Ministry of Chastisement
Open your Bibles to the book of Hebrews 12. I am going to start reading with verse 5 and read through verse 17. The people to whom the author is writing are having spiritual fainting spells. Much of the book of Hebrews deals with trying to encourage these Hebrew Christians, trying to cure their disheartenment because of trials and tribulations and sufferings and difficulties that had come their way. In the passages preceding this one, he has been giving reasons why they should not be disheartened because of adversity. You remember that chapter 11 is that great faith chapter. There the writer is pointing to them as examples. The faith of these great men was wrought out through suffering and trials and adversity. In chapter 12 he uses the example of Jesus as one who suffered; therefore, they should not be disheartened when they suffer. But there is a third reason that they suffer. Much of their discouragement and disheartenment is a result of their forgetting a primary truth in the spiritual life. In verse 5 he picks up this third reason that Christians suffer. This thing that they have forgotten has led to some doubt and frustration, which in turn has caused some disheartenment in their Christian life.
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: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 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? For they verily for a few days chastened u ...
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