First, read Hebrews 12:5-14. Explanation of the text: Though the word “chasten” means to train, teach or instruct, the chastening mentioned in the previous verses has to do with corporal punishment. We must consider verse 14 within the context of the discussion having to do with chastening of the children of God. The word “wherefore” in verse twelve is the link between the chastening and the sanctification or holiness mentioned in the later verses. The holiness is not that which is imparted to the believer when he or she is saved, but a progressive holiness which comes through spiritual growth.
We are constantly being chastened or trained by the Lord through the teaching, preaching, reading and meditation of the word of God. Even as a child is in constant training from the time he is born until he leaves the security of his father’s home, so the child of God is in constant training from the time of our new birth until we are called home. However, to avoid the corporal or bodily chastening which in most cases painful, we must strive to “…walk worthy of your vocation wherewith ye are called.” We are told in Hebrews 12:8 that “if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” In the same sense, we are to Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (Hebrews 12:14) If a person is not being chastened by the Lord, he is not a true child of God. If a person is not following after (striving for) the holiness of God in his life, that is evidence that he or she is not a true child of God. I do not say this for one to point the finger at another, but that we all may examine ourselves.
Sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). It is by the law that we have knowledge of sin. It is not by grace that we gage holiness in our lives, but the perfect law of God. It is the law which condemns the sinner and that is why sinners resist the outward call of the gospel to salvation. If he volunteers to come to Christ, he must admit that he has broken God’s law. Removing the Ten Commandments from the Court House will not remove the guilt of sin from the conscience of man.
We have a number of illustrations in the word of God of truly holy men and women. Take a look at Hebrews 11:24-28. In these verses we can lean what Moses refused and what he chose instead. He refused to identify with the family of sinners (Hebrews 11:24). He refused the pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:25). The child of God needs to find his or her pleasure in holiness. Moses chose the spiritual riches of Christ rather than worldly riches (Hebrews 11:26). He chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God (Hebrews 11:25). He chose to put his faith and hope in the invisible God. (Hebrews 11:27). And He chose to keep the Passover (Hebrews 11:28). In other words, Moses chose, as a child of God to sanctify himself and live a holy life in the world. To be continued. E-mail johnpruitt@frontiernet.net

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