“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” (Hebrews 12:10).
In Hebrews chapter 12 we notice Paul’s use of three words for “endurance.” In :1 it is “patience,” in verses 2 and 3 it is “endure,” and in :7 it is “endured.”
We are told that our Lord Jesus Christ endured two things, the Cross, and the contradiction of sinners. Paul uses this as an example to teach us a very important truth. Here is what he intends for us to know, If Christ, the Sinless One, endured the ridicule and rebuke of sinners, should we not, being sinful, endure patiently the chastening of our loving Heavenly Father?
It is necessary for holiness
There can be no sanctifying grace without chastening. It is not only necessary for our own holiness, but it is a priceless asset in our service. If we are never convicted of sin ourselves it is certain that we will never produce conviction in others.
Can we take the rebuke and reproof from other believers without getting offended? God must chasten us if we are going to be partakers of His holiness.
The state and the process
God’s word is very exact in all areas; this is true regarding the doctrine of sanctification too. In Hebrews 12:10 “holiness” is the Greek word “hagiotes” referring to the state of holiness, but in :14 the Greek word is “hagiasmos” which is the process of holiness. Therefore through an ongoing process we are brought into the state. God often uses chastisement to accomplish this work.
When the Holy Spirit visits our hearts with rebuke and reproof it is to make us miserable. Nobody has ever got miserable over his sins apart from the Holy Spirit. Is it not good that we are convicted and made miserable for our godlessness? Holiness can only find a home in the heart that has been broken and convicted by God.
It is not a pleasant experience to have our fallow ground ploughed up by the Spirit, but it is vital … “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till He come and rain righteousness upon you” (Hosea 10:12.)
We need not be afraid of this aspect of the Lord’s work in our lives. We should not hide from it or try to hinder it in any way. Instead we should welcome it, bow ourselves before God’s presence, if we are to be partakers of His Holiness. He wants us to be sanctified in truth (John 17:19.) We will never know this blessing until we bow to His will.
“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth” (Hebrews 12:6.)