Hebrews 12:6-10
Heb 12:6 (KJB)
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
He chasteneth - He disciplines
One of the most seeming contradictions in parenting is discipline yet it is a strong principle for proper development. If a parent did not love a child, they would let them do whatever they wanted to without any discipline. This method of parenting, of course, leads to disaster in a child’s life. When a parent does not take out any time to discipline a child, they are basically saying that the child is not worth the time. When a parent takes the time to properly discipline their child, they are telling the child that they are worth the time and that the parents do not want to see them go down the broad road to destruction. It is the same with God’s children, since God is our Father, He disciplines us properly and according to our needs. God knows how wild the sin nature can become, even in a believer, if it is not kept in check. God has much invested in the believer, having given His only begotten Son to pay for their sins. As children of God, we can expect God to chastise us to the point of it feeling like a scourge but it is for our benefit and the benefit of others. When you think of how many lives we touch, we touch them either as a good testimony for Christ or as a bad one. If as a bad one, then we bring shame upon the name of Christ. No Christian can ever sin and think it does not affect others because it does. God chastises us to bring us back to a good testimony.
Heb 12:7 (KJB)
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
One of the evidences of being a child of God is the fact that we will get chastised. Every true child is disciplined by their parents, either verbally or physically. We endure chastening because we are sons of God and realize that He is doing it for our benefit and/or for preparation for some future ministry. If we fight the discipline, then God will turn up the heat because He will have to deal with all phases of our rebellion. As we endure the chastisement, we will come to realize that God may also be revealing a practice in our life which is not compatible with the Christian walk. Once these things are revealed to us, then we can begin to remove them from our life and as God strengthens us, we will become stronger Christians with a stronger testimony, more apt to be a stronger witness.
Heb 12:8 (KJB)
But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Bastards - Illegitimate child, not genuine, or counterfeit
One of the key principles of true Christianity is found in this verse. If we are saved and chastised by God, it is another confirmation that we are saved. If we claim to be saved and act like the world but God never chastises us, then that is a key indicator that we are unsaved. Basically, what this verse is teaching is that those who claim to be Christians either by association with a church or some religious organization are not true children of God but counterfeits. Just as counterfeit money looks real and feels real, in essence, it is of no value because there is nothing back it, such as gold. So those who are counterfeit Christians may look real and act like the real thing but in their spiritual essence they are dead and have no spiritual life in them. (2 Cor 11:15 KJV) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. The word “transformed” in 2 Cor. 11:15 carries with it the meaning of having the outward fashion changed but the inward remains the same in that there is no true transformation. This is the same with counterfeit Christians, they seem to have undergone a transformation but their actions remain the same because there is no inward regeneration. It is like a dead man in a casket with a suit, he looks good and in fashion but he himself is dead. That is the basic picture of an illegitimate child of God.
Heb 12:9 (KJB)
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?
Corrected - One who corrects, instructs, or disciplines
Reverence - Have respect for
Be in subjection - To be in submission
Live - Be a live, be well, or recover
This verse contrasts two types of fathers. Our earthly fathers according to the flesh had disciplined us and as a result we gave them respect. If we didn’t, we would be subject to further correction. We respected them for this because they tried to keep us on the straight and narrow so that we would learn proper patterns of behavior which would carry us through into our adult lives. Since we would respond to their discipline, when we became saved, should we not much more respond properly to our Heavenly Father so we may continue to live in the right relationship to Him. When we respond rightly to His discipline, it strengthens our spiritual lives because it points out flaws in our life which would prove a hindrance to us in our spiritual growth. The term “father of spirits” shows the major contrast between the earthly father and the Heavenly Father. God was the one who created the soul of man.
Heb 12:10 (KJB)
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.
Pleasure - What seemed right or good
Profit - To be good or best, advantageous
Our earthly fathers had chastened us according to the ways they thought would correct the situation. Of course, the chastisement would have taken place in the younger years. When we became saved, it goes on into our later years and normally we will outlive our parents so they cannot chastise us anymore. Our Heavenly Father chastises us even as adults because the sin nature is still operational until the day of our home going. God’s chastisement profits us because if we stray from the holiness He demands from His children, it brings us back into line with His holiness. As Christians we are to live a holy life. What is not in view here is the belief that one can lose their salvation, the verse speaks mainly to the fact when the believer goes off track, they go farther from the holiness of God and that is when He chastises us, to bring us back. The profit He speaks about is the spiritual profit of the believer. As we live holy lives, we become more effective in the Kingdom of God, the more we become detached from the holiness of God, the less effective we become and God has too much invested in us to allow that to happen.