Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3


Despise Not Thou the Chastening of the Lord


Hebrews 12:5-13


Introduction:

         Last week, we considered the reality that the Christian life is like running a race

         We must keep the right focus- looking unto Jesus

         Not a step in this race is safe without looking to Jesus!

         V. 5- We must also not forget principles regarding the chastening of the Lord.

         Acknowledge the fact that there will be things that come into our lives that will humble us, break us, and make us think of throwing in the towel. What should be our response?

         Two guiding thoughts regarding person and work of God

o   God is sovereign over all

o   God is good. He is the source of all that is good in this world

         In times of trial or stress many Christians forget some of the basics. They seriously wonder if God is still in control or if He still loves them. We must admit that God does allow everything that happens; so He must at least passively approve of it, because He certainly has the power to stop bad things that happen. (Job)

         Of course, God can never be the author of evil. But He does allow others to choose evil, and He can use the evil choices others make to work out His ultimately good purpose

         In different forms, the word chasten is found seven times in just a few verses, plus similar words like "scourgeth" (12:6) and "corrected" (12:9)

         There is a big distinction between the way God chastens His children, and the way God punishes the wicked.

         God chastens us, and He corrects us. John Philips said, "God does not flog us in blind rage, but measures the weight of each stroke...Each stroke He administers is weighed by Him in fairness and firmness to suit our needs exactly and to bring us to our senses, not to lay us senseless in the dust" (John Phillips, Exploring Hebrews).

 

I.                    Donít be discouraged/faintÖduring chastening

a.      Donít despise it, or faint under it!

b.      God is not out to get you. If you are His child, He loves you with an unconditional, infinite love!

c.       Our modern, spoiled way of thinking leads us to this incorrect logic:

                                                              i.      Godís love means only good things happen to me

                                                            ii.      Godís blessings are only physical- health, wealth, etc.

d.      Why we need chastening

                                                              i.      We would idolize our gifts, and not the One who gave them to us!

                                                            ii.      We would not mature and grow in our faith

e.      ďHe who has this secret- whereby what have been hindrances become helps. And his very enemies are made to serve him- is on the way to becoming the Christian God would have him to be.Ē- Andrew Murray, The Holiest of All

f.        Christianity is the religion mankind needs in a world that is full of suffering!

g.      God has made a provision- that first His own Son as the Chief of Sufferers should show us the way of victory and glory is through suffering. Furthermore, Jesus can empathize with us because He suffered, and He can teach us how to suffer. Lastly, Jesus breathes His own very life into us at salvation, which helps to strengthen us in our sufferings! Philippians 4:13

h.      So donít despise this, it is a tool of Godís loving correction!

i.        See Prov. 3:11-12, Job 5:17, Revelation 3:19

II.                  The source of this chastening

a.      Child-training from our Heavenly Father

b.      Chastening is a necessary part of child-training

c.       Evidently, God expects earthly parents to chasten their children

d.      A loving father always disciplines his child. It would not be a mark of love to let a son do what he likes and have nothing but an easy way; it would show that the father regarded the son as no better than an illegitimate child to whom he felt neither love nor responsibility.

e.      Proverbs 13:24 says, "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."

f.        Proverbs 19:18 says, "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying."

g.      Proverbs 22:15 says, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."

h.      Proverbs 23:13, 14 says, "Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell."

i.        A father was about to spank his son, and just before he told him, ďSon, this is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you."The little boy said, "Yes Daddy, but not in the same place!"

j.        It is a mark of sonship, and is an act of love!

k.       God shows His wrath when He ignores our sin, allowing it to pass without correction

l.        God deals with you as sons: Godís correction is never to punish us or make us pay for our sins. That was done once and for all at the cross. His correction is motivated only by His love, not by His justice

m.    V. 8 Bastards (Illegitimate) and not sons: God shows His wrath when He ignores our sin, allowing it to pass without correction

n.      So we must respond to the correction properly- A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent" (Pro. 15:5)

o.      Through suffering, we learn to give our will to Godís- just as Christ did!

p.      God has a purpose for training you. Think of David after a lion attacked when he was just a boy tending the sheep. He could easily despair and ask, ďWhy did God allow such a terrible think to happen to me? I barely escaped!Ē But if David could see ahead, he could see God had a giant named Goliath he was destined to face, and the battle with the lion prepared him ahead of time. God always has a purpose. We can trust Him.

III.                The Results of this chastening

a.      See the result of chastening more than the process of chastening.

b.      V. 10-13- the key: we become partakers of His holiness, and yields the peacable fruit of righteousness

c.       Refining fire is part of the process which makes us holy

d.      V. 11-13- illustr- scales- when we throw eternity into the balance it outdoes even the greatest trial. So get up and press on!

e.      See James 1:2, II Corinthians 6:10

f.        This flips trials and storms on their head. What may depress us and make us think Godís not there actually becomes proof that He is there and He loves us!

g.      V. 13- compare w/ Acts 3:7-8- be healed in your spirit!

Conclusion:

         There are many ways in which a man may look at the discipline which God sends him. .

o   He may reluctantly accept it. That is what the Stoics did. This is the defeatist, the fatalist and is the acceptance not of a father's love but of a father's power. It is not a willing but a defeated acceptance.

o   A man may accept discipline with the grim sense of getting it over as soon as possible. If a man accepts discipline like that he regards it as an infliction to be struggled through with defiance and not with gratitude.

o   A man may accept discipline with the self-pity which leads in the end to collapse. Some people, when they are caught up in some difficult situation, give the impression that they are the only people in the world whom life ever hurt. They are lost in their self-pity.

o   A man may accept discipline as a punishment which he resents. It is strange that at this time the Romans saw in national and personal disasters nothing but the vengeance of their gods. Some Christians do the same. It never dawns upon them to ask: "What is God trying to teach me and to do with me through this experience?"

o   So we come to the last attitude. A man may accept discipline as coming from a loving father. Jerome said a paradoxical but true thing: "The greatest anger of all is when God is no longer angry with us when we sin."

         Trials are not a cause for groaning, but for rejoicing!

         God is refining us, and bringing us to partake in His holiness, and His righteousness!