A Systematic Expository Study on the book of Hebrews

    

STUDY 40: PURPOSE OF OUR FATHERS DISCIPLINE

Hebrews 12: 5 - 13.

 

As it was, so it is today. Many of Israelís problems came as a result of forgetting what they needed most to remember. It is no less true today. We forget so many of the lessons we had already learnt in the Scriptures, at home, in the family, in school and in the society at large. The Christians to whom the Apostle wrote had forgotten the exhortation on discipline within the family. This forgetfulness was producing the wrong attitude towards Godís dealings with them. It also brought spiritual loss rather than spiritual gain or progress in their lives. Their knowledge of God also became distorted - they could not see Godís love neither did they become partakers of more of Godís holiness.

The subject of divine discipline, taught in these verses is one that should bring joy assurance and encouragement to the believerís heart if it is properly understood. When it is misunderstood, we despise what it is meant for; our good and profit. We become like sick children, dying and wasting away because we reject the bitter medicine which is for our health. Disciplined children will become the joy of the family.

Everything our heavenly Father allows or permits in our lives will ultimately be for our good, though we may not understand at present. Praise God for everything He uses to make us holy and to draw us closer to Himself. We shall understand later.

 

PRECEPT AND PRACTICE OF DIVINE DISCIPLINE

Hebrews 12: 5-8; Proverbs 3: 11, 12; Job 5: 17; Psalm 89: 30-32; 1 Corinthians 11: 32; Numbers 20: 10-12; Joshua 7: 4-12; 2 Samuel 12: 7-14; Revelation 3: 19.

 

Here is an exhortation we are not to forget throughout our lives (Proverbs 3: 11, 12). Discipline is Godís way of training and developing His own. It is one of the manifestations of Godís love to us as His children. Chastisement, discipline, correction or rebuke from the Lord proves the love of our heavenly Father to His children.

When He disciplines us or uses something or someone to discipline us, it is a proof that He regards us as one of His children. If ye be without chastisement (when you sin or do something contrary to Godís Word ), whereof ALL are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. God always disciplines His erring children. He disciplined David. Even Moses was not spared when he did wrong. Many of the Corinthian Christians were also chastised for their backsliding. God has not changed. Yet we must understand that our heavenly Father does all things for our good and for the good of His Church. His discipline may hurt our pride, even hurt in some other ways but our Fatherís intention is not to harm us. Our Fatherís reason for His discipline is to show His displeasure to sin, to alert us to the danger of sin, to restrain us from repeating the sin, to prevent something more terrible from happening to us, to make us partakers of His holiness.

 

PARENTAL EXAMPLE OF DISCIPLINE

Hebrews 12: 9, 10a; Proverbs 13: 24; 19: 18; 22: 15; 23: 13, 14; 29: 15, 17 Ephesians 6: 1-4.

 

Everyone who has been raised in a normal family knows the place of discipline in the family. The rod of correction in the family may not bring immediate joy to the child, but a happy, joyful life can only come to a disciplined child. Children who refuse discipline early in life cannot grow up to be useful men later in life.

Discipline educates children. Principles and standards of better living cannot be fully learnt by our children without the parentsí correction, reproves, rebukes, chastisement and discipline. Even at school, children will not learn subjects they regard as difficult if there is total absence of all forms of discipline. What we know in theory, we may never really learn in practice if there is no discipline or correction. We learn a great deal in Godís school of discipline.

 

PROFIT IN DIVINE DISCIPLINE

Hebrews 12: 10b-13; Psalm 94: 12-14; 119: 67, 71; Proverbs 15: 10; Isaiah 26: 9-10, 16James 4: 7-10; 1 Peter 5: 10.

 

The profit received through divine discipline will depend on our attitude in the discipline. If we despise the chastening of the Lord (Hebrews 12: 5), if we complain and murmur instead of searching ourselves and praying in repentance and consecration, the discipline may harden us instead of yielding the peaceable fruit of righteousness (Hebrews 12: 11). Our response to Godís discipline should not be resentment and bitterness, but rather willing submission, restitution and desire for His holiness and nature within us.

Discipline itself may not be pleasant but it has the power to make us what God wants us to be.

 

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