For Whom The Lord Loveth

Posted by on Feb 17, 2008

By Pastor Mike Withem

First Baptist Church of Ranson, WV

February 17, 2008

Sunday Morning

 

“For Whom The Lord Loveth”

 

Scripture Text: Hebrews 12:4-11

Introduction:

 

A.   Every now and then I will find myself engaged in conversation with someone who doesn’t believe in the eternal security of the saved.

1. While I don’t believe in arguing just for the sake of arguing, I will discuss this subject with someone if I detect a willingness on their part to at least consider my arguments.

2. Of course, if I expect them to listen to my arguments in favor of eternal security, I feel obligated to at least listen to their arguments against it.

3. Invariably, one of their arguments goes something like this: “You Baptists believe that you can be saved, then live like the devil, and there will be no repercussions.”

4. Of course, this is not what we believe.

5. While we do believe in eternal security, we also believe that when a saved person willfully sins against God, there will be repercussions.

 

B.   What are these “repercussions”?

1. One of the repercussions is chastisement.

2. In other words, God will chasten His children when they willfully sin against Him.

3. This is what the writer of Hebrews is telling these Jewish converts who, because of severe persecution, were considering turning their backs on Christ and going back to their old religion (Jewish religion).

4. He is telling them, “You think life is difficult now, you turn your back on the Lord and you’ll find out how difficult life can really be!”

5. He then asked them, “Have you forgotten the exhortation found in Prov. 3:12, that says, ‘6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth’.?” (Vrs. 6)

 

C.   The point is, when a saved person willfully sins against God, there will be repercussions.

1. No, he will not lose his salvation, however, he will experience God’s chastening in his life.

2. In other words, God will take him to the woodshed, if you know what I mean!

 

D.   Now, this morning, there are three things that I want us to consider. First of all, I want us to consider…

 

I.       The Purpose Of Chastening.

 

A.   Why does God chasten His children?

1. Let me say, first of all, that chastening is not simply a matter of punishment.

2. It is punishment, for sure, however, the punishment is corrective in nature, not judgmental.

3. The reason I say that is because as believers in Christ, we will never have to suffer God’s judgment for our sins.

4. Do you know why this is true?

5. It’s true because Christ suffered God’s judgment on our behalf.

6. Christ paid the price for our sins in full on the cross, and God does not exact double payment for any sin.

7. And so, chastening is not simply a matter of punishment.

8. It is punishment, yes, but punishment with a purpose.

 

B.   What is the purpose of chastening?

1. The purpose of chastening is correction.

2. In fact, the word “correcteth” is used in Prov. 3:12, rather than the word “chasteneth,” listen to what it says, “12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.”

3. The purpose of chastening is correction.

4. In other words, God chastens His children when there is conduct in their lives in need of correcting.

5. (Illus.- Let me illustrate. Were you ever spanked by your parents when you were growing up? If so, what was it that usually precipitated the spanking? It was bad or unacceptable behavior on your part. Perhaps you told a lie. Perhaps you stole something. Perhaps you back-talked your parents. Perhaps you did something that put your life or the life of one of your siblings in danger. Perhaps it was something else. But the fact is, your spankings were usually precipitated by bad or unacceptable behavior on your part, and the reason your parents spanked you to was to correct that behavior.)

6. And so, the purpose of chastening is correction.

 

C.   Probably the best Old Testament example of God’s chastening is David.

1. Although David was God’s anointed king, and even though David was a man after God’s “own heart,” there came a time in his life when his behavior became unacceptable.

2. What did David do?

3. Actually, David committed two sins.

4. First of all, he committed the sin of adultery with Bathsheba, then he committed the sin of murder in an attempt to cover up his first sin.

5. Did God ignore David’s behavior?

6. No, indeed! God chastened David severely.

7. Beginning with the death of his infant son, David went through years of anguish and heartache that he would have otherwise never experienced.

8. What was God’s purpose in it all?

9. His purpose was to correct David’s behavior.

10.   His purpose was to bring David back to Him

11.   Did it work?

12.   It most certainly did.

13.   After God sent the prophet Nathan to confront David with his sin, David repented and was restored to fellowship with his God.

14.   And so, the purpose of chastening is correction.

 

D.   Another purpose of chastening is prevention.

1. What do I mean by this?

2. I simply mean that knowing God will chasten us if we go astray, should be enough of an incentive to keep us from doing so.

3. In other words, the threat of chastening should keep us from sin.

4. (Illus.- How many of you, when you were growing up, avoided doing some things because you knew that if you did them and your parents found out, there would be heck to pay? While you weren’t perfect by any means, a healthy fear of daddy’s belt kept you out of a lot of trouble that you might have gotten into otherwise.)

5. And so, another purpose of chastening is prevention.

 

E.   There is at least one more purpose in chastening.

1. Not only is the purpose of chastening correction.

2. Not only is the purpose of chastening prevention.

3. The purpose of chastening is also identification.

4. In other words, it identifies us as children of God.

5. How is that? It’s really very simple.

7. God only chastens those who belong to Him (those who are, by faith, His children).

8.    Notice again Vrs. 6-8 of our text, “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. (Illus.- Have you ever wanted to discipline someone else’s child? I know there have been lots of times when I have seen a child throwing a temper tantrum in a store, and I thought to myself, “Man, I wish that parent would let me get a hold of that child, I would put a stop to that nonsense!” Of course, we do not discipline someone else’s child. The same thing is true of God.)

10.   And so, another purpose of chastening is identification.

 

F.    Now I want us to consider…

 

II.      The Process Of Chastening.

 

A.   We’ve already seen that the process of chastening is purposeful. It is purposeful for…

-correction,

-prevention,

-identification.

 

B.   However, not only is the process of chastening purposeful, it is also painful.

1. Notice again the first part of Vrs. 11 of our text, “11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous:”

2. In other words, being taken to the woodshed is not a happy or joyful event, but rather a sad and painful event.

3. (Illus.- I never said this to either of my children, but I have heard of parents who would say to their children, just before they took the belt to them, “Now this is going to hurt me more than it is going to hurt you.” That, of course, is a bunch of hogwash.)

4. Chastening is a very painful process, especially to the one being chastened.

 

C.   Notice again the words that the writer of Hebrews uses in Vrs. 6 to describe process, “6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”

1. Did you notice that word “scourgeth.”

2. Do you know what a “scourging” was in Bible times?

3. It was a “flogging” that was done with a whip.

4. In other words, it was a severe and extremely painful beating. (Mat. 10:17; 23:34)

5. And so, chastening can be a very painful process, especially to the one being chastened.

 

D.   (Illus.- When I was a little boy, one of my friends and I went into a “five and dime” store in Montrose, CO, where we lived at the time. I’m not sure why we went into the store, because neither of us had any money. After we came out of the store, I noticed my friend take a brand new pack of “lifesavers” candy out of his pocket. I asked him, “Where did you get that?” He said, “I stole it while we were in the store.” I said, “Did you steal one for me too?” He said, “No, you can steal your own.” So back into the “five and dime” we both went. This time, both of us pocketed a pack of “lifesavers” candy. However, neither of us realized that this time we were being watched by the store manager. We hadn’t made it a half a block down the side walk before the manager of the store put his hand on our shoulders and said, “Boys, you need to come with me.” Thus began a very painful process. The process ended when the store manager walked me home. As we turned up the walk to my house, I noticed my dad standing on the front porch waiting for me. We entered the house, went straight through the house, out the backdoor, and straight to the coal shed [didn’t have a woodshed]. You know what happened then!)

 

E.   Why is chastening such a painful process?

1. It’s painful because pain “gets our attention.”

2. (Illus.- That day that my father took me to the coal shed for stealing really got my attention. Know why? Because he whipped the daylights out of me! But I’ll tell you what, I never stole anything again! He clearly got my attention.)

3. Chastening that is not painful won’t get our attention, and chastening that doesn’t get our attention is worthless.

 

F.    Now, finally this morning, I want us to consider…

 

III.    The Product Of Chastening.

 

A.   In other words, what does chastening produce in our lives?

 

B.   According to our text, chastening produces at least two things.

1. First of all, it produces life (physical life).

2. Notice again Vrs. 9 of our text, “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?”

3. Notice that the writer of Hebrews equates “subjecting ourselves to the Heavenly Father” to “living.”

4. Now what is he saying here?

5. He is simply saying that those who refuse to submit to or to respond in a positive way to God’s chastening in their lives are in danger of physical death.

 

C.   First of all, let’s look at an Old Testament example of this.

1. Do you remember what the law of Moses had to say about a son who was totally rebellious to his parents and refused to be corrected or disciplined?

2. Turn to Deut. 21:18-21, “18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: 19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; 20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. 21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die:”

 

D.   Now let’s look at a New Testament example.

1. Do you remember what happened to some of the members of the church at Corinth because they made light of the Lord’s supper?

2. Listen as I read 1 Cor. 11:30, “30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.”

3. In other words, God made some of them sick, and those who refused to respond to this chastening later died.

4. And so, one of the products of chastening is life.

5. If we respond to God’s chastening in our lives, we can avoid what the Bible calls the “sin unto death.” (1 John 5:16)

 

E.   Not only does chastening produce life, it also produces holiness.

1. Notice again Vrs. 10-11 of our text, “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.”

2. God’s chastening, when received (responded to in a positive way) produces both holiness and righteousness in our lives.

3. In other words, it makes us more like Christ.

4. And isn’t that what we are after? (At least it should be.)

5. The Bible tells us in Rom. 8:28-29, “28 And we know that all things (including chastening) work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.”

6. Yes, God’s chastening can be very painful, but when you consider what it produces in our lives, it’s worth the pain!

 

 

F.    (Illus.- Someone has written, “And so what do I say? I say let the rains of disappointment come, if they water the plants of spiritual grace. Let the winds of adversity blow, if they serve to root more securely the trees that God has planted. I say, let the sun of prosperity be eclipsed, if that brings me closer to the true light of life. Welcome, sweet discipline, discipline designed for my joy, discipline designed to make me what God wants me to be.”)

Conclusion:

 

A.   What have we learned this morning about God’s chastening?

1. First of all, we learned about the purpose of chastening (correction, prevention, identification).

2. Secondly, we learned about the process of chastening (very painful process).

3. Finally, we leaned about the product of chastening (life and holiness).

 

B.   There is one more thing that I want to point out, and that is God chastens us because He loves us. Again, Vrs. 6 of our text says, “6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.”

 

C.   Are you being chastening this morning?

1. If so, this is good news.

2. It means that God loves you.

3. It means that you are one of His children.

4. It means that God is seeking to bring you closer to Him.

5. How are you going to respond to His chastening?

6. Please don’t resist it.

7. Receive it! Be thankful for it! Respond to it in a positive way!

8. Let God use it to bring you closer to Him.

9. If you resist or fight Him, it will only get worse, and you certainly don’t want to commit the “sin unto death.”

 

D.   Perhaps you have never been chastened? Are you saved???