Hebrews 12:6-12

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

STOP DESPISING THE LORD’S CHASTENING

INTRODUCTION:

 

In chapter 12 the fifth major section of Hebrews which began in 10:19 continues.

 

In Hebrews 12:1-17 believers are commanded that they should follow the example of these Old Testament saints and run with patience the race that is set before them.

We have already seen that you should –

    I.     KEEP YOUR EYES FIXED ON JESUS – 12:1-4

We have also already seen that believers should –

II. EXPECT CHASTISEMENT – 12:5

 

Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him.

 

The point the writer is making is that the readers are the Lord’s children and that the Lord is dealing with them as His children. It is not that they are lost people.

As we move on, we see that –

    I.     GOD’S CHASTENING SHOWS THAT GOD LOVES YOU – 12:6A

 

Hebrews 12:6 a – For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth. . . .

 

Verse 6 continues the quotation from Proverbs 3:11-12 begun in verse 5 and provides the reason the child of God should stop despising the chastening of the Lord and stop fainting when rebuked by the Lord.

 

For suggests because.

 

Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth indicates that the Lord chastens the one He loves.

 

Loveth refers to the kind of love that gives itself one hundred percent on behalf of another. It is the sort of love God demonstrated toward believers when He sent Christ to die on the cross and pay for their sins.

 

Chasteneth is the verb form of chastening in verse 5, and it is used in the sense of disciplines or corrects.

 

Whom is singular and indicates that this is something that is true of each and every believer. It is not indicating something generally true of believers as a whole, suggesting that most of them are corrected but not necessarily all of them.

 

Each and every believer receives correction from the Lord.

We also see that –

  II.     GOD’S CHASTENING SHOWS THAT YOU ARE GOD’S CHILD – 12:6B-7

 

Hebrews 12:6 b – . . . The Lord . . . scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

 

And scourgeth literally means and whips, flogs, or scourges; but, when used figuratively as it is in this verse, it means punishes or chastises.

 

The present tense of scourgeth indicates something which is customary or normal.

 

The Lord is not literally whipping His child, but He is certainly chastising or spanking him as needed.

 

The one whom He is punishing or scourging is every son whom he receiveth.

 

Every son refers to every believer.

 

He receiveth is He accepts and is used in the sense of He receives favorably and implies that He loves him, and what is true of one of His children is also true of all His children.

 

Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not.

 

If ye endure chastening is a simple condition which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true. It is true for all believers, but it is not true for any unbelievers.

 

If is understood in the sense of assuming that.

 

Ye is you (plural) and refers to the readers of the epistle in general.

 

Endure is used in the sense of remain instead of fleeing, stand your ground, hold out, or endure whether in trouble, affliction, or persecution.

 

Its tense indicates that its action is ongoing, continuous, or progressive. It is normal for believers to be undergoing or enduring chastisement.

 

Chastening has been used previously in this context in verse 5. It means upbringing, training, or instruction as attained by discipline or by correction.

 

The conclusion of the conditional statement is God dealeth with you as with sons.

 

Part of being a son of God is being chastened by the Heavenly Father. Chastening is not for unbelievers. Chastening is only for sons of God, i.e. for believers.

 

For what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? is literally, Who is a son whom a father does not chasten? or, Who is a son whom a father does not discipline? The clear implication of this question is that there is no such thing as a son whom a father does not correct or chasten.

 

Chasteneth is disciplines with punishment. It is the same word translated chasteneth in verse 6.

Next we see that –

 III.     A LACK OF CHASTISEMENT IN YOUR LIFE SHOWS THAT YOU ARE NOT A LEGITIMATE CHILD OF GOD – 12:8

 

Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

 

Not everyone is chastened.

 

But introduces a mild contrast between what was said in verse 7 and what is about to be said in verse 8.

 

If ye be without chastisement is another condition which, for sake of discussion, is also assumed to be true; and once again if is understood in the sense of assuming that.

 

If ye be without chastisement is assuming that you are without chastisement.

 

It will be true for all unbelievers, but it will not be true for any believers.

 

Chastisement is the same word translated chastening in verses 5 and 7 meaning upbringing, training or instruction as attained by discipline or correction.

 

Whereof means of which and refers to chastisement.

 

All are partakers is all are partners or all share in.

 

All implies all sons. All sons are corrected, chastened, or chastised by their fathers.

 

However, assuming that one is never chastised, he cannot really be a son of that father since all sons are chastised by their fathers.

 

The tense of the word translated are indicates action completed in the past whose result has continued on. It is used to indicate an existing condition.

 

Partakers means ones who share in, ones who participate in, partners, or companions.

 

Then are ye bastards and not sons forms the conclusion of this conditional sentence.

 

Then introduces an inference drawn from the fact that some experience no chastisement and is understood in the sense of therefore or consequently.

 

Bastards is a term which has become a swear word today. However, it is not used as a swear word here. It means out of wedlock or illegitimate.

 

Thus, the phrase are ye bastards and not sons is used in the sense of you are illegitimate children rather than sons.

 

In other words, if the people are not enduring chastening, they are not sons of God, i.e. they are not saved people.

 

Hence, one of the characteristics of saved people is that God chastises them from time to time.

 

If there is no chastisement, there is no salvation.

 

It is not a matter of someone having lost his salvation; it is a matter of his never having been saved in the first place.

 

Chastisement is a normal expectation for a child of God; and these believers needed to understand that the persecution, affliction, and trouble they were enduring as saved people was chastisement from God.

 

They were to learn from it rather than to run away from it.

In addition, we see that –

 IV.     GOD’S CHASTISEMENT IS INTENDED TO RESULT IN YOUR SUBMISSION TO HIM – 12:9

 

Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

 

In verses 9 and 10 a comparison is drawn between the correction people have received from their earthly fathers and the correction believers receive from their heavenly Father.

 

Furthermore transitions to a new argument in the sense of then or next.

 

We have had is we were having or we used to have and indicates a continuing situation in past time.

 

It speaks of adults who can look back to their childhoods and recall that they experienced chastisement from time to time.

 

Fathers of our flesh refers to earthly fathers.

 

This is a general statement which is true of most people in general but which is not necessarily true of all people in particular.

 

Which corrected us is literally correctors. Our fathers were correctors.

 

A corrector is an instructor or teacher; and this term is often used with the emphasis on the idea of correcting or disciplining, thus meaning one who corrects or one who disciplines.

 

It refers to the one who performs the act of chastisement or the one who performs the chastening.

 

It is a different form of the same term translated chasteneth, chastening, and chastisement in verses 5 though 8.

 

The father is the one who administers the chastisement or chastening.

 

And we gave them reverence is simply and we were respecting them and indicates continuing action in past time.

 

One of the reasons people have respected their fathers is that their fathers chastised them.

 

Implied in the phrase we gave them reverence is that we were submissive.

 

Shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? is a question which expects a positive answer. The implied answer is, Yes, we shall.

 

Shall we not indicates something believers ought to be doing.

 

Much rather implies even more than we were in subjection to our earthly fathers.

 

Here the subjection is unto the Father of spirits, which refers to God the Father as the Creator of human spirits in contrast to earthly fathers who were referred to earlier in this verse as fathers of our flesh.

 

Shall we not . . . be in subjection unto is shall we not subject ourselves to, shall we not be subjected to, shall we not be subordinated to, or shall we not obey.

 

The verb translated shall . . . be in subjection is used of wives being in subjection to their own husbands and of slaves being in subjection to their masters.

 

Believers are placed in rank under God. They are subordinated under Him; and, therefore, they obey Him.

 

This chastisement is necessary from time to time in order to keep believers in line. If believers get out of line, they should not be surprised if God puts them back in line. However, even when they have not done wrong, God still uses circumstances to teach them things they need to know.

 

And live suggests that they may not or will not live if they are not in subjection to God the Father.

 

Someone who rejects Christ as his personal Savior has not placed himself under the Father of spirits, and he will not have eternal life.

 

Furthermore, a believer, who refuses to live as he should, may find himself in a premature grave.

We furthermore see that –

   V.     GOD’S CHASTISEMENT IS FOR YOUR BENEFIT – 12:10A

 

Hebrews 12:10 a – For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit. . . .

 

For introduces an explanation in the sense of now.

 

They verily is they indeed or they on the one hand and refers to our earthly fathers.

 

Its construction in the Greek text indicates that a contrasting statement will be made later. This contrasting statement is introduced by but he which implies but He on the other hand.

 

They refers to our earthly fathers in contrast to the heavenly Father.

 

For a few days indicates for a short period of time.

 

Chastened is the verb form of the noun translated chastening. Here it means corrected or disciplined.

 

Us refers to people in general and functions as the direct object of chastened.

 

The implication of this is that they were trying to teach them or correct them so that they would not go in the wrong direction.

 

This was done on many occasions as the children were being brought up.

 

After their own pleasure is according to their own pleasure and suggests that they corrected their children at their discretion.

 

It is not indicating that the fathers took delight in abusing their children; rather, it means that in their finite wisdom and judgment, their fathers corrected them in accordance with their discretion.

 

The contrast is indicated by but, and he refers to God the Father.

 

He corrects us as His children for our profit, i.e. for our advantage or for our benefit.

 

Of course, inasmuch as God is infinite in wisdom and never makes a mistake, His correction is always perfect and exactly what is needed.

 

Therefore, instead of resisting, one should take full advantage of His correction because it is a blessing from God even though it may not always seem like a blessing.

We see that –

 VI.     GOD’S CHASTISEMENT IS INTENDED TO PRODUCE HOLINESS IN YOUR LIFE – 12:10B

 

Hebrews 12:10 b – . . . But he (chastens us) . . . that we might be partakers of his holiness.

 

That is understood in the sense of in order that, for the purpose that, or so that.

 

We might be partakers of means (we) might receive our share of, (we) might share in, or (we) might receive; and what believers are to share in is His holiness.

 

His refers to God the Father, and holiness speaks of God’s character as being totally separate from sin or from evil.

 

Thus, God’s whole purpose or intended result in allowing chastisement is to make believers more godly or more Christlike than they have been previously.

 

Rather than resisting the chastisement and trying to get away from it, they should submit to it willingly so that their lives will be purged from sin and characterized by holiness.

We also see that –

VII.     CHASTISEMENT IS NOT PLEASANT – 12:11A

 

Hebrews 12:11 a – Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous. . . .

 

That’s for sure! Now continues the thought of the previous verse. It is sometimes used in the sense of and. It is also commonly used in the sense as indeed or in fact.

 

No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous is literally all chastening for the present does not seem to be joyous. There is no exception to this all-inclusive generalization.

 

Chastening means upbringing, training, or instruction, chiefly in Biblical literature as is attained by discipline or correction.

 

For the present suggests for the present time or at the time of its occurrence.

 

Seemeth implies in the view of the one being chastened.

 

Joyous means pleasant or enjoyable.

 

But introduces an emphatic contrast.

 

Grievous means characterized by sorrow or characterized by pain. In other words, chastisement has pain. It is painful, and it is unpleasant at the time it is endured. However, it is not sorrowful or painful in the long run for the one who submits to it.

Next we see that –

VIII.   CHASTISEMENT PRODUCES RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THE LIVES OF THOSE WHO LEARN FROM IT – 12:11B

 

Hebrews 12:11 b – . . . Nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

 

Nevertheless suggests but.

 

Afterward suggests later or thereafter and implies later on in time after the experience itself may have been forgotten.

 

Yet, the result of this painful experience still holds true.

 

It yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

 

Yieldeth suggests produces.

 

It means that chastisement results in the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

 

Peaceable fruit is peaceful fruit.

 

Of righteousness is probably best understood as specifying what the fruit really is. It is best understood in the sense of which is righteousness. It means that righteousness is the peaceful fruit which is produced by the chastisement.

 

In other words, chastisement produces righteousness or uprightness.

 

Chastisement, however, does not produce righteousness in everyone’s life.

 

It is unto them which are exercised thereby.

 

Exercised means trained, and its tense indicates that its action occurs before the action of yieldeth.

 

It implies a state of being. It is an action which occurred in the past, and its result has continued on.

 

Unto them that are exercised thereby suggests that they have submitted themselves to this chastisement and have learned from it instead of resisting it or paying no attention to it.

 

Thereby is through it or by means of it where it refers to righteousness.

 

As a consequence, their lives are now characterized by righteousness.

 

Believers need to realize that God is trying to make righteous and godly people out of them.

 

Rather than resist the chastisement and run from it, one must endure it.

 

In fact, believers will actually like the result of the chastisement.

 

Their lives will be more righteous if they submit to it.

Finally, we see that believers must –

 IX.     STOP BEING DISCOURAGED BY GOD’S CHASTISEMENT – 12:12

 

Hebrews 12:12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees.

 

Wherefore introduces a strong inference drawn from what has been previously stated and is understood in the sense of therefore or for this reason.

 

It refers to the realistic and Biblical picture of chastisement presented in verses 5-11.

 

Lift up means rebuild, restore, or strengthen; and what is to be lifted up, rebuilt, restored, or strengthened is the hands that hang down, i.e. the weakened, listless, drooping hands that have fallen to the side.

 

And suggests not only the hands but also something else.

 

By the feeble knees the writer means the weakened knees or the disabled knees.

 

Instead of growing faint and getting ready to give up, the believer should recognize that chastisement is something that is proof of God’s love and proof that God is working in his life.

 

Therefore, rather than becoming discouraged and quitting, believers should simply allow Him to go ahead and chastise them.