Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Hebrews 12:4 - 12:8

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Paul Kretzmann Commentary - Hebrews 12:4 - 12:8


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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

The chastening of God to assist us:

v. 4. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

v. 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;

v. 6. for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

v. 7. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

v. 8. but if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

The inspired writer here adds another thought to his appeal, namely, that his readers have by no means tasted the worst form of persecution yet: Not yet unto blood have you resisted, striving against sin. The Hebrew Christians of Judea were indeed suffering to some extent, both by reason of their isolation from others and by reason of the scorn which was heaped upon them. The fact that they were striving against sin in every form, especially against that of unbelief in Christ Jesus the Messiah, brought them many enemies. But the persecution had not yet reached the point that a great many of them had suffered death in the cause of Christ, the church in Judea had not yet become a martyr church as such. They might expect still worse conditions for them to endure.

Another thought is here brought in for the consideration of the readers: And you have altogether forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons, My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, nor faint when being corrected by Him; for whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and scourges every son whom He receives. The Christians are here reminded that their sufferings are tokens of God's fatherly love and care. They must never forget the exhortation and comfort which is contained in the words of the Lord, Pro_3:11-12. These words are addressed to sons, to children, and that in itself is a distinction, to be called sons of God. The believers should not make light of, should not despise, the discipline of the Lord, His entire method of training and educating His children, particularly through the necessary chastising. There must be no fainting, no despondency, no failure of faith when He reproves by word or deed. For it is necessary that all the children of God be subjected to the same discipline; it is a token of God's love, a treatment which He accords only to such as He receives into His heart and cherishes with all the wonderful love of His fatherly mercy.

The author now presents his conclusion: It is for discipline that you are enduring, as sons God is dealing with you. For what son is there whom the father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then are you bastards and not sons. This is the view which the believers should hold: their sufferings are evidence that God considers them His sons and treats them as such; they need such training in order that their sonship may be maintained. In fact, if there were a child in the house and the father would not take his chastening, disciplining, into his hand, a person might draw the inference that such a child is not a genuine son, but a bastard, one that is not accorded the same treatment as the true sons. In the same way believers, far from resenting the disciplining which God lays upon them, should rather be thankful for this evidence of their heavenly Father's regard and interest.