Hebrews Chapter 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: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the
father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 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? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be
partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.”
In this passage, Paul sets forth the grand purpose for chastening and especially the chastisement of the Lord. The purpose of chastening is not designed as a tool for revenge or of hatred. It is designed to make us better persons and servants. There are several important points set forth in the above passage:
1. The Lord chastens his children. He does not chasten those that are not his. One of the evidences of our spiritual birth is that we have received chastening from the Lord.
2. We should not despise nor faint at the chastening or rebuke of the Lord. His purpose in chastening is that we might be partakers of his holiness.
3. Everyone that the Lord loves he chastens. Again chastening is evidence that the Lord loves us.
4. While we often reflect back on our childhood and rejoice that we had parents that loved us enough to chasten and correct us after their pleasure and we gave them reverence, much more should we be thankful for the chastening of the Lord who chastens us so that we may be partakers of his holiness.
5. At the times we through chastening we may think it grievous, yet it works to bring about in us the peaceable fruits of righteousness when we are exercised by the chastening.
6. Just like a child who receives chastisement and bows down his head and sorrows for the chastisement, yet afterward when he has learned the important lesson, he rejoices that he was chastened, so we should likewise lift up the hands that hang down and the feeble knees and press forward to serve the Lord with healing and learned lessons from the chastisement.
:14 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” Peace can be defined as the absence of conflict. Judicially, we have peace with God through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. According to Rom. 8:33 no charge can be brought against God’s elect before God: “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is
God that justifieth.” Moreover, we have peace in our own minds concerning our judicial standing with God when we believe the gospel report as foretold in Isaiah 40:1-2: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins.”
Moreover, we have peace in fellowship with God when we live in harmony with the words of God. Furthermore, two can walk together in peace when both are in harmony with the teaching of God’s words.
The word, holiness, means to be separate. To walk the course of this world is to live in an unholy manner. When we separate ourselves unto the teaching of God’s words and living according to those principles, we are then living a holy life and we are permitted to see God in the fellowship of faith.
“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;” We are saved from our sins and born of the Spirit of God by the grace of God. We cannot fail of this grace of God. However, God giveth more grace, and grace for our daily living. Unless we are looking
diligently we can fail of the grace of daily living and lose out on the blessings of living and walking with God in fellowship and the blessings of obedience.
Oftentimes, we are tempted to become bitter in the experiences of our lives. Bitterness can often accompany someone with the loss of a loved one such as a husband or wife; or when we contract a dread or crippling disease; or when a child has serious problems or things do not go as we wanted them to go; or when a spouse deserts a marriage; etc. Bitterness can spring up and trouble us
and sometimes brings us into a state of blaming God for our condition or circumstances, or bring us into a state of depression. These things can defile us from the blessings of living a holy life and a walk of faith.
“Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.”
For us which have been born of the Spirit we have a two-fold nature. We still possess the sin-cursed totally depraved nature of our mortal bodies. We also have an inward nature that God gave to us in regeneration that cannot sin. For those who have not been born of the Spirit, they only possess the sin-cursed totally depraved nature of their mortal bodies.
Those who are not born of the Spirit will live after the works of the flesh which are detailed for us in Gal. 5:19-21. Moreover, a child of God who also has a mortal body can also live after the works of the flesh. We also have the ability to produce the fruit of the Spirit as taught to us in Gal. 5:22.
We who are born of the Spirit need to beware lest we live in fornication or profanity or as the wicked person Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.