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“ye have forgotten”….Have you forgotten?

with 18 comments

Heb 12:5  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:
Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Heb 12:7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Heb 12:8  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Heb 12:9  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?
Heb 12:10  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.
Heb 12:11  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.
Heb 12:12  Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
Heb 12:13  And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

Have you ever meditated on these verses?  Or, more importantly have you ever personally experienced the rebuke and chastisement of the Lord?  I’m not talking about experiencing conviction; I’m talking about the Lord personally rebuking you for something and chastising you for it.  I would assume that many people today who fall under the umbrella of “Christianity” have no idea about the Lord chastising His sons and daughters.  In many of today’s churches, with their unbalanced understanding of God’s grace, the concept of God chastising His people is totally foreign.  It doesn’t line up with their unbiblical view of the character of a God who always overlooks their sins and who certainly would never bring any harm to them.  Or, for some reason, people think that the way God has dealt with His people, in both the old and the new testaments, is not how He operates today.  I think this is usually because people place a high view on their personal “feelings” about a matter, and they have a low view of the scriptures.  After my conversion, I went to a non-denominational church for about 7 years and never heard anything about how God disciplines His children.  But for those who walk with God, and for those who love the scriptures, this really is a blessed portion of scripture.

The writer of Hebrews tells his audience that “they have forgotten the exhortation that speaks unto them as children”.  What is the exhortation, that if they exeperience, speaks to their being a child of God?  Very simply, it is that God disciplines those who are His.  He says, “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?”  God, who is the Father of those who believe, disciplines His children for their own good.  It’s not something to faint or be discouraged about, but it’s a sign of God’s love towards you and is “one” evidence that you are His child.  While being rebuked and chastised by God obviously means you’ve either done or believed something that is wrong (that is not good), at the same time, it shows that God is actively watching over your life to conform you into the image of Christ.  It really is a great comfort to those who do indeed belong to the Lord.

(On the other hand, while God chastises all His children for their growth in holiness, God sometimes brings judgment on false professors (false converts) in the church.  It’s similar to how God dealt with Israel.  Often times when God judged Israel he would judge all Israel even though many of them where unbelievers and called “Son’s of Beliel”.  The Lord will sometime judge false professors along with the children of God.  I assume that it is because since they claim to follow the Lord they are being judge on the light they say they have.  That’s why I said being chastened or judged by the Lord is only one sign that one is a child of God..there are certainly more.)

I think sometimes though because believers have either a low view of scripture OR they have too high a view of how they are walking with God they are sometimes not aware of God’s dealings with them.  If someone has a low view of scripture, they might not clearly understand that they are being chastened by God.  On the other hand, sometimes people have too high a view of their walk with God.  In their own eyes, they are always right, always walking faithfully with God, and are above being chastened by God.  Both types are unable to see God’s dealings with them in whatever form it takes.

Chastisement itself can take on many forms, however God chooses.  God may cause some trial to come to you, God may take something away from you, or God may even make you physically sick.  I would like to focus a bit on sickness as a form of chastisement because I think that many people today are chastened by the Lord with sickness, but they do not discern that this is the case.

Looking at 1 Corinthians chapter 11, you see a clear case in which God was disciplining His children with bodily weakness, physical sickness, and in come cases even judging them unto death as a form of chastisement.

1Co 11:27  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
1Co 11:28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
1Co 11:29  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
1Co 11:30  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
1Co 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1Co 11:32  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

As the scripture says, many in the Corinthian church were taking the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy man.  Because of this God was afflicting them with bodily weakness, physical sickness, and even judging some unto death.  I’m not even sure that many of them were aware that their illnesses were a result of their sin until the apostle Paul told them.  But Paul was making it clear that these people were being rebuked and chastened by the Lord for their sin.  Because of their sin, God was personally afflicting these believers (and professing believers) with physical sickness.

Now, lets imagine a scenario that has application to how many would address this situation today.  Imagine that the sick Corinthians notice their sicknesses and are wanting to be healed.  Instead of examining their own life and seeking God in prayer, they run to the doctor to get healed of their ailment.  The doctor knows they are sick, diagnoses them with some sickness, and prescribes them some remedy.  They might even have a “known sickness or disease”.  Yet instead of the sickness or disease being used to turn the believer to the Lord in repentance, they just accept it as some natural sickness or disease and live with it.  With the fact that today just about every illness and sickness has a medical explanation, I’m sure this is the case with many believers and professing believers.  They are unable to discern, for whatever reason, that they are being chastened by God.  This can lead one into great delusion.  They accept their bodily weakness or sickness as just something natural and think their walk with God is ok and even growing.  I wonder how much this is the case in the body of Christ today.  I’m personally convinced that many suffer physical weakness and illness because they are being corrected and chastened by God, but they either don’t come to realize it or refuse to accept that that is the case.

So what about pastors or recognized godly men when they get sick?  It could very well be that they too are under God’s chastisement for some sin or rebellion (I’m not saying every case is this way).  Many people think that their pastor or elder is such a godly man that there is no way his sickness is somehow chastisement from God.  But the truth is we really don’t know what God is doing in someone’s heart.  God could have spoken to them on some issue, and they have not responded and are in disobedience to God.  In fact, the closer one walks with God, the more accountable that person is to God.  While God may not chastise a new believer for a certain behavior, He may very well chastise someone for the same behavior who has walked with God a number of years.  Everyone says they want to walk closer to God, but they often fail to realize that this brings greater responsibility and can bring about swifter punishment for disobedience.  Take Moses for instance.  Moses simply struck a rock instead of speaking to it, and because of his disobedience, he was forbidden to enter the promised land (Numbers 20:11).  Such is also the case of the prophet who was killed by a lion for disobeying the command of the Lord (1 Kings 13).  Nobody is beyond the chastisement of the Lord, and scripture seems to imply that it gets more strict with the more knowledge one has about God and the more one has walked with God.  Again, no one is exempt.

What is the purpose of God’s chastisement?  It’s quite clear, as God says: it’s so that we might be partakers of His holiness.  It’s not simply punishment for the sake of punishment.  God wills that we partake of His holiness.  Or as 2 Peter 1 says, that we would partake of His divine nature.  God truly has our highest good in mind when He chastens us.  What could be higher or better than partaking of the very nature and holiness of God?  But this blessing only comes to those who are “exercised by it” or trained by it.  I wonder how many people today are chastened by the Lord yet fail to be trained by God’s discipline?  Those who are chastened by the Lord and learn from it find produced in them a great humility and dependence upon God, and as the scripture says, they yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

Hebrews 12:12-13 gives a great hope and a great warning to those who are being chastened by God.  “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.”  If you find yourself under the rebuke and chastisement of God, then don’t be discouraged, MAKE STRAIGHT PATHS FOR YOUR FEET.  Listen to what the Lord is saying; repent and humble yourself before the Lord.  Allow the Lord to correct you with His word and cast off your pride.  You will find that the Lord is more than ready to heal you when you have repented and the Lord has finished the work He wanted to do in you through His chastisement.  But the warning is that if you don’t repent, you will be turned “out of the way”.  God’s chastisement might increase until you are judged unto death, just like some in the Corinthian church.  How one responds to the Lords rebukes can bring about either life or death.

So what about you?  Have you experienced the chastisement of the Lord?  Can you look back at your walk with God and see where the Lord has rebuked you and brought about correction?  Have you been trained by it and yielded the peaceable fruit of righteousness?  Could you be in the midst of God’s chastisement at this very moment and you haven’t realized that this was the case?  Remember, God disciplines all those He loves and those that are sons of God.  Don’t forget the exhortation that speaks to you as children.  If God is chastising you, may you be trained by it and yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness and share in the holiness of God.

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Written by Sean Scott

May 17, 2011 at 1:55 am

Posted in Uncategorized

18 Responses

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  1. Good teaching, brother.

    RE: “So what about you? Have you experienced the chastisement of the Lord? Can you look back at your walk with God and see where the Lord has rebuked you and brought about correction? Have you been trained by it and yielded the peaceable fruit of righteousness?”
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    Absolutely!

    ian vincent

    May 20, 2011 at 1:11 am

  2. In Revelation 3:19, Jesus says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

    He goes on to say that those who repent will sup [commune] with Him, and He will give these [WHO OVERCOME] the power to sit down with Him in His throne.

    In Revelation 3:19, the Lord is chastening LOST SOULS, for while we were yet sinners, He commended His love to us (Romans 5:8): “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16).

    Chastening is not exclusively reserved for the saved.

    The issue at stake in the passage concerning the Lord’s supper is that of ‘worthiness to partake.’

    No one is worthy of taking the Lord’s supper on their own part [for who is without sin?].

    What makes a man worthy to partake?

    Right standing with God, being justified freely by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    This is why Paul counsels, “Let a man examine himself,” (1 Corinthians 11:28) to see if he is “in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

    Notice, “not discerning the Lord’s body” (1 Corinthians 11:29) indicates that those who partook unworthily were not considering Jesus AT ALL.

    There are only 3 types of people who can fit into this category:

    1) false converts [those who have never been renewed to repentance, but for whom there remains hope for repentance and salvation]

    2) reprobates [those whom have no hope of a future repentance and salvation]

    or 3) those who have fallen away from the faith, counting “the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing” and doing “despite unto the Spirit of grace,” (Hebrews 10:29). Hebrews 6:4-6 tells us that there is no hope for these either.

    Notice also, the word “Shew” or “show” [ye do show the Lord’s death—1 Corinthians 11:26] means ‘to announce, declare, and publicly proclaim’ that we have been made one with Christ (Ephesians 5:30): therefore, the danger of partaking unworthily is in representing oneself as a repentant believer in Christ when this is not the case.

    Paul’s teaching leads us to several conclusions:

    1) the Lord’s supper is intended and reserved solely for the saints

    2) proper instruction should be given concerning the gospel prior to partaking if there is any concern that someone in attendance is not in the faith and an explanation of the dangers of partaking unworthily should be communicated

    3) that each person is responsible for examining themselves and may partake according to conscience

    P.S. As for me, God does not deal with me according to wrath [which is reserved for children of disobedience and abides upon them–John 3:36, Ephesians 5:6, and Colossians 3:6]: for at the moment of my conversion, His great wrath was swallowed up by the love and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Holiness is a condition of the heart, not absence of sin.

    Jesus replied to the ruler who addressed Him as “Good Master” with these words: “Why callest thou me good? NONE IS GOOD, save one, that is, GOD,” (Luke 18:19).

    Mark and Vicki Finger

    June 4, 2011 at 6:41 am

  3. P.P.S. God corrects me often: by speaking to me.

    Mark and Vicki Finger

    June 4, 2011 at 6:53 am

  4. 1Co 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

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    If WE would judge ourselves… meaning: Paul includes himself in this, as well. What should we judge? Yes, whether we are in the faith. But everyone who believes would consider themselves in the faith. Therefore he must be referring to unrepentant sin, as making a believer unworthy to take communion.
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    1Co 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
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    So, if justified believers get sick, and even die, for taking communion unworthily, it is a chastening, not a condemnation.

    ian vincent

    June 4, 2011 at 7:25 am

  5. Yes, I agree that this would apply to believers who are in danger of falling away from the faith: one would have to have almost lost all fear of God to not prepare himself to take the Lord’s supper.

    There is such a thing as a sin unto death ….

    Where the line is … only God knows.

    Mark and Vicki Finger

    June 4, 2011 at 8:43 am

  6. P.S. The concept of ‘lightly’ taking the Lord’s supper is so foreign to my experience as a saint that I could not imagine a believer doing that: but one that is in danger of falling away could do so.

    Sobering.

    Mark and Vicki Finger

    June 4, 2011 at 8:48 am

  7. Yes bro.

    Both, how one lives, and how one takes the LORD’s supper, are surely inseparable. If one is living right and their heart is right, they could not take it unworthily, and not be mindful or discerning of His body.

    ian vincent

    June 4, 2011 at 11:54 am

  8. Good thing you posted this, Sean.

    I apparently needed to revisit these verses.

    In fact, I am going to visit ‘chastisement’ more in depth.

    I have studied suffering according to the Lord’s will a lot: but I am going to investigate and meditate upon chastisement.

    Thanks for the post,

    Mark

    Mark and Vicki Finger

    June 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm

  9. I guess my early ‘baptist upbringing’ blinded me in part.

    Mark and Vicki Finger

    June 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm

  10. Those who hold on to unforgiveness against any man, especially those who hold grudges against others in the body of Christ can take the Lord’s supper unworthily:

    “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any, that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive your trespasses. For if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses,” (Mark 11:25-26).

    “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye,” (Colossians 3:13).

    “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” (Matthew 6:12).

    “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him,” (Luke 17:3-4).

    “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” (Luke 23:24).

    I imagine that this is the cause of a GREAT DEAL of weakness, sickness, and death in the body of Christ today.

    Mark and Vicki Finger

    June 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    • I imagine that this is the cause of a GREAT DEAL of weakness, sickness, and death in the body of Christ today.

      I agree.

      Sean Scott

      June 8, 2011 at 8:10 pm

  11. It’s even a higher standard of accountability:

    “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift,” (Matthew 5:23-24).

    Even if the offense is in our brother’s [or sister’s] heart alone, we are to strive to be reconciled before we can be ready to offer the gift of our heart upon the altar of the Lord.

  12. What happens if we reject the Holy Spirit’s rebukes and warnings and neglect the chastisements of the Lord?

    “For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry … for it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take … And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, that he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place,” (Acts 1:17, 20, 23-25).

    Judas was seated in heavenly places with Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:3, 2:6), but later fell by transgression to go to his own place.

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

    Adam and Eve fell by transgression and destruction came upon all mankind, so believers have to consider the extensive effects of their sin upon all who are under their authority or who are joined with them by faith.

    Mark and Vicki Finger

    June 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm

  13. And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.

    –Mark 4:21-25

    We are to bring forth fruit and exercise the gifts that God has granted us in the ministry to which we are called. Moreover, our lives are to benefit the lives of others: for we, as candles of the Lord (Proverbs 20:27) are to cast light into the world and the lives of our brethren. We are taught by the Lord, so that we may teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2). God blesses the hand of the diligent (Proverbs 10:4, 12:24): those who minister the gifts and graces of the Lord Jesus are increased in them. If we neglect our ministries and our gifts fall into continual disuse, neglecting so great a salvation as we have received, the Lord will eventually take away all that we have, as the following account attests:

    For [the kingdom of heaven is] as a man travelling into a far country, [who] called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    –Matthew 25:14-30

    Mark and Vicki Finger

    June 9, 2011 at 3:45 pm

  14. Last saturday we had a really blessed LORD’s supper. We had just baptized our daughter Shmita and it was her first partaking at the Table of the LORD.

    I can’t describe the blessing.

    But sometimes when insincere people are present and partake you can feel the grief of the Spirit.

    ian vincent

    June 12, 2011 at 3:12 am

  15. Heb 12:11 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.

    I bear my willing witness that I owe more to the fire, and the hammer, and the file, than to anything else in my Lord’s workshop. I sometimes question whether I have ever learned anything except through the rod. When my schoolroom is darkened, I see most. –C. H. Spurgeon

    I find this testimony to be true. Some of the most important lessons a son can learn from his father seem to come by way of the rod.

    fleebabylon

    June 22, 2011 at 11:00 pm

  16. Amen, Jim!

    Psa 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept your word.

    Psa 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn your statutes.

    Where is that verse where David says, Unless i had been afflicted i never would have sought the LORD?

    ian vincent

    June 23, 2011 at 3:21 am

  17. Psalm 118:18 The LORD has chastened me severely: but he has not given me over unto death.

    ian vincent

    June 23, 2011 at 4:43 am


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