If we willingly submit to the discipline of our heavenly Father, in the end we will share in His holiness.

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1 Heavenly Discipline Hebrews 12:3-11 Hebrews 12:3-11 Intrductin The riginal readers f this sermn wuld have been very familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures ur Old Testament. The passage we will study tday is based n a passage frm the bk f Prverbs. Prverbs is a bk written with the gal f making us wise. Let s begin by reading Prverbs 3:1-12. As we reflect upn these wrds written frm a father t a sn, ur rabbi will encurage us t cnsider them in light f ur child-t-father relatinship with the Lrd. If a sn can learn imprtant things frm an earthly father s instructin, we can certainly learn s much mre by submitting the perfectly lving and ttally wise crrectin f ur heavenly Father. And as we ll see in this passage, sme f ur Father s instructin cmes in the frm f discipline r chastisement. We will be wise t submit t this crrectin, because the gal f it is t make us hly just as ur Father in heaven is hly. If we willingly submit t the discipline f ur heavenly Father, in the end we will share in His hliness. Let s read Hebrews 12:3-11. Hebrews 12:3-11 Outline I. Cnsider the sufferings f Jesus. 12:3-4 II. Remember that Gd treats us as sns. 12:5-8 III. Trust that Gd knws what He s ding. 12:9-11 If we willingly submit t the discipline f ur heavenly Father, in the end we will share in His hliness. Cnsider the sufferings f Jesus. 12:3-4 If yu have difficulty believing that suffering can have a purpse, just lk at Jesus. He didn t save us by thrashing the devil like a superher thumping a villain. He saved us thrugh His suffering and death. He willingly endured the crss. His resurrectin was the ultimate victry, but it was His death that paid the price fr ur sins and made resurrectin pssible. The hstility that Jesus endured frm sinners was part f the Father s plan. We have yet t suffer that much. In fact, the spiritual anguish that He endured by taking ur sins upn Himself ensures that we will never have t suffer as He did. That means we can endure whatever cmes ur way by cntinually lking t Him. The riginal readers f this written sermn might sn be the victims f persecutin themselves.

2 The rabbi understands that the circumstances f his readers and ur wn may be authentically difficult. He gets that. We always need, hwever, t keep ur sufferings in perspective. Others have already suffered mre than we have. Jesus suffered mre than we ever will. Others have already suffered mre than we have. Jesus suffered mre than we ever will. Q: Hw can we face ur trials and sufferings with enugh curage t give Gd glry? A: By cnsidering the sufferings f Jesus. If we willingly submit t the discipline f ur heavenly Father, in the end we will share in His hliness. Remember that Gd treats us as sns. 12:5-8 A brief nte n the Bible and gender-neutral language: Smetimes the Bible uses gender-neutral language in the riginal ( human r humans ) where ur English Bibles have traditinally used the wrds man r men. In such cases, when it is mre faithful t the riginal we shuld be OK with mre gender-neutral terms. In ther cases, such as this passage, the Bible actually uses a gendered term: sns. We shuld be OK with that t. And we shuld be OK with Christ having the church as a bride and men being a part f it. And s n. We shuld be OK with the riginal readings, whatever they are. Further, the Bible des tend t advcate clearly defined gender rles in sme cases such as husbands and wives and s n. But it never implies that men and wmen are anything but equal befre Gd equally lved and equally accuntable fr the way we live. 5 And have yu frgtten the exhrtatin that addresses yu as sns? My sn, d nt regard lightly the discipline f the Lrd, nr be weary when reprved by him. 6 Fr the Lrd disciplines the ne he lves, and chastises every sn whm he receives. 12:5-6 This qutatin is a gentle rebuke frm the rabbi t his hearers. He qutes frm a Greek translatin (LXX) f Prverbs 3:11-12 the Old Testament text we read earlier. The rest f tday s passage will be a divinely inspired expsitin f thse verses. 12:6 scurge = t whip This is divine chastisement in the truest sense f that term. Gd is apparently a rather ld fashined Father in this sense. He believes crpral punishment is needed frm time t time. Perhaps we d ccasinally need it?

3 12:6 Be careful nt t assume that all suffering is smehw t be cnstrued as punishment fr ur sins. We shuld, hwever, allw fr that crrective r chastening pssibility. Spiritually mtivated whippings are ne essential frm f child-training that Gd emplys n us. Remember that Gd treats us as sns. 12:5-8 12:6 In anther Old Testament example, Jb did nt suffer fr any wrngding n his part. His suffering was nt a whipping in any sense. But it was misunderstd t be s by his friends. Still, ne f his friends, a man named Eliphaz, said smething very sensible. See Jb 5:17. If we willingly submit t the discipline f ur heavenly Father, in the end we will share in His hliness. Trust that Gd knws what He s ding. 12: :9 Q: What is the prper respnse t Gd s discipline? A: We shuld readily be in subjectin t it. That means we shuld willingly submit t the discipline that He brings int ur lives. We shuld willingly endure it, knwing He intends it fr ur gd. 12:10 Q: What is the gal f Gd s discipline? A: Our hliness. We may mistakenly believe that Gd s nly gal is t make us happy in this life. This is nt actually true. He desires us t share in His hly character. He wants us t be mre like Him. 12:10 This will n dubt make us permanently and extremely happy but that s in the lng run. The prblem is that we begin ur jurney at a significant distance frm Gd. It is thrugh His discipline, chastisement and training that He makes us mre like Himself. 12:10 We may als mistakenly feel that Gd is smehw sadistically trturing us. We wnder why the trials r difficulties never seem t let up. The reality is that He desires ur maximum prfit a character as much like His wn as we are willing t allw Him t make us. 12:10 Further, earthly fathers train their children in rder t build their character. They d their best, but even the best earthly father will fall far shrt f the ideal dad. Mrever, we grw up and utgrw the need fr them t train us in that way. 12:10 Gd s fatherly discipline is better than that f an earthly father in tw ways: He really des knw what s best s that we can always trust Him cmpletely. We never utgrw His fatherly cncern fr us. We will always be in need f His training and He will always be there t teach. As we mature in ur faith, His lessns becme deeper and mre prfund.

4 12:11 Chastening r discipline never seems jyful at the time. Let s face it: It hurts and we dn t like pain. But a painful lessn may be exactly what we need frm Him. He is always lking far ahead int ur future. Again, Gd s final gal is nt t hurt us, but t bring abut His abslutely perfect will. Cnsider this stry nce tld by D.L. Mdy: A prminent, wealthy cuple experienced the death f their nly child. Needless t say, these parents were seriusly grieved. Shrtly thereafter, they tk a trip t the Hly Land, where they witnessed a shepherd taking his sheep acrss a stream. The water was rushing alng briskly and sme f the sheep were stuck at the water s edge, t frightened t crss. Wisely, the shepherd went back t the ther side and picked up a little lamb and persnally carried it the full distance acrss the stream. The bleating ewe watched her yung lamb being carried away and immediately lst all fear f the rushing water. She entered the water, n lnger afraid, cncerned nly that she make it t the ther side t be with her treasured lamb. Sn ther sheep gt up the curage t fllw her and befre lng the whle flck made it t the ther side. The cuple wh witnessed this immediately learned a valuable lessn. They nw realized what Gd had been ding in their lives. Prir t that they had given very little thught t heaven and remained tragically unaware f Gd s gentler dealings with them. They suddenly saw the severe lessn that they were nly nw capable f learning. The Gd Shepherd had taken their lamb befre them, giving them curage t fllw. They returned hme t spend the rest f their lives fcused n heaven rather than n earth. These parents learned t willingly submit t the discipline f the Lrd. If we willingly submit t the discipline f ur heavenly Father, in the end we will share in His hliness. Hebrews 12:3-11 Cnclusins Jesus endured hstility frm sinners. We may have t as well. The crrectin Gd gives us is always the crrectin we need. We shuld nt take it lightly since anything the Lrd brings int ur lives is imprtant. We shuld nt allw it t verwhelm us, as He will nt allw us t be tested beynd what we are able t bear. (1 Crinthians 10:13) We shuld take all f ur trials and sufferings as signs f Gd s fatherly lve. Suffering can bring us int deeper experiences with Gd that prsperity and cmfrt will never allw.

5 Submissin t Gd leads t life (12:9). Our first earthly parents refused t submit t Gd and brught death t themselves and their children. With His help, we can d therwise. Gd s crrectin is designed t prduce hliness in us that we dn t yet have. (12:10) Gd s crrectin is designed t bring abut the peaceable fruit f righteusness and fruitfulness always takes time. (12:11) Gd s crrectin is designed t prvide well-trained, mature Christians fr the church rather than immature, prly trained brats. (12:11) And nce again, all f these wnderful results will be prduced in ur lives as we cnsistently: Cnsider the sufferings f Jesus. Remember that Gd treats us as sns. Trust that Gd knws what He s ding. In clsing, let s read that pening passage again frm Prverbs 3. If we willingly submit t the discipline f ur heavenly Father, in the end we will share in His hliness.

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