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Thread: Discipline Heb. 12.5-6

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    Default Discipline Heb. 12.5-6

    Discipline

    “‘My son, regard not lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art reproved of him; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth’” (Heb. 12.5-6). The apostle quotes from Proverbs, chapter 3. He says we must not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor should we faint under His reproof. Here he tells us there are two attitudes which believers need to maintain. When a person is in the process of passing through hardship, being under the chastening of the Lord, he may easily regard it lightly and let the chastisement of the Lord slip by. Or, when he is faced with the reproach of the Lord, the hand of the Lord being heavy upon him, he may faint, considering it too difficult to be a Christian. He expects to have a prosperous road in this life—to wear a white linen garment and walk leisurely on the golden street which leads to the pearly gate. He has never dreamed that to be a Christian means he will encounter so many troubles. Since he is not mentally prepared to be a Christian under such circumstances, he feels discouraged and thinks of quitting. But the book of Proverbs indicates that neither of these reactions is correct.

    We should not despise the discipline of the Lord. If the Lord should chasten us, we need to be very serious about it. Whenever the Lord permits something to happen to us, He has His purpose behind it. He intends to use these happenings to edify us. All of His chastenings are to perfect us that we may be holier. He chastens us in order to make us partakers of His divine nature. The aim of discipline is to educate and train our character. The Lord never scourges us without a cause. He always has His mind set upon beating and shaping us into a vessel, never desiring just to make His children suffer. To suffer for the sake of suffering is not His way. If He allows us to suffer, He always has a motive behind it, and that is, He wants us to have a part in His holiness [see v.10b]. This is the purpose of discipline. . .

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    Default Bastards vs. Sons of God -- The Nature of Discipline

    The Nature of Discipline

    “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth” (v.6). This is quoted from Proverbs 3.12. It shows us the “why” of all chastenings.

    God does not deal with everyone in the world. He only chastens those whom He loves. He chastens us because we are His beloved. He wants to make us into a suitable vessel. That is why He spends time on His children to chasten them. Chastisement, then, is love’s arrangement. Love arranges these happenings. Love measures what we should meet. Love plans the details of our environment. We call this discipline because it always aims at the highest good and the ultimate intention of creation.

    “And scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” Those who are chastened of the Lord are those who are assuredly accepted by God. To be scourged is not a sign of rejection, but rather the evidence of God’s special approval. God does not deal with everyone; He just concentrates on dealing with those whom He loves, those who are accepted as His sons. . . .

    After you become a Christian, you will see the hand of God leading you. Many prearranged things will happen to you. Scourgings will come too. Why the scourgings? Because whenever you are not walking in God’s appointed way, you will be scourged and urged to turn from that direction back to the appointed road. Every child of God must be prepared to accept this disciplinary hand of God. Because you are His son, He chastens you. If you are not His beloved, He will not make the effort to discipline you. Thus, to be chastened and scourged is an indication that we are loved and accepted by God. Only Christians share in His chastening and scourging.

    What we receive is not punishment but discipline. Punishment serves the purpose of repaying the wrong, but discipline has an educational purpose. Punishment deals only with the past—one is scourged because he has done wrong. Discipline has an eye toward the future though it also deals with past faults. Discipline, therefore, has these two elements—an educational purpose as training for the future. As soon as one comes to Christ and belongs to the Lord, he should be prepared to let God mold him into a vessel of honor. I can say with confidence that God wants to make every child of His glorify Him in some certain respect. All Christians shall glorify Him, but it will be in a different area for each one. Some glorify Him in one way, and some in another way. He is to be glorified in all kinds of situations that He may get a perfect glory. Each person glorifies God with his particular portion—something in his character that the Lord has formed in him. This is the outcome of the disciplinary hand of God upon him. For this reason, it is absolutely impossible for a child of God not to have God’s hand upon him. . . .

    How does God discipline us? Whatever God has led you through, whatever He has permitted you to endure—this is His discipline. Do not imagine that His discipline is something special. No, the discipline of God is found in that which you endure every day—a hard word, a bad face, a sharp tongue, discourteous treatment, an unreasonable criticism, an unexpected happening, various kinds of disgrace, irresponsibility on the part of family members—all the many pains and difficulties you meet, large or small. Sometimes you have to endure sicknesses, deprivations, distresses, and difficulties. All these are the discipline of God; what you endure, says the apostle, is God’s discipline. . .

    “God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father chasteneth not?” (v.7). All these chastenings come upon us because God treats us as His own sons. Do remember: discipline is God’s favor, not His animosity. Many have the wrong idea that when they are disciplined they are being ill-treated by God. No, God treats us like sons. Is there any son whom the father does not discipline? In disciplining you, God is favoring you! Because you have become God’s children, you are disciplined. He wants to bring you to the place of blessing and of glory. . . .

    Discipline is shared by all the sons. You, too, are not an exception. If you are not a bastard but a son, then you will have to share in the discipline. The word of the apostle is very emphatic, “whereof all have been made partakers” [v.8]. As a son of God, do not hope for any different treatment. Discipline is shared by all God’s sons. All who live today fare the same way as those who lived in the time of Peter and Paul. There is no exception whatever. How can you expect to travel a course which no child of God has ever traveled, a course void of God’s discipline? Can a child of God be so foolish as to dream of a prosperous life and work without any discipline of God? You can easily see that such a one must be a bastard. Discipline, we now see, is a signal of being God’s child, the evidence thereof. Lack of discipline reveals those who are bastards, those who do not belong to God’s house. . . .

    In sonship, we find discipline; and in discipline, we find subjection. Because we are sons, we will be disciplined; since we are disciplined, we must be in subjection. Remember, whatever God arranges in our environment is for the purpose of instructing and directing us in the straight path.

    We must obey God. We must obey these two things He gives: first, His command; and second, His chastening. On the one hand, we obey God’s word, obey His command, and obey all the precepts given us in the Bible. On the other hand, we subject ourselves to all God’s arrangements in our environment; we are in subjection to all the discipline of God. Though our obedience to God’s word may be sufficient, we often may yet be lacking in subjection to God’s discipline. Since He has so ordered that such a thing should happen to you, you ought to be benefited by it and learn the lesson. God wants you to be benefited and to walk in the straight path. We must, therefore, learn not only to obey the Lord’s command but also to obey the Lord’s discipline. Although it costs us to obey the Lord’s discipline, it nonetheless enables us to walk straightforwardly before God. . . .

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