Epistle to the Hebrews (12:5-8)   Leave a comment

Epistle to the Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews

And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,“My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline,and don’t give up when he corrects you.For the Lord disciplines those he loves,and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all.” Hebrews 12:5-8

The author earlier described Jesus as the One who instills faith in us. He wants us to live by faith and trust Him. We do not always find it easy to surrender and trust a God we do not see with our eyes and touch with our hands. But yet there’s a certitude that this God wants us to have absolute dependence on Him. We do not naturally like to depend on others because of our pride. God is a loving and rich Father. When we ask Him we are not begging. Every father likes to see themselves as the provider of their children. It would be an offense to a rich loving father  if his son begged for a few coins on the streets to have some stuff to fill up his stomach. Yet this is often what we do with our loving heavenly Father. We turn to other ways instead of trusting Him. God wants to overflow us with His love but we so many times reject Him. How will a loving rich husband feel if his wife run after another man to meet her needs?

We are God’s children and God is a rich loving Father. As much as God wants to present Himself as a Father who provides, He also wants to build us up to become like Him. He wants to correct behaviors in us that are not conformed to His character. He does it through this process called discipline.

God the Father wants us to become like His Son.

For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstbornamong many brothers and sisters.” Romans 8:29

The Spirit works within us to become like the Son:

 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2 Cor 3:18

Jesus is perfect, He is the Holy God of heaven. We are very far from being like Him and this implies that there will always be pruning process to be done in our lives. For instance, the fruit of the Spirit needs to be produced in us. We are bound to be disciplined by God. The Master will remain the master, but we the disciples should become like the Master.

Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.” Luke 6:40

God disciplines us for our good. No father takes pleasure in inflicting pain to their kids. But yet he does it because he wants his kids to become responsible and respectable citizens. Do you realise that the holy God of heaven calls you His child? Who is that father who will be proud to say that his daughter is a renowned harlot and son a drug dealer? Is not it rather a shame?  How can a child of God still live in sin?

But though we have weaknesses, the perfect sacrifice of the Son made us righteous. Jesus is not ashamed to present us to God as His brothers and sisters.

So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.For he said to God,“I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.” Hebrews 2:11

Paul said ““The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” 2 Tim 2:19

John said in his letter:

Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pureAnyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.” 1 John 3:2,6

God corrects us for our good. He does not want to see evil in us but the fragrance of His Son. God disciplined Israel through tough means like calamities, sickness and starvation because they were so stubborn. God is still ready to use hard means so that we turn our eyes on Him.We have the choice there, either we submit to God or turn away from Him. Nowadays when children refuse their parents authority and discipline, they just leave home. God is not a father in law who will not discipline kids which are not His. He wants His children to be fulfilled and happy. If we are not disciplined by God, it is most likely that He does not recognize us as His children.  We are illegitimate children as the author said. It is also needless to say that discipline implies pain.When Paul sent to the Corinthians a letter to correct their evil behaviors, he said:

Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” 2 Cor 7:9-10

God’s discipline creates in us a godly sorrow leading us to repentance.

Without discipline in a home, values naturally erode themselves. This is why there’s juvenile delinquency everywhere. Parents who did not take their responsibilities have made our neighborhood dangerous and evil. But our heavenly Father is a righteous and responsible Father. I have seen God disciplined me with my impatience, choices and pride.

If you see God disciplining you, it is a good sign because it’s an evidence that He considers you His own. But you’ve got to be worried if you do not see God pruning you. God has set some standards and values for humans to follow and when they persist in their rebellion, God give them up. God no longer correct them but leave them do as they please.

When God does that, it is a sign that He does not consider them His children.

For example we read in Romans 1:24-26:

So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies.They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires.”

The worst thing which can happen to a human is to no longer have God’s attention and be separated from Him. Rejoice dear readers if you see God still calling you to holiness and faith.

Paul said in Romans:

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself.” Romans 2:4-5

Judgement is coming and we will have to give an account on how we lived this life. Discipline is what will allow us to face judgement with serenity because the fragrance of Christ will be in us. Jesus will stand as Advocate and call us His brothers and sisters. God the Father will recognise us as His own. But to those who did not submit to God’s discipline, there will have to expect a terrible wrath because of their rebellion and rejection of God’s authority. God’s love and kindness is what makes Him discipline His children. A father will not discipline children which are not his own. Similarly, our heavenly Father will not discipline the children of the devil but rather judge them.

For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.” Romans 2:5-8


Posted July 13, 2013 by Cedric in Theology

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