Hebrews

Hebrews 12:3-11 Discipline Bears Fruit.

In looking to Jesus, as the old covenant witnesses did, and our author with his audience aspired to, we also in looking to him must be reminded that suffering came before victory. Christ’s example should help us guard against becoming weary or discouraged in our souls (v. 3 Cf. Gal. 6:9). Many suffered in this trial against sin in all its force, to the point of bloodshed, so serious is the battle to be fought, or the race to be won (v. 4). In every situation the Lord promises grace sufficient, and also a way of escape (I Cor. 10:13; 12:9). Furthermore, as sons this is what we should expect. To this end our author quotes Proverbs 3:11-12. So we should be thankful for this discipline, because His bringing us through it, is a proof that our faith is genuine (vv. 5-7 Cf. Dt. 8:5; I Pet. 5:9; Rev. 3:16), otherwise we would be illegitimate sons, the very subjects of the lawsuit contained in this letter (v. 8).

This is a pattern familiar to anyone born of parents that cared to any degree about their children (Cf. Prov. 13:24). For such love we all had due respect for them (v. 9a). Those who did not, acted thereby as though they were illegitimate. Most parents try their best, and they are respected for this (v. 10a Cf. Prov. 19:18; 23:13). However, we know that with God it is always perfect, and always for our good and eternal well being (vv. 9b, 10b). The goal is sanctification-“that we may be partakers of holiness” (v. 10c Cf. Lev. 11:44). In stating the obvious, our author makes the point that “no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (v. 11 Cf. Js. 3:17-18). Discipline from God is intended to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in and among His people.

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