|Greek: is paideian hupomenete; (2PPAI) os huiois humin prospheretai (3SPPI) o theos; tis gar huios on ou paideuei (3SPAI) pater?
Amplified: You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline? (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
NLT: As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Whoever heard of a child who was never disciplined? (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Bear what you have to bear as "chastening" - as God's dealing with you as sons. No true son ever grows up uncorrected by his father. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: It is for the purpose of discipline, correction, and guidance that you are enduring. As those who by nature are sons is God dealing with you. For what son is there whom the Father does not discipline, correct, and guide? (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: if chastening ye endure, as to sons God beareth Himself to you, for who is a son whom a father doth not chasten?
IT IS FOR DISCIPLINE THAT YOU ENDURE: eis paideian hupomenete (2PPAI): (Job 34:31,32; Proverbs 19:18; 22:15; 23:13,14; 29:15,17; Acts 14:22)
Exposition related to suffering - Romans 8:18
Exposition related to tribulations - Romans 5:3
Exposition on how the Savior Succors Suffering Saints - Hebrews 2:18
Exposition on Trials - James 1:2
Exposition on present pain versus future joy - Matthew 5:10, 11, 12- notes
Don't forget to do a Site Search - Enter the word SUFFERING in Preceptaustin Search
The KJV (Greek Textus Receptus) reads "If ye endure chastening" is not accurate when compared to the more modern translations which do not have the Greek conjunction for "if" (ei) but instead have the Greek preposition differing by only one letter (eis).
The recipients of this letter are exhorted to remain under (endure = bear under) the chastening hand & training rod of God, for the grand purpose of the conflicts & afflictions is worth it. Don't grow faint, don't lose heart, don't take your eyes off Jesus, don't forget that you have endured a great conflict of sufferings, don't stop pursuing holiness because you're accused of being too radical, don't forget to strengthen your arms that are feeble & legs that are weak… you're marching on to Zion, you're looking of a city which has foundations & cannot be shaken, you're goal is almost here because He Who is coming is coming soon and He will not delay. So hold fast your confession & assurance firm until the end. Your endurance of this momentary, light child rearing by the Father will yield not only temporal but eternal benefits. Glory to God.
It is for (eis) is the preposition meaning into or unto.
Discipline (3809) (paideia from país = child) (Click study of related verb paideuo) means to provide instruction, with the intent of forming proper habits of behavior, of providing guidance for responsible living, of rearing and guiding a child toward maturity. Paideia is a broad term, signifying whatever parents and teachers do to train, correct, cultivate, and educate children in order to help them develop and mature as they ought.
Although paideia refers primarily to the training or discipline of children (whether in the schools of men - Acts 7:22, Acts 22:3 or in the school of God, see Titus 2:12-note, et al), at one end of the spectrum it describes the training that occurs by teaching, instructing, educating or nurturing and at the other end of the spectrum the training that occurs by utilizing correction and punishment if necessary (which it usually is for children) as a part of the training or child rearing process bringing them to maturity (this end of the spectrum conveyed by English words like chastise or chasten, as morally disciplining an adult, correcting them and giving them guidance). From these definitions one can see that the meaning of paideia is dependent on the context.
Detzler writes that paideia (and paideuo) "moves from education to correction and finally embraces the concept of punishment. This idea is quite unpopular, because many Christians confuse salvation with sentimentality. God does not tolerate sin among Christians, but rather disciplines them as a good father would (Heb 12:5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11-note). In fact, if a Christian is comfortable and undisciplined, there is cause to doubt that he truly is a believer. (Detzler, Wayne E: New Testament Words in Today's Language. Victor. 1986)
Webster says that the English word discipline describes training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
Thayer says paideia describes "the whole training and education of children (which relates to the cultivation of mind and morals, and employs for this purpose now commands and admonitions, now reproof and punishment). In Greek writings from Aeschylus on, it includes also the care and training of the body. Whatever in adults also cultivates the soul, especially by correcting mistakes and curbing the passions hence, a. instruction which aims at the increase of virtue: b. according to Biblical usage chastisement, chastening (of the evils with which God visits men for their amendment)
TDNT writes that "Paideia from pais a child. In classical usage, that which is applied to train and educate a child. So Plato: “Education (Paideia) is the constraining and directing of youth toward that right reason which the law affirms, and which the experience of the best of our elders has agreed to be truly right” (“Laws,” 659).(Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)
Vincent - In scriptural usage another meaning has come into it and its kindred verb paideuein, which recognizes the necessity of correction or chastisement to thorough discipline. So Lv 26:18; Ps 6:1; Isa 53:5; Heb. 12:5, 6, 7, 8. In Acts 7:22 paideuo occurs in the original classical sense: “Moses was instructed (epaideuthe) in all the wisdom,” etc. The term here covers all the agencies which contribute to moral and spiritual training. (Vincent, M. R. Word Studies in the New Testament 3:404).
John MacArthur has a helpful note on paideia writing that it refers to…
Paideia is used 50 times in the Septuagint (LXX) (Deut. 11:2; Ezra 7:26; Job 20:3; 37:13; Ps. 2:12; 18:35; 50:17; 119:66; Pr. 1:2, 7, 8; 3:11; 4:1, 13; 5:12; 6:23; 8:10; 10:17; 12:1; 13:18; 15:5, 10, 32, 33; 16:17, 22; 17:8; 19:20, 27; 22:15; 23:12; 24:32; 25:1; Isa. 26:16; 50:4, 5; 53:5; Jer. 2:30; 5:3; 7:27; 17:23; 30:14; 32:33; 35:13; Ezek. 13:9; Dan. 1:20; Amos 3:7; Hab. 1:12; Zeph. 3:2, 7). Here are a few representative uses…
Paideia is used 6 times in the NT…
Wuest on why we endure - The recipients of this letter are exhorted to remain under the chastening hand of God, for the purpose of this chastening is disciplinary.
Endure (5278) (hupomeno [word study] from hupo = under + meno = abide) means to persevere, endure. To remain under not simply with resignation, but with vibrant hope. It means to continue in activity despite resistance and opposition and so to hold one's ground, not be moved (as in Jas 1:12-note). Hupomeno was a military term used of an army’s holding a vital position at all costs. Every hardship and every suffering is to be endured in order to hold fast. It speaks of enduring patiently and triumphantly.
The writer uses the present tense which calls for us to continuously endure.
Hupomeno - 17x in 16v - Mt 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13; Luke 2:43; Acts 17:14; Rom 12:12; 1 Cor 13:7; 2 Tim 2:10, 12; Heb 10:32; 12:2f, 7; Jas 1:12; 5:11; 1 Pet 2:20. NAS = endure(3), endure… with patience(1), endured(5), endures(3), patiently endure(1), perseveres(1), persevering(1), remained(1), stayed behind(1).
To endure or to exhibit patience is a critical Christian virtue. Unless we have patience, we can never learn many of the truths that God wants us to learn, truths that will lead us into a deeper life and a more fruitful ministry. Children are usually impatient; they cannot sit still long enough to get the things done that need to be done. “How long do we have to wait?” is the stock question of the child. Impatience is a mark of immaturity. Impatience is also a mark of unbelief. Isa 28:16 “He who believes will not be in a hurry”. When you find yourself restless and nervous, anxious to “do something,” you can be sure you are not trusting God to work.
By enduring or remaining under the disciplining hand of God, we permit Him to mold us into His image. If we try to short-circuit His dealings with us, He may have to teach us over a longer period of time, using more instructive, and consequently, more difficult methods. There are grades in the school of God, and promotion comes only when we have learned our lessons.
So when testings come to us, we should realize that God is treating us not as enemies but as sons. In any normal father-son relationship, the father trains his son because he loves him and wants the best for him. God loves us too much to let us develop naturally instead desiring for us to grow "supernaturally".
GOD DEALS WITH YOU AS WITH SONS: os huiois humin prospheretai (3SPPI) o theos: (1Samuel 2:29,34; 3:13; 1Kings 1:6; 2:24,25; Proverbs 13:24; 29:15)
Spurgeon - What a bright light this sheds upon all affliction: that it is for our profit, that it is thereby we are made partakers of the holiness of God. While you feel the weight of God’s hand upon you, never forget that it is your Father’s hand. Whatever form your trial may take—whether it is the loss of a child or of a parent, or the withdrawal of temporal prosperity, or the smiting of the body with aches and pains—the rod is never in any hand but the paternal one, and even while the Father smites He loves. Let this be your comfort, that it is not the hand of an enemy that is upon you. You are not suffering from a crushing blow from the foe’s mailed hand, but the stroke, whether it is heavy or light, is wholly caused by your loving Father’s hand.
Deals (4374) (prosphero from prós = to, toward + phéro = bring) refers primarily to an an offering, whether of gifts, prayers, or sacrifices. It conveys the idea of carrying or bringing something into the presence of someone usually implying a transfer of something to that person.
In this verse in Hebrews prosphero is in the passive voice and conveys the meaning of “to behave toward, to deal with.” Wuest explains "That is, the afflictive dealing of God with the recipients is an evidence that they are sons of God. We must keep in mind that this letter is written to the professing Christian Church made up of saved and unsaved. Both classes were the recipients of the persecution, because both classes had left the temple sacrifices and had identified themselves with the visible church. But only those who would remain under the chastening hand of God would prove themselves to be true sons of God. Those who would renounce their profession of Messiah as High Priest and return to the sacrifices in order to escape the persecution, would show by that, that they had never been saved."
An incident from the Old Testament illustrates this. David was rebuked by the Lord for numbering Israel and was given the choice of three punishments. He wisely let the Lord decide, and undoubtedly experienced the least hurtful of the three, but in the plague God sent, 70,000 Israelites died! (2Samuel 24).
FOR WHAT SON IS THERE WHOM [HIS] FATHER DOES NOT DISCIPLINE?: tis gar huios on ou paideuei (3SPAI) pater:
This is a rhetorical question of course -- the answer (at least the ideal one, realizing that many sons in America have no father or only an "absentee" father) is "None".
Discipline (3811) (paideuo [word study] from país = child) refers primarily to the training or discipline of children (whether in the schools of men - Acts 7:22, Acts 22:3 or in the school of God, Titus 2:12-note, et al), at one end of the spectrum training by teaching, instructing, educating or nurturing and at the other end of the spectrum utilizing correction and punishment if necessary (which it usually is for children) as a part of the training or child rearing process bringing them to maturity (this end of the spectrum conveyed by English words like chastise or chasten - see below - as morally disciplining an adult, correcting them and giving them guidance). In that regard we will briefly look at some of the most common English words used to translate paideuo and will attempt to draw out the sometimes subtle differences in meaning. From this introduction, you can see that the meaning of paideuo is dependent on the context.
It should be emphasized that the verb discipline is not synonymous with to punish, but is more accurately thought of as meaning to chastise or chasten. In popular speech chastise and punish are often confounded. Chasten is from the Latin , “pure,” “chaste ;” and to chasten is, properly, to purify! This meaning underlies even the use of the word by Pilate, who was not likely to be nice in his choice of words. Instead of punishing the Messiah with death, he sought to chastise Jesus, in order to teach Him! (Lk 23:16). As emphasized in this section of Hebrews dealing with discipline, the verb paideuo includes the ideas of instruction, correction, and warning and all God's chastenings are designed to cultivate Christ-likeness and purify us from the evil tendencies that emanate from our intractably evil flesh nature. In the context of the book of Hebrews, the discipline referred to in this section is not punishment for wrongdoing, but training through persecution.
Coach Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys is reputed to have said,
Our author would have welcomed that as an accurate statement of what God does with those he calls to be his children. They (and we) should “hang tough” because their trials are proof that they (and we) "are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ." (Jude 1:1)
><> ><> ><>
Good Dads - Columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. grew up with a father he describes as physically present but emotionally absent. In his first book on parenting, Pitts openly chronicles his struggle to come to terms with his alcoholic father and the climate of fear he had created in their home. Pitts challenges all men to resolve the resentment toward their absent or abusive fathers instead of passing it on to the next generation.
There's a passage in Hebrews 12 that applies to all Christians, but it has special relevance to dads. It reads: "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled" (He 12:14,15).
Think of what could happen in our families if we emptied our hearts of bitterness and made peaceful relationships our goal! If we have been blessed with a wise and loving father, we should be grateful and follow his example. But if our father has failed us, we must rely on God's grace, resolve our anger toward him, and strive to be the kind of dad we never had. It won't be easy, but with our heavenly Father as a perfect example, we can learn to be good dads. —David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
A faithful father leads by love
><> ><> ><>
CHASTENING AND HOLINESS.
WE live in a world full of suffering. A great part of the daily life of many is made up of little trials and vexations. A sharp word; an unkind judgment; neglect or ingratitude from some one from whom we did not expect it; the carelessness of a servant; the temper of a husband or wife; the loss accruing through the neglect or unfaithfulness of others; the disappointment of our wishes; the accidents that vex us-all these things in daily life often come to us with far greater temptation and danger than times of persecution for the faith brought to the martyrs. By their littleness and their frequency and their suddenness, they surprise and conquer us ere we know. If Christianity is to be a success, if Christ is to save completely, there must be a provision, sufficient and efficacious, to prevent suffering from causing discouragement or defeat, to transform it into blessing and help.
If it can enable us to rejoice in tribulation (cp Ro 5:3-note), to glory in infirmities, and to pass unharmed through trial (Ed: Or certainly more like Christ), it will indeed be the religion man needs in a world of suffering. He that has this secret (cp Php 4:11, 12-note), whereby what have been hindrances become helps (cp 2Co 12:10-note), and his very enemies are made to serve him, is on the way to be the Christian God would have him be.
God has made such a provision. First of all, He gives His own Son, as the chief of sufferers, to show us how close the relation is between suffering and His love, suffering and the victory over sin, suffering and perfection of character, suffering and glory. Yea more, to provide us with One, who can sympathise, who can teach us how to suffer, and who, as the Conqueror of sin through suffering, can breathe His own life and strength into us. And thus He comes as our Father, to shed His heavenly light on our afflictions, and to teach us the lessons our portion contains. They are these. Chastening is a part of a father's training, and one of the marks of sonship Submission to chastening forms and proves the truly childlike character. God's chastening makes us partakers of God's holiness. See how these three thoughts are brought out here.
Chastening is a needful part of a father's training. It is for chastening that ye endure; all suffering is a divine chastening. God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father chasteneth not? Our own childhood and fatherhood teach it us; discipline, chastening, and reproof, in whatever form, is an indispensable part of education; where a child needs it a father may not withhold it. In the will of God, and in the very nature of things, sin and suffering go together, and even love can cause suffering for the greater good of casting out the sin. Let the child of God learn the lesson, suffering is chastening, the chastening of love. We ought to spare no pains to learn this lesson well; we ought to repeat and repeat it, until we can say, Now, I know it perfectly: every trial, small or great, I will look upon at once as a messenger of God's love. If you thus meet it, whether it comes through men or yourself or more directly from above, as God's appointment, you are in the right attitude for bearing and being blessed by it.
Submission to chastening forms and proves the truly childlike spirit. Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? When the Lamb of God came to this earth to suffer God's will, it was that He might teach us what the place is that becomes the creature, and the child--absolute subjection to the perfect will of love. He came to show that the thing that makes life worth having is to have it to give up to God, and to prove that humility and resignation are the sacrifices God delights in, and the sure, the only path to God. No religion or worship of God can be acceptable to Him but as Me sees in it con-fortuity to the life and spirit of His Son. We can only please Him as we are like-minded to Christ. Learn, O child of God! the unspeakable privilege in suffering, of giving up thy will to God, even as Jesus did, of adoring His wisdom and goodness, and entering deeper into the child's spirit and the child's place --to reverence and submit. Chastening is one of the marks of sonship. If ye are without chastening, then are ye bastards and not sons. Suffering is not in itself a sign of sonship. An enemy or a criminal may be scourged; even a slave chastened as well as a son. But to him who is a son, chastening reminds him of his place, and calls him to meet this part of a son's heritage in the spirit and with the hope of a son--with the assurance that it will draw him nearer and lock him closet to the Father.
Chastening makes us partakers of God's holiness. He chasteneth us for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. What a new light on suffering and chastening! He that maketh holy and they that are made holy, are all of one. We have entrance into the Holiest of All. In the which will we have been made holy. He hath made the people holy by His blood. And now comes suffering--shall we not welcome it when He sends it with such a message--to break open our inner being, and waken up our desire, and make us partakers in our inmost life of that holiness Jesus gives, of that holiness into which we enter in God's presence. Yes, welcome suffering, if it leads us, through subjection to God's will and love, into His holiness as our portion.
By Pastor Steven Cole - this sermon is an excellent exposition of Hebrews 12:7-11…
Amplified: Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons [at all]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
NLT: If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children after all (NLT - Tyndale House)
never disciplined? (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: For if you had no experience of the correction which all sons have to bear you might well doubt the legitimacy of your sonship. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: But if you are without discipline, correction, and guidance, of which all [sons] have been made partakers, it follows therefore that you are bastards and not sons. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and if ye are apart from chastening, of which all have become partakers, then bastards are ye, and not sons.
BUT IF YOU ARE WITHOUT DISCIPLINE: ei de choris este (2PPAI) paideias: (He 12:6; Ps 73:1,14,15; 1Pe 5:9,10)
But (de) introduces a dramatic, strong contrast.
If = first class conditional statement which is regarded as a fulfilled condition. In short, God does not own those whom He does not chasten and they not His children. It is not true as so many falsely assert that God is the Father of all mankind. There are only 2 spiritual families on earth since sin entered the garden of Eden, one family being God's family (Jn 1:12, 13, Ro 8:14, 15, 16-note) and the other being Satan's family (cp Jn 8:44, 1Jn 3:7, 8, 9 and especially 1Jn 3:10)
Without (5565) (choris from chora = land in turn from choros = field) is used here as a preposition which marks dissociation and indicates a distinct separation from discipline. In other words - no ("separate from") discipline = not a believer.
In the OT God's discipline of Israel often came in the form of drought, famine or enemy attack, and was regarded in a negative light and thus as a sign of His displeasure with His people because of sin. It follows that these first-century Jewish believers could easily view persecution in the same light. The writer assures his Hebrew readers that God's chastenings are proof of their genuine sonship, for all sons are partakers of chastening. Those among them who were not chastened were as it were "born out of wedlock" and therefore not believers.
Discipline (3809) (paideia [word study] from país = child) means to provide instruction, with the intent of forming proper habits of behavior, of providing guidance for responsible living, of rearing and guiding a child toward maturity. Paideia is a broad term, signifying whatever parents and teachers do to train, correct, cultivate, and educate children in order to help them develop and mature as they ought. (See notes on Hebrews 12:7 for additional discussion related to paideia).
OF WHICH ALL HAVE BECOME PARTAKERS: es metochoi gegonasin (3PRAI) pantes:
Have become (1096) (ginomai) means to come into existence. In other words, all who have come into existence (by grace through faith, Eph 2:8, 9-note) into the family of God (believers) have also become partakers or sharers in the Father's discipline. Given this clear Scriptural teaching, it is sad and surprising that so many believers resist and even sometimes resent clear teaching on the necessity for and significance of divine discipline in the life of every true child of God!
Partakers (3353) (metochos [word study] from metecho = have with, describing participation with another in common blessings) describes one who shares with someone else as an associate in an enterprise or undertaking. It speaks of those who are participators in something. Business partner, companion. Participating in. Accomplice in. Comrade.
To be participants in chastisement is a clear sign that one is a true child of God, for the Lord disciplines those whom He loves. God is like a gardener, for the gardener does not prune thistles, but does prune grapevines to make them more productive. Similarly God's discipline is not intended to destroy us but to develop us. In other words, our Father takes us into His darkroom to develop our character not demolish it.
THEN YOU ARE ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN AND NOT SONS: ara nothoi kai ouch huioi este (2PPAI):
Illegitimate children (3541) (nothos) is one who is unable to register a valid claim to ancestry and thus is a spurious or illegitimate son. In the present context nothos then describes one who is unable to make an accredited claim to sonship (referring to a legitimate son or daughter) of God.
In ancient times when one described someone as an illegitimate child it was a grievous insult. In fact, if one was illegitimate, it had a significant negative impact on social status as well as one’s right of inheritance. And thus under Roman law, the illegitimate child had no inheritance rights. In addition, in that culture, the fathers obviously were more invested with their legitimate heirs and usually invested little time in illegitimate sons.
Spurgeon - None of us would wish to have that terrible name truthfully applied to us. I should greatly prefer to come into the condition of the apostle when he said, “Therefore rather I will boast in my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may reside in me” (2Cor 12:9-note).
Not sons - The Greek for "not" is ou which conveys the sense of absolute negation. You are in no way sons of God!
This principle begs the question - Have you experienced the good hand of the Lord in discipline at some time (or times) in your life? If you have, then you are a legitimate child of God (Jn 1:11-13, 1Jn 3:1-note).
Spurgeon adds that even though this is true "no one should pray for troubles, or be anxious because he is without them: they will come fast enough and thickly enough before long, and when they do, a blessing will be in them.
><> ><> ><>
Our Daily Bread - Half-Baked Christians - The prophet Hosea used the tribe of Ephraim as a poetic representation of the northern kingdom of Israel. In a colorful admonition, he wrote that Ephraim had become "a cake unturned" (Hosea 7:8).
In today's terminology, the prophet might have said that Ephraim was "half-baked." The people were like a pancake burned on one side but raw on the other. Although they took advantage of the Lord's goodness, they did not seek Him with their heart. When they needed help, they turned to other sources (Hos 7:10, 11,14, 15, 16). They had become tasteless and useless to God, so He was forced to judge them.
Jesus echoed the words of the prophet. Although He had gentle words for penitent sinners, He gave a scathing rebuke to the haughty and self-righteous who wanted to live as they pleased. He was furious at two-faced religious leaders who talked a good talk but turned around and exploited their followers (Matthew 23:13-30).
God is never soft on sin. He sent His only Son to redeem us from sin's penalty (John 3:16). Let's not be half-baked Christians, claiming God's forgiveness but still living as we please. The only fitting response to God's mercy and grace is to serve Him in humility and love.—Haddon W. Robinson (Ibid)
Thinking It Through
Amplified: Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we yielded [to them] and respected [them for training us]. Shall we not much more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits and so [truly] live? (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: 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?
NLT: Since we respect our earthly fathers who disciplined us, should we not all the more cheerfully submit to the discipline of our heavenly Father and live forever? (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: After all, when we were children we had fathers who corrected us, and we respected them for it. Can we not much more readily submit to a heavenly Father's discipline, and learn how to live? (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Furthermore, we have been having indeed fathers of our flesh as those who disciplined, corrected, and guided us, and we have been in the habit of giving them reverence. Shall we not much rather put ourselves in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: Then, indeed, fathers of our flesh we have had, chastising us, and we were reverencing them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of the spirits, and live?
FURTHERMORE WE HAD EARTHLY FATHERS TO DISCIPLINE US AND WE RESPECTED THEM: eita tous men tes sarkos hemon pateras eichomen (1P IAI) paideutas kai enetrepometha (1PIPI): (John 3:6; Acts 2:30; Ro 1:3; 9:3,5) (Respected - Ex 20:12; Lev 19:3; Dt 21:18, 19, 20, 21; 27:16; Pr 30:17; Ezek 22:7; Eph 6:1, 2, 3, 4 )
Furthermore (eita) is an adverb the writer uses to introduce a new phase of the topic of discipline. Up to this point the sufferings of Christians have been explained by God’s family or fatherly relation to them. Now the point is that their fathers, with whom God is compared, were only earthly parents or as we might put it "were only human"!
Earthly fathers - (tes sarkos hemon pateras) is literally the fathers of our flesh. We see similar expressions in Ro 4:1, 9:3; Gal 4:29; Heb 2:14.
Discipline (3810) (paideutes [word study] from paideuo = instruct, correct, chastise from país = child) refers to one who disciplines and corrects by punishment or provides instruction for the purpose of proper behavior. The idea is that of an instructor, trainer, corrector, discipliner, preceptor. This word group related to paideuo (word study) denotes the upbringing and handling of the child which is growing up to maturity and which thus needs direction, teaching, instruction and a certain measure of compulsion in the form of discipline or even chastisement. Paideutes is found only here and Ro 2:20 (and in the Septuagint in Hosea 5:2)
Wuest adds that paideutes is "The word was used by the Greeks of a slave who had charge of a young child, taking him to school and bringing him home again. He had the moral and ethical supervision of the child also. Our word, “pedagogue” comes from this word. The word is used here of a corrector or chastizer as in Hebrews 12:9.
We respected (1788) (entrepo from en = in, upon + trepo = turn) is literally to turn back or about. In an active sense it means to put to shame or make one ashamed (1Co 4:14, 2Th 3:14, Titus 2:8). In the passive/middle sense, entrepo pictures one who turns himself toward someone which gives us the concept of showing respect, reverence or regard for that person (Mt 21:37, Mk 12:6, Lk 20:13 and here in He 12:9).
There are 9 uses of entrepo in the NT - Matt. 21:37; Mk. 12:6; Lk. 18:2, 4; 20:13; 1 Co. 4:14; 2Th 3:14; Titus 2:8; Heb. 12:9 and 30 uses in the Septuagint (LXX) - Ex 10:3; Lv 26:41; Nu 12:14; Jdg. 3:30; 2Ki 22:19; 2Chr. 7:14; 12:7, 12; 30:11, 15; 34:27; 36:12; Ezra 9:6; Job 32:21; Ps 35:4, 26; 40:14; 69:6; 70:2; 71:24; 83:17; Isa 16:7, 12; 41:11; 44:11; 45:16, 17; 50:7; 54:4; Ezek. 36:32
SHALL WE NOT MUCH RATHER BE SUBJECT TO THE FATHER OF SPIRITS AND LIVE: ou polu de mallon hupotagesometha (1PFPI) to patri ton pneumaton kai zesomen (1PFAI): (Malachi 1:6; James 4:7,10; 1Peter 5:6)
Shall we not much rather - The writer's argument is a Hebraic “how much more” type argument. In other words, if we respected earthly fathers (which we do), how much more should we respect our Father in heaven, specifically when He disciplines us?
Subject (5293) (hupotasso [word study] from hupó = under + tasso = arrange in orderly manner) means literally to place under in an orderly fashion. In the active voice hupotasso means to subject, bring under firm control, subordinate as used in (Ro 8:20-note)
Hupotásso means to submit (to yield to governance or authority), to place in subjection. It is important to note that many of the NT uses are in the passive voice with a middle sense which signifies the voluntary subjection of oneself to the will of another. Husbands and wives both need to understand the voluntary nature of the submission called for in the marital relationship lest it be misapplied (discussed in more detail below). Likewise children of God need to willingly yield themselves to the governance and authority of their perfect Father!
Hupotásso was a military term meaning to draw up in order of battle, to form, array, marshal, both troops or ships. Hupotásso meant that troop divisions were to be arranged in a military fashion under the command of the leader. In this state of subordination they were now subject to the orders of their commander. Thus, it speaks of the subjection of one individual under or to another. Hupotasso was also used to describe the arrangement of military implements on a battlefield in order that one might carry out effective warfare!
In non-military use, hupotasso described a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, or carrying a burden.
Submission focuses not on personality but position. We need to see authority over us not acting on their own, but as instruments in the hand of God. If we look at people as acting on their own we will eventually become bitter, but if we can see them as acting as God allows, we will become holy. A beautiful example of this is found in the life of Joseph. His brothers consistently mistreated him and it would have been very easy for him to become bitter at them. Yet he had a divine perspective on the whole situation and it helped him become a holy man of God.
Hebrews 12:9 poses several concluding application questions --
If we submit to this sovereign, loving, fatherly care, we will not "grow weary and lose heart," but we will keep the faith, fight the good fight, and finish our course, and die well, and glorify our Father in heaven.
Spurgeon on our subjection to the Father of spirits - Should we not give Him reverence when we are chastened, instead of murmuring and complaining against Him, thus calling Him to account at our judgment seat (2Cor 5:10-note)? Let us be in willing subjection to Him; and the more willingly subject we are, the less painful will the chastisement be. Our bitterest sorrow will be found at the root of our self-will; and when our self-will is gone, the bitterness of our sorrow will be past. There is a kind of fear toward God from which we must not wish to be free. There is that lawful, necessary, admirable, excellent fear, which is always due from the creature to the Creator, from the subject to the king, and from the child toward the parent. That holy, filial fear of God, which makes us dread sin and constrains us to be obedient to His command, is to be cultivated. This is the fear of the Lord which is “the start of wisdom” (Pr 9:10). To have a holy awe of our most holy, just, righteous, and tender Parent is a privilege, not a bondage.
Live (2198)(zao from zoe [word study]) means to live and can refer to natural physical life (1Co 15:45, Acts 22:22, Ro 7:1, 2, 3, 1Co 7:39) as opposed to death. In the present context however it seems the writer is emphasizing living life to the full as God intended it to be lived.
As Wuest says "The words “and live,” are not limited in their application to the future life, but refer to this present existence. The idea is, “have true life.” (cp Jn 10:10)
BDAG writes that the verb zao means "to live in a transcendent sense (Gal 2:20, Titus 2:12, 2Ti 3:12, Ro 6:2, etc)… of the sanctified life of a child of God (zao in the sense of a higher type of life than the animal… Cass. Dio 69, 19: after years of public service, Similis retires and prepares this epitaph = Here lies Similis, existing for so many years, but alive for only seven.
Wuest (in comments on 2Pe 1:3-note) writes that zoe… speaks of life in the sense of one who is possessed of vitality and animation. It is used of the absolute fulness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God. It is used to designate the life which God gives to the believing sinner, a vital, animating, spiritual, ethical dynamic which transforms his inner being and as a result, his behavior. (In comments on 1Jn 1:2 Wuest adds) here used as Thayer indicates, as “the absolute fulness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God.” Thus, this life that God is, is not to be defined as merely animation, but as definitely ethical in its content. God is not the mere reason for the universe, as the Greeks thought, but a Person with the characteristics and qualities of a divine Person. The ethical and spiritual qualities of this life which God is, are communicated to the sinner when the latter places his faith in the Lord Jesus as Saviour, and this becomes the new, animating, energizing, motivating principle which transforms the experience of that individual, and the saint thus lives a Christian life. The message of John is that since the believer is a partaker of this life, it is an absolute necessity that he show the ethical and spiritual qualities that are part of the essential nature of God, in his own life. If these are entirely absent, John says, that person is devoid of the life of God, and is unsaved. The ethical and spiritual qualities of this life were exhibited to the human race in the earthly life of the Lord Jesus. His life thus becomes the pattern of what our lives should be in holiness, self-sacrifice, humility, and love. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans )
In Proverbs Solomon emphasizes the vital relation between discipline and life in its ethical/moral sense writing…
The psalmist writes…
I shall show the various benefits of affliction, when it is sanctified by the Spirit of God to those persons who are exercised by it.
The Great God has made affliction the occasion of converting sinners, and bringing them into a spiritual acquaintance with Christ his Son. See Isaiah 48:10.
God not only makes affliction the occasion of converting sinners at first, but after conversion he sanctifies an afflicted state to the saints, to weaken the remains of indwelling sin in them, and make them afraid of sinning against him in future time.
God, in afflicting the saints, increases that good work of grace, which his Spirit has implanted in them. God causes his saints to grow in grace, when he corrects them with the rod of sorrow; God assimilates and makes the saints like unto himself, in a greater degree, by temporal troubles and distresses. Hebrews 12:10, 11.
God afflicts the saints for the improvement of their knowledge in divine things. The Psalmist says, in the words of the text, Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law. See also Ps 119:71.
The great God, by afflicting the saints, brings them unto him with greater nearness and frequency, by prayer and supplication.
God afflicts the saints, to make them better acquainted with the perfections of his nature.
To make them more conformed to Christ his Son.
To subdue the pride of their hearts, and make them more humble.
God oftentimes discovers to the saints, in the season of their affliction, in a clearer manner, that grace which he has implanted in them, and refreshes their souls with the consolations of his Spirit.
God afflicts the saints, to divide their hearts more from the love of the world, and to make them more meet for heaven. Outline of a Sermon by John Farmer, 1744.
A child who does not learn subjection to authority will never become a useful, mature adult. Any of God’s children who are unwilling to submit their will to His perfect will but instead rebel against His authority are in danger of death! “Shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” (Heb 12:9) The suggestion is that, if we do not submit, we might not live. “There is a sin unto death” (1Jn 5:16). But even if he does not allude to physical death, all life apart from fellowship with God is in essence "death" and is like filled with vanity, vanity, like chasing after the wind.
Those who live life to the fullest are those who do not refuse/resist God’s discipline but instead gratefully receive it. If your spiritual life is static and unfulfilling, it may be because you are consciously or unconsciously resisting God’s discipline. If so, God’s Word to you is, submit to Him and begin to truly live (Jn 10:10b)! There is also "life" because where there is obedience there is peace, and where there is peace there is life.
><> ><> ><>
Lawrence Richards - Two things reassure us when God disciplines. We remember that Jesus suffered first. And we remember that God has graciously explained His motive for discipline. One thing that bothers us is not knowing “why.” We lose our job, and in our fears about the future cry out, “Why?” We lose a loved one, and agonize, “Why him, and why not me?” We suffer from a lingering illness and, try as we may, we can find nothing “good” in it. We begin to doubt Ro 8:28, and again we ask, “Why?” God doesn’t give us reasons for specific hardships. But He does explain, carefully, what He is doing. God is treating us as any good parent treats his own children. God is disciplining us “for our good, that we may share in His holiness.” Don’t expect an economic benefit from the loss of a job, an emotional benefit from the loss of a loved one, or a health benefit from a serious illness. But do expect a spiritual benefit from any hardship. If you and I submit to God (v9), He will work in our lives, and through suffering we will grow in holiness. Even more, we will reap a rich “harvest of righteousness and peace” from the training hardship is intended to provide." (Richards, L: 365 DAY DEVOTIONAL: DEC 4)
><> ><> ><>
Ripples On The Pond - A young boy made a toy boat and then went to sail it on a pond. While he was playing with it along the water's edge, the boat floated out beyond his reach. In his distress he asked an older boy to help him. Without saying a word, the older child picked up some stones and started to throw them toward the boat.
The little boy became upset, for he thought that the one he had turned to for help was being mean. Soon, though, he noticed that instead of hitting the boat, each stone was directed beyond it, making a small ripple that moved the vessel a little nearer to the shore. Every throw of the stone was planned, and at last the treasured toy was brought back to his waiting hands.
Sometimes it seems as if God allows circumstances into our lives that are harming us and are without sense or plan. We may be sure, though, that these waves of trial are intended to bring us nearer to Himself, to encourage us to set our minds "on things above, not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:2). Because we are prone to drift away from Him, the Lord must discipline us to get us back on the right course (Hebrews 12:9, 10, 11).
How are you responding to life's difficulties? They are God's loving way of drawing you closer to Him. —Henry G. Bosch (Ibid)
Lightly hold earth's joys so transient,
Amplified: For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: 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.
NLT: For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: For our fathers used to correct us according to their own ideas during the brief days of childhood. But God corrects us all our days for our own benefit, to teach us his holiness (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: For on the one hand, they disciplined, corrected, and guided us for a few days upon the basis of that which seemed good to them, but He disciplines, corrects, and guides us for our profit, to the end that we might partake of His holiness. (Eerdmans)
FOR THEY DISCIPLINED US FOR A SHORT TIME AS SEEMED BEST TO THEM: oi men gar pros oligas hemeras kata to dokoun (PAPNSA) autois epaideuon (2PIAI): (Lv 11:44,45; 19:2; Ps 17:15; Ezek 36:25, 26, 27; Ep 4:24; 5:26,27; Col 1:22; Titus 2:14; 1Pe 1:15,16; 2:5,9; 2Pe 1:4)
For (gar) is a strategic term of explanation which should always prompt a pause to prayerfully ponder what the author is saying in a given section. This pause that refreshes will give your Teacher, the Spirit, an opportunity to speak to your heart (so that what you read is more than just head knowledge), not only illuminating the text (see The Bible and Illumination) but applying the text practically to your personal life (Application). Therefore, energized by the Spirit, let us discipline ourselves for godliness and frequently "P & P" (pause and ponder) the Word -- we are sure to be richly rewarded by our Father in Heaven, for "godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come!" (1Ti 4:7-8-note, 1Ti 4:9-10-note)
Wuest explains that "A comparison is now drawn between the character and end of the earthly father’s discipline and that of the heavenly Father. There are two things that indicate the imperfection of the discipline of the former, namely, it is during the brief period of youth, and it must cease when manhood is reached, whether or not it has accomplished its end; and then again, the human parents are short-sighted, fallible. They are sometimes moved by passion rather than by sound judgment, with the result that they are often mistaken in their disciplinary methods. The thing that seemed good to them was not always best for us."
Disciplined (3811) (paideuo [word study] from país = child) refers primarily to the training or discipline of children (whether in the schools of men - Acts 7:22, Acts 22:3 or in the school of God, Titus 2:12, et al), at one end of the spectrum training by teaching, instructing, educating or nurturing and at the other end of the spectrum utilizing correction and punishment if necessary (which it usually is for children) as a part of the training or child rearing process bringing them to maturity (this end of the spectrum conveyed by English words like chastise or chasten - see below - as morally disciplining an adult, correcting them and giving them guidance). In that regard we will briefly look at some of the most common English words used to translate paideuo and will attempt to draw out the sometimes subtle differences in meaning. From this introduction, you can see that the meaning of paideuo is dependent on the context.
Disciplines is not synonymous with punish, since paideuo always implies an infliction which contemplates the subject’s amendment; and hence answers to chastise or chasten. In popular speech chastise and punish are often confounded. Chasten is from the Latin , “pure,” “chaste ;” and to chasten is, properly, to purify! This meaning underlies even the use of the word by Pilate, who was not likely to be nice in his choice of words. Instead of punishing the Messiah with death, he sought to chastise him, in order to teach him better! (see Lk 23:16)
Paideuo includes instruction, discipline, correction, and warning. All are designed to cultivate Christian virtues and drive out evil. In this passage, the chastening was not punishment for wrongdoing, but training through persecution.
Our Teacher is personified as the grace of God in Titus 2 "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing (Greek verb paideuo) us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age… (Titus 2:11, 12-See notes Titus 2:11; 12 )
Human parents are shortsighted, fallible, sometimes moved by passion rather than by sound judgment, and, therefore, often mistaken in their disciplinary methods. What seemed good to them was not always best for us. No such possibility of error attaches to the Father of spirits. Earthly fathers discipline (NOT mothers primarily) according to what they think is right. Sometimes it may not be right.
Spurgeon - Sometimes Christ may hide Himself in absolute sovereignty, but I am always concerned lest we should charge God foolishly. You are so apt to put too many saddles on that stalking horse. There are such multitudes of Christians who would even excuse their sins upon the plea of a divine sovereignty that exposed them to temptation, that I scarcely like to mention it. I believe that God does not afflict the children of men willingly or arbitrarily. Neither does Christ hide His face from His people for nothing; your sins have separated you and your God. He does not chastises us as silly parents may do, out of mere anger or whim, or to please themselves.
BUT HE DISCIPLINES US FOR OUR GOOD SO THAT WE MAY SHARE HIS HOLINESS: o de epi to sumpheron (PAPNSA) eis to metalabein (AAN) tes hagiotetos autou:
But - another strategic term of contrast.
For our good - I think the rendering of some of the other versions as "for our profit" gives us a better sense of the "wages" or "dividend" paid by bearing up under the disciplining hand of the Lord.
Spurgeon - he heavenly Father’s heart is never angry so as to smite in wrath. It is in pity, and gentleness, and tenderness that He afflicts His sons and daughters. “You in faithfulness have afflicted me.” See what a blessed state this is to be brought into, to be made children of God, and then in our prayers to be praying, not like serfs and servants, but as children who cry, “Abba, Father” (Rom 8:15).
God is the Father of our spiritual nature, so, if He pleases to chasten us for our profit, shall we not humbly yield ourselves up to Him, and let Him do with us whatever He wills?
Good (4851) (sumphero from sún = together + phéro = bring) means literally to bring together and then to confer a benefit. It comes to mean to be profitable, advantageous or useful. The idea is to bring together for the benefit, profit or advantage of another.
In this case it describes the dividends of discipline!
Another advantage of discipline is that "when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord in order that we may not be condemned along with the world. (1Co 11:32)
What is the advantage in context? His Holiness which is ever the Father's desire for His offspring, Moses recording - For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth. For I am the LORD, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, to be your God; thus you shall be holy for I am holy.' (Lev 11:44,45)
Paul writes the following regarding holiness of believers…
Peter echoes Paul's call for holiness in believers…
Trials of the Christian life as spiritual discipline that could help a believer mature. Instead of trying to escape the difficulties of life, we should rather be “exercised” by them so that we might grow (Heb 12:11-note).
God’s discipline is always perfect. His love is infinite and His wisdom is infallible. His chastenings are never the result of whim, but always for our profit.
Share His holiness - Literally "unto the partaking of his holiness".
Spurgeon asks "Is there no way for us to “share in His holiness” but through chastening? It would seem so from the wording of this verse. The Lord, as our loving Father, makes use of the rod so that He may make us to be truly holy." Spurgeon goes on to add that "He who stands in the thickest part of the battle shall have the highest glory at last. The old warriors would not stand and skirmish a little on the outside of the army, but would say, “To the center, men! To the center!” And they cut through thick and thin until they reached the place where the standard was, and the hotter the battle, the more glory the warrior felt. He could glory when he had been where shafts flew the thickest, and where lances were hurled like hail. “I have been near the standard,” he could say; “I have struck the standard-bearer down.”Count it glory to go into the hottest part of the field. Do not fear; your head is covered in the day of battle. The shield of God can easily repel all the darts of the enemy. Be bold for His name’s sake.
Share (3335) (metalambano from metá = with, denoting association + lambáno = take, receive) means to receive as one's share in or as one's part of. To participate in His holiness.
The preposition "eis" (unto) marks the final purpose of chastening. Holiness is one goal of our earthly life. Shall we not be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For, in contrast with the temporary, faulty chastening of the human parent, which, at best, prepares for work and success in time and in worldly things, God's chastening results in holiness and real life.
In Christ we have been made partakers of the divine nature (2Pe 1:4-note), and as partakers, God chastens us so that we will partake even more. The most holy of us are those who have properly endured the most discipline. What a gift, then, discipline is!
When we are suffering, it is easy to think that God does not love us. So the writer gave three proofs that chastening comes from the Father’s heart of love.
The Scriptures (He 12:5, 6-note). The quotation is from Pr 3:11,12, a statement that his readers had known but had forgotten. (This is one of the sad consequences of getting “dull” toward the Word; see Heb 5:11,12-note). Because they forgot the Word, they lost their encouragement and were ready to give up!
God's objective is that we may be partakers of His holiness. And godliness can never be produced outside God’s school.
Jowett explains that "The purpose of God’s chastening is not punitive but creative. He chastens “that we may share His holiness."
The phrase “that we may share” has direction (eis) in it, and the direction points toward a purified and beautified life. The fire which is kindled is not a bonfire, blazing heedlessly and unguardedly, and consuming precious things; it is a refiner’s fire, and the Refiner sits by it, and He is firmly and patiently and gently bringing holiness out of carelessness and stability out of weakness. God is always creating even when He is using the darker means of grace. He is producing the fruits and flowers of the Spirit. His love is always in quest of lovely things." God is Light and in Him there is no darkness at all… faith is the assurance of this truth even though He is not seen.
><> ><> ><>
Pain's Purpose - Affliction, when we accept it with patience and humility, can lead us to a deeper, fuller life. "Before I was afflicted I went astray," David wrote, "but now I keep Your Word" (Ps 119:67-Spurgeon's note). And again, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes" (Ps 119:71-Spurgeon's note).
Pain, far from being an obstacle to our spiritual growth, can actually be the pathway to it. If we allow pain to train us, it can lead us closer to God and into His Word. It is often the means by which our Father graciously shapes us to be like His Son, gradually giving us the courage, compassion, contentment, and tranquility we long and pray for. Without pain, God would not accomplish all that He desires to do in and through us.
Are you one whom God is instructing through suffering and pain? By His grace, you can endure His instruction patiently (2Co 12:9). He can make the trial a blessing and use it to draw you into His heart and into His Word. He can also teach you the lessons He intends for you to learn, and give you His peace in the midst of your difficulties.
Through trials we learn to overcome,