Hope from Hebrews #21 - The Chastening of the Lord
Text: Hebrews 12:4-11
Thesis: To note that God disciplines His children, when needed, out of love in order to
get them to “stay on track.”
(1) After admonishing the original readers to stay in and finish the race, the author of Hebrews notes that the Lord Himself will do everything possible to help us “stay on track” and finish the race.
(2) One of the things that the Lord will use is “discipline.”
I. The “Fact” of the Lord’s Chastening:
A. ‘Chastening’ (Gr. paideia) –
1. “the act of providing guidance for responsible living, upbringing, training, instruction, in our lit. chiefly as it is attained by discipline, correction” (BDAG)
2. “to provide instruction, with the intent of forming proper habits of behavior” (Louw-Nida)
3. “the whole training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment)” (Thayer’s)
B. Other Scriptures affirming this:
1. “You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you” (Deut. 8:5).
2. “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor detest His correction; for whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights” (Prov. 3:11-12).
3. “But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world” (1 Cor. 11:32).
4. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent” (Rev. 3:19).
II. The “How” of the Lord’s Chastening:
A. Instructive Discipline
B. Corrective Discipline
III. The “Why” of the Lord’s Chastening:
A. That We May be Partakers of His Holiness (v. 10)
1. “The word ‘holiness’ (hagiotes) is not common (elsewhere in the NT it occurs only in a variant reading in 2Cor 1:12). It points to God's holy character. The aim of God's chastisement of his people is to produce in them a character like his own” (EBC).
2. “That one can share God's ‘holiness’ is a fundamental idea of the Old Testament (cf. Lev. 19:2; cf. 1 Pet. 1:16). ‘Holiness’ is the very essence of God (2 Pet. 1:4). Indeed, the prerequisite for seeing God at the end is that one experience God's ‘holiness’ (Heb. 12:13, 14)” (LWC).
B. That We May Yield the Peaceable Fruit of Righteousness (v. 11)
1. “The ‘peaceful fruit of righteousness’ (Phil. 1:11) is the product of the training and discipline of persecution. ‘Righteousness’ and peace are divine gifts for the present age, and are in fact experienced now (cf. Heb. 12:14); this development of Christian character has its completion at the end in the presence of God when these gifts are fully experienced (1 Pet. 1:6f; James 3:18)” (LWC).
2. “The most wonderful people on earth are those who have passed through the chastening experiences of life, whose faith, love, and understanding and sympathy are grounded in the true love of God and man; and whose lives, as a result, have been expanded and beautified” (Coffman’s).
(1) Long story short … God wants you to finish the race and spend eternity with Him.
(2) Are you “on track?”