Text: Hebrews 12:1-11
Discipline is the mark of a legitimate child. A legitimate child is one born by parents who are legitimately married to each other. He is the opposite of a child born out of wedlock. We become legitimate children of God the moment we come to him through Christ. Christ is the only way to the father. When we accept what he’s done on the cross for our redemption, and begin to live in the light of this faith, our status changes. We are no longer gentiles or unbelievers but rather bonafide children of God.
In concluding the previous chapter, where he shows us the patriarchs that ran faithfully to the end, the writer of Hebrews encourages us to strengthen our minds to run the race before us. This we can do by putting Jesus at the forefront of our eyes. Verses 3-5 points out Jesus’ defiance. Just like the other heroes of faith before him, he disdains all the sufferings and at last obtains the crown of glory. In other words No Suffering; NO Crown. This is not to paint God as a sadist who derives pleasure in suffering people. Rather, discipline is his tool for shaping the people he has drawn to himself.
The book of Proverbs shows us that there is foolishness in the heart of a child but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him. When God accepts you as his child, one of your rights and privileges is discipline. So, discipline is a blessing and not a Curse. The rigorous training we receive as we battle the things that come to take us away from the faith helps to shape us make our election sure. It open the secrets of the kingdom to us and positions us to be better ambassadors of Christ, well equipped for good works. So as legitimate children we endure discipline and hardship knowing fully well that the reward it brings is far more glorious than our temporary hardships.