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Receive Chastening with Joy

John Collins02/26/2012In Hebrews 12, Paul told the people to lay aside every weight of sin that burdened them down, because they were surrounded with many witnesses of the wonderful things that Jesus Christ had done.  He told them to run the race with patience.

Jesus was the author and the finisher of our faith, the one who endured the cross so that we could have joy.  He despised the shame, and now sits down at the right hand of the Father.

Jesus endured such a contradiction of sinners when compared to his perfect life.  Paul told the people not to be wearied or let their minds be troubled because of sin; no man has ever resisted sin until they had died for it except Jesus Christ.

As children, they were taught not to despise the chastening of the Lord, and not to be weak minded when they were rebuked by God.  God loves to chasten his children, and does so with every son and daughter that He receives.  Paul said that if we can endure chastening, God deals with us as His own children, as a father with a son. 

If we cannot endure chastening, then we are not His children, we are bastards and not sons.  Paul said that our earthly fathers had corrected us and we respected them.  How much more should we be in full subjection unto the Holy Father, so that we might live?  The earthly fathers chastened us after their own pleasure, but God chastens us for our own profit -- that we might be partakers of His holiness.

No chastening in the present seems joyful, and causes us much grief.  Afterwards, though, it brings peace and righteousness to all that are chastened. 

Therefore, we can rejoice!  Lift up our hands in praise instead of hanging them downward, and stop trembling in fear because of our sin!  Stay in the path of righteousness, so that we are not straying because of the grief of sin -- instead let our sin be healed by grace!

Live in peace with all men, our brothers and our accusers.  Without peace, no man shall see the Lord God.  Do not let ourselves be burdened down with our sins, or it will cause bitterness in ourselves and defile us.  

If we do not have peace, we are fornicators or profane people, like Esau -- who for only one morsel of meat sold his birthright.  He would have received the blessing, but instead he was rejected.  He found no place of repentance, even though he had sought repentance carefully with tears.

Paul said that they were worshipping the mountain that Moses received the law by God.  No animal was even allowed to touch the mountain, or it was killed.  Moses was so upset that Moses said he would fear and quake at the sight.

Paul said that they were now standing at the new mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem with an innumerable company of angels.  Jesus was the mediator of the new covenant, just as Moses was the mediator of the old covenant.  The blood of Jesus Christ speaks better things than that of Abel.  

He told the Hebrews that they should not refuse the speaker, because if they refused him that spoke on the earth, they certainly would refuse God that speaks from heaven.  God's voice shook the earth when he first spoke, but he promised that he would speak once more and shake not only the earth, but heaven as well.

When he spoke the second time through Jesus, he signified that he removed those things that were shaken.  Paul said that we should have grace, because we are receiving a kingdom that can't be moved.  We should accept and serve God with reverence and godly fear.   God is a consuming fire that will consume all that He has chosen.

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Are we burdened down with our sins?  Are we running our race with patience?  Do we receive our trials with sadness, or with joy?  Are we living in peace with all men, or are we profane like Esau?  Are we worshipping the holy places here on earth, or are we worshipping the Holy Father?  Do we refuse our speakers here on earth?  Have we received the new covenant that Jesus Christ brought, or have we denied ourselves the kingdom of God?

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