiritual walk, your spiritual life at all.
God says, well, I’m going to send something to you to remind you that this is more important, I’m more important, that work of God is more important than you think thats important.
That’s what the Lord’s going to do. Why? because He is showing Himself to be truly a father to His kids and a true father trains his kid not only with teaching but with discipline unto correction, a changed lifestyle and behavior and thoughts. All those things included and more. When we understand, we receive encouragement. This this is what He wants the people know. He wants us to know don’t be discouraged, be encouraged because I’m giving you the correct information about what I’m doing
On the other hand in Hebrews 12:8 it says,
But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
If you don’t have discipline from the Lord you are out. Doesn’t matter if you made a professional of faith. Doesn’t matter if you walk the aisle fifteen thousand times.
If you are not disciplined by God, you’re not in His family. That’s what it says. It is the “If then” scenario.
All of God’s kids must partake in the discipline of the Father.
Nathai is the word. It is actually translated clearly to bastard. A bastard is someone who has no known father or that father is not sufficiently interested in his children to inflict on them discipline that fits his illegitimate children.
In other words, he’s an absentee and unconcerned father. The child becomes a bastard illegitimate because the father does not care enough to correct and discipline the child, the son, and direct him in the right way.
This passage gives ample reason for deep concern that if someone does not experience God’s discipline through painful correction they are not God’s children. They are not born again into God’s family.
They are without hope, without God, satan is still there father and he is a harsh and heartless father. His kingdom and in his kingdom there is no light. There is no truth.
There is only darkness and lies. That’s where people are who are without discipline. So be sure of this, according to scripture, only illegitimate children are beyond the heavenly Father’s discipline. Today is a great day to come to Jesus Christ. It’s a great day to receive Him as your Lord and Savior. If you been around the church a while and you’re a young person all you want to do is have fun.
All you want to do are things you want to do and you’re not interested at all in the things of the Lord. You really haven’t been disciplined by him.
You’re just living two lifestyles. One outwardly and one inwardly. You know how to fool your parents, you know how to say the right things to the right people but inside you don’t care about any of this stuff.
If God has never come in and disciplined you, you’re in trouble. You’re in trouble. If you’ve been in the faith for a while and God has never come.
It may not have been time for you to be disciplined by God yet. Maybe that’s why you’re not disciplined by Him yet. Yet, there may have been times in your life you have been disciplined by Him and you didn’t recognize it as God’s discipline.
You look back now as you’ve matured and realized God was disciplining back there. I didn’t really understand. I was more confused back there but now I understand.
That time produced something into my life that nothing else ever produced. In fact it produced what the Word of God said it should produce. So it’s a great time.
Listen, if you don’t know where you’re at spiritually. If you doubt your salvation right there where you’re at, call on the Lord Jesus Christ and be ye saved.
Charles Spurgeon would say. Be saved, man. That’s what it’s all about. Come to Jesus Christ and live. In fact, if you look at the second directive.
The first one to remember. The second one is to recognize subordination to God’s discipline is essential. Hebrews 12:9 says,
Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
Now, let me just stop there for a minute because I want to set this up for you. Here is what they call the lesser to the greater comparison in Scripture.
Here’s a contrast between an earthly father and and his discipline and a heavenly Father and His discipline. It’s giving here the matter of the earthly fathers discipline and the worth of it. Then it’s given the manor of the heavenly Father’s discipline and the worth of it. I just want to recognize this and it’s really very clear and to the point for us. Look at the first part of Hebrews 12:9 and Hebrews 12:10. They talk about the earthly father. The first one is this, that our earthly father we gave limited subordination to.
Why? It’s interesting to note what it says in verse 9.
Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them;
That’s a real interesting comment. Do you know why it’s interesting? Because fathers who make an effort to discipline their children gain their respect. See that’s not the modern-day flow of thought in our society.
That is the flow of thought in scripture. They gain their respect. We should respect our human parents who are disciplining us.We should respect them. That’s the right thing to do. What is the manner in worth of this earthly fathers discipline? If you look in verse number 10 it says,
For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
This is how they did it. Number one, they did it for a short time. They just had a little while, while the children were growing up before they got to adulthood, to discipline them. Usually after they get to adulthood you really cannot harness them in anymore. They leave the home. They have other ventures. They go on. Your discipline does change from that of corporal discipline to, when you get older, more of a counselor. It should be that way, but that’s the earthly realm we live in. We have a very short period of time to take this young child and try to form them somehow into something good.
Look at the next part of verse number 10.
They did it according to what seemed best
In other words, according to their pleasure. According to how they knew how to do it. This is a great baffling thing about parenting. Here’s the baffling thing. You don’t really have a manual to do it. Of course, we have the Bible. I’m talking apart from the Bible. Most people, how do they do it? Well, I put some things together about my grandparents if they were in my life or my parents in my life, or somebody respect in my life.
You got to put all these things together and you try to do it in your home. You read this book and that book. Usually it is all worldly wisdom and you start doing it and it ends up being a train wreck.
Somebody was just talking to me yesterday about somebody he had invited to their party couldn’t come because of their son took their SUV and tried to commit suicide buy running it into a pole or something like that.
Kids have a lot of things happening to them today. There’s more kids today saying, “I’m out of here” than ever before in the United States. In which we have everything and everybody in the world wants to come here. Yet, our own kids are missing something and the reason why is because something didn’t happen in the beginning.
Their earthly fathers we’re subject to the infallibility of human judgments. Sometimes immoderately they dealt with their children. Sometimes capriciously they dealt with their children. Sometimes they were swayed by favoritism between their children but presumably always with the best intentions in mind but no one could ever say, “well, here’s the goal. This is what I want to do.” They try to shoot at it because they didn’t know where to shoot. Not until you get to the Word of God do you know where to shoot. So we have parents who are who are permissive in the way they discipline.
They have no boundaries in their home. There’s too much freedom in their home. There’s some love and concern in their home, but the kids can pretty much do what they want.
Then there’s the other ones who’s the neglectful parent where there’s no boundaries at all. There’s no love because there’s no boundaries because there’s no communication. There’s no interaction. Nobody eats together.
Nobody does anything together. So there’s no confidence and security in the kids. They go out into a world and I said, wow, I have to obey that guy. I have to actually listen to my boss.
I have to actually do an assignment in school and to pass this course and to get a degree. This is like we’re just coming from. I can’t handle this. Then you have the authoritarian parent who has lots of rules and no love.
Then you have the authoritative parent who si which is more like the parent in Proverbs. Who has lots of rules. There are boundaries and they are clear. There’s a regular scheduled thing going on in the home.
There’s penalties. There’s a lot of love and there’s confidence and security. So when the child leaves the home, they have confidence and security. Of course, they have a focus on what God wants them to do in their heart.
The knowledge of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If that’s in a young kids heart then the prayer of the parent for the rest of their life, even when they leave the home is this.
“Oh Lord, please continue to put in my child’s heart a desire for them to love You and serve You. Not that they would get a great paying job. Not that they would be well-known and famous. No, Lord, that they would put You first in all things. That they would love You with all their heart.”
That’s the greatest gift that any parent could ever see happen in their children.
It is when they leave the home that they’re living for God. They are loving God. They are not perfect. They still have struggles. God’s going to still deal with them but the wise parent makes instructing their children in the way of the Lord a priority. They not only instruct them, they lived it.
Nothing is more important than teaching the children about life from God’s perspective. The realities of wisdom and folly. The realities of righteousness and wickedness. The realities of truth and error. The realities of God’s way and all the other voices in ways that are going to be screaming at them, “come follow me. Come follow me.” The child will know from the Word of God will say, “No, I’m not going to follow you because this is what God says.” The second part Hebrews 12:9 is what we ought to do. We ought to give total subordination to our Heavenly Father. If we gave some respect to our earthly fathers, we ought to give total subordination to the Father. Look what it says there,
shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
Interesting way of putting it, isn’t it. The eternal God, Who has authority over your souls. Then look at the little phrase at the end of verse number 9,
Be subject to the Father completely, the Father of spirits, and live. Well, that’s interesting encouragement. Now you want to know real life, submit to God. You want to know real happiness and joy, submit to God.
Why? Because this very little term, “live” actually refers to the true life that is to be possessed by the true children of the heavenly Father. Meaning that the Father is the source of all life.
To turn away from Him is actually to turn away from life. All over Hebrews we have the Word of God, which is life. We have the life that was given to us by the sacrifice of Christ. We have, what we’re heading for, eternal life.
Everywhere we’re talking about, that is connected with God, is that we have life. That leads me to the manor and worth of our heavenly Father’s discipline. That’s why we should totally submit to Him and it’s found in the second part of verse number 10.
Our heavenly Father’s discipline, in other words, is good for us. For He disciplines us for our good. This means across the board that anytime the Father disciplines It’s always, always, always for our good. Earthly fathers cannot accomplish that. Father’s be encouraged for what you couldn’t do God will do when your kids come to the Lord. They’re not going to get away with God.
Because God knows everything going on in your life. He ever and unfailingly with full knowledge of our persons and of the situations which we are placed in, and in accordance with what is beneficial for us, will discipline us. Not simply now but at every leg of our christian race.
At every phase and stage of our spiritual maturity forever. He will do it forever. It’s going to be ongoing.
There’s no higher desirable good that God could ever bring into our life then what is found in the last part Hebrews 12:10. It says,
… so that we may share His holiness.
The purpose for disciplining, the goal for Him correcting us, driving out sin that is still in us is that we may be more truly the children of God. That we may more clearly demonstrate the character of Christ in our life and be sure of this, that He would have us to be holy. Be ye
holy, for what? I am Holy. The purpose of God bringing suffering, trials, tribulation and discipline into your life is that you share in His holiness. Are we as holy as we ought to be? Are we as holy as we should be?
We’re not. We’re never there. God’s goal is that you’d be holy and that you would share in His holiness. In fact, it was the Apostle Paul who told the Thessalonian church and he said this, for God has not called us to impurity but to what?
Holiness or another word used in scripture is sanctification. He calls us to be set apart unto Himself. Holy means those who have been set apart to God.
God’s going to set you apart more and more and more unto Himself where you’ll be less set apart unto yourself, to others and to whoever else is trying to get your attention.
He will set you apart unto Him and when He does that you will share in His Holiness. This is a special word used in Hebrews and it points to God’s holy character. That Holiness which is only essential to God’s attributes.
Therefore, God is the source of this holiness and for all who are holy and to those who partake in it. Those who are holy are so only because they partake in His holiness. That means they have come through the discipline.
They have received it. They understand why it’s coming. They did not despise God in it. They actually welcomed it because they understood they need correction in this area. I need to put something off in my life in this area.
I have not been a good testimony in this area. Whether it’s in your private life or it’s a public thing that everybody knows about. Whatever it maybe. God’s discipline is going to make me holy.
When you pray the, “Lord, please. Will you develop Your image in me more and more? Will You make me holy.” You know what you’re praying right?
Thank the Lord He does it in the right way and in a loving manner. Commentator O’Brien says this and I want a quote this to you. He says, “Since it is His intention, the heavily Fathers attention, that believers participate in His holiness through loving correction the clear implication is that apart from His disciplinary sufferings it is not possible to share in His holiness at all.”
It’s not possible at all to share in His holiness. Hebrews 10:10 says,
By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hebrews 10:14 says,
For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
The minute you and I became believers, you know what happened? God started the whole sanctification holiness process on you. It’s not going to end until you drop off these bodies and you’re in the presence of holiness.
It’s not going to end. In fact it look at Hebrews 12:14 you can’t even see the Lord without holiness. It says,
Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.
The Old King James Version says,
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Strive for peace with everyone and for the holiness with without which no one will see the Lord.
I can’t see the Lord without being holy. I must be made holy and set apart because that’s the stamp of God upon me. Therefore, when I am then I will see God. That’s a promise. The question is, shall we subject ourselves totally to the subordination of the father and receive the prophet that comes from the heavenly Father’s discipline?
Shall we do that? We ought to do that. That’s the point. That’s what believers do. Because when we do, here is the last directive, we realize the nature and purpose of all discipline that’s imposed upon us by the heavenly Father. What is it? Well, let me just give you some of the nature of it. Verse 11, short-lived. All discipline for the moment. That means there’s going to be a beginning and an end to it. It’s not going to be on going on forever.
Most discipline that’s most effective is not long-term. People who go to prison for their life usually end up being worse at the end. Because they were never corrected and brought to a place for them to see their evil and sin.
It was Paul who told the Corinthians church for momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.
Then he says in 2 Corinthians 4:18,
while we look not at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Then secondly in Hebrews 12:11, it’s painful. He says,
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
It’s not joyful when you’re going through it.It’s painful. Discipline is a consequence of not heeding correction often and it is an unpleasant consequence. It hurts. The purpose of discipline is instruction and correction. In fact, Proverbs 13:24 says,
He who withholds his rod hates his son,
I don’t want to hurt my little son.
But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.
Come on, let’s go do it again until you learn how to change this behavior. Until you learn how to correct your attitude. Of course, it also can be just the father’s voice. It doesn’t always have to be the rod to the back. There’s a point where your children know exactly the tones of your voice.
Just like you know how you’re different dogs bark. One bark is, Let me into the house. Another bark is it raining outside let me back in the house. Another one is, I’m hungry. Somebody is at the door and they bark incessantly.
Our children know the tones of our voice. When we’re really serious and we’re just fooling around. You should be fooling around a lot of times. You need to lighten up. You and I need to lighten up sometimes and enjoy life.
God wants us to enjoy things. Chastisement means to inflict pain in Proverbs. It means to inflict suffering upon the individual with controlled force with a view to amend behavior.
There’s always a goal in wisdom. Always a goal, never random. Never flailing. Never in anger. Always controlled and in private. They know why they’re getting disciplined. Tell them why they’re getting disciplined. You do it quickly, make it painful and and they’re off and running. That what you do and it’s over.
That’s how God does it. The heavenly Father will teach us things that are extremely important to us through our troubles that we would not easily receive if everything went well with us all the time.
There’s a third thing about the nature of discipline and it’s found in Hebrews 12:11 it says simply,
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
In other words, here again is the goal it yields a rich harvest of right living. It yields a rich harvest of right thinking and of right behavior. In fact, the purpose of it, from verse number 11, is that this discipline will produce well-trained spiritually tough christians.
Yet to those who have been trained by it. You know where the word train comes from? We get from this Greek word trained, gymnasium. God brings us to the gym in discipline.
He brings us to the gym. For what reason? To make us strong in faith. To make us strong in our understanding so we endure in the race. So that we are obeying God more.
So that we are laying aside the weights and sins that entangle us. Gods replacing that fruitful right attitudes and right living that pleases Him because it produces well-trained believers.
Then secondly, it produces inward peace. It says,
afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Inward peace. i ran across this verse in Isaiah 32:17-18 it says,
And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever .Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation and in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places;
In other words, discipline actually ends in quite a different way then we would ever imagine. It actually gives you inner peace. I think for several reasons, you know who your heavenly Father is, you know why it’s being done. You know why you needed it and you know what it produces. It’s going to make you a better believer a more serious and sober believer.
Then it produces moral uprightness after it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. That’s really righteous behavior. If Christ’s images going to be stamped on me, Christ perfectly obeyed the father, then when I am trained in holiness and when God disciplines me correctly, what’s going to happen? I am going to actually have my attitude corrected, my behavior corrected and sometimes the whole direction of my life corrected when God disciplines me.
What happens is that I’m peaceful. I’m living the way I wanted to live, but I couldn’t live this way until God disciplined me.
God has changed my whole thinking on this on matter. I couldn’t change my thinking myself. I had too many blind spots, but God through discipline cleared up my thinking and now I’m thinking righteously.
I wanted to change my behavior towards my wife or towards my kids, but I couldn’t do it. I always went back to the old flesh but through discipline God brought me to change how i responded in those situations and it bore fruit of righteousness.
The fruit on the branches are not anger anymore. the fruit on the branches are actually peace and joy. Why? Because God took the time as a loving caring father to apply the needed pressure in your life to get you where you ought to be on the road to holiness.
That’s what He does and He’s good at it. But you know His motive in His intention behind it. This period of discipline is followed by enjoyment of peace and right living in the ultimate enjoyment that you are truly God’s kids being prepared for the enjoyment of His presence for all eternity.
That’s where it’s all headed. We who are God’s kids should be encouraged today. Biggest proof of being a believer is Gods spanktian.
If you don’t have discipline, you should be deeply concerned about your soul. Come today, and believe in Christ. If you don’t know how or you don’t know what to do. Talk to me or someone else and we will show you from the Word of God what God requires for you to repent of your sins and believe in Christ by faith alone. Amen.
If you are a believer rejoice. Thank the Lord for where you’re at right now. If you can remember times of discipline in your life, praise Him for it. That’s what I was doing this week. I was looking back on my life and I was looking from the time I trusted Christ to all the things that the Lord disciplined me in. Sometimes very severely, sometimes not so severe but each time it was for a correction in my direction. Correction in my behavior. Correction in my words I was using.
A correction in my attitude towards people. A correction in my prayer life and in my study of God’s word. A correction that made me more serious and sober to want to do what’s right and pleasing before the Lord. All those things and just thank Him for it. Thats what we ought to do this week and then sit back and enjoy the peace and the righteousness that comes afterwards.
The confidence that comes with being a real believer and being in God’s real family.Were God really deals with us and just praise Him for it.
“Let’s bow together in a word of prayer. Lord, thank you. Thank you, Lord Jesus for clarifying for us ,by the Word of God,this matter of discipline. Thank you, Father, that You are a good and a caring God. Father, I pray that our attitude towards You would always be that of not forgetting what it’s all about.
It would be that of not despising or fainting or quitting. It would be that of submitting to You totally because you can be totally trusted in Your intentions in the means in which You use and in the goals and the fruit You in which You will produce in our life as believers. Thank you for what you’ll do and what you have done and I praise You for it.
Help us to remember Your word as we go our way. and This week that it would be the time of examination and a time of prayer of rejoicing and thankfulness for what You have done so far in our life. I pray this in Christ name. Amen.”