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  • Apr 05 / 2020
  • Comments Off on A real child needs discipline for growth (Hebrews 12:5-11)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

A real child needs discipline for growth (Hebrews 12:5-11)

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A real child needs discipline for growth

Hebrews 12:5-11 (Pastor Heo)

12:5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,

and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,

6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,

and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.


Today’s message is a little solid food for adult children of God. God bless us with this solid food.


Here’s one simple question: very important. Are you a child of God? Are you a daughter / son of God?

Before receiving this passage, we must be clear in this matter – because today’s passage is for the children of God.

If you are sure of your sonship / daughtership of God, then today’s passage is just for you. One keyword: “children / son” this word is repeated 7x.

v. 5 “The word of encouragement that addresses you as sons…”

We must be children of God to receive today’s passage. How can we become children of God. It is very simple, but only in one way. By believing in Christ as Savior and Lord can we become children of God.

John 1:12-13 “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to be call children of God…”

Only Jesus is the source of our faith – the ground, object, foundation, author, perfecter, pioneer, finisher of our faith. If we are really children of God, he will provide what we need – both in this world and the world that comes next.

However, we must also realize that discipline is essential.

Another keyword: “discipline.” In these 7 verses, the word “discipline” is repeated. The root of “discipline” and “disciple” are the same etymologically. This may have many meanings: punish, rebuke, train, teach, instruct. If we are really children of God, then discipline is essential for our growth and maturity.

Think about your personal experience between father / son, parents / children. Once, we were all children to our fathers and mothers. Today we may be fathers or mothers to our own children today.

v. 9 “moreover we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it… “

If our human fathers are normal and faithful to their human children, they will discipline them. Without discipline, our children may become tyrants. If I let my son do whatever he wants all the time, with no rules, he will become a bad boy, and I will be a bad father.

Sometimes we may feel like spanking our neighbor’s children, and they may feel like spanking our children, but we do not do that. Human fathers only discipline their own children, this shows that the children are their own.

Yes, sometimes human parents discipline children when they should not, or in the wrong way. And sometimes they do not discipline when they should. No human fathers are perfect but they do their best in the time the have with their children. And this human imperfection reminds us of the perfection of our heavenly father.

v. 8 “If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.”

At that time: “illegitimate children” were from slave girls or concubines. They received no recognition from their fathers, no discipline, no inheritance.

So, if we are disciplined by God, we can be encouraged that we really are children of God. “…if indeed we share in his sufferings that we may share in his glory. We know that our current sufferings cannot compare to the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans)

God disciplines only adult children, those he loves.

Also, as parents, we do not discipline infants – we only care for them.

And so if we are disciplined by God, it shows that we are growing and maturing and given adult standing in God’s family.

In our personal experience, there are many kinds of discipline, but let me say according to the Bible, roughly speaking, there are three kinds of discipline:

1. Corrective discipline

When we sin or do wrong we can receive corrective discipline – because he is our father and loves us.

When he disciplines us, he is not happy, he doesn’t enjoy it, he feels pain. But he disciplines us when we do wrong, when we sin, because he wants us to grow and mature.

King David is a good example of this. We know some of his stories.

He committed adultery with Bathsheba, then had her husband Uriah killed in the battlefield to hide his sin. But God knew, and like this we can hide nothing from God.

Then, his son Amnon raped his half sister. Absolom killed him, then rebelled against David to become king.

This was STEEP correction – but through this, David learned much and grew in grace. He confessed, “My God, my God, have mercy on me according to your unfailing love, and cleanse me from my sin. I know my sin. I was sinful at birth from the moment my mother conceived me.”

Yes, through this terrible experience, David grew in knowing God more. God disciplined David because he loved him so much, he was a son to God.

2. Preventative discipline

The apostle Paul is a good example of this. We know he was very dedicated and committed for his whole life to preaching the gospel. He was humble. Nevertheless, God gave him a thorn in his body to keep him from becoming conceited due to the great revelations he had from God. God allowed him to have weakness and sickness to keep him humble. Paul prayed 3 times to remove this weakness, but God answered, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Paul confessed, “For Christ’s sake, I rejoice in my weakness, in my difficulties, in my persecutions, for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Through his physical weakness, he experienced the power of Jesus Christ manifested and demonstrated through his weakness.

3. Educational discipline

Job is a good example of this. God gave him to us as a good example of patience, perseverance, and endurance. Recently, today, we need these more than ever.

Job was blameless, upright, feared God, worshiped God sincerely, shunned evil. God was so proud of him even before Satan. But Satan challenged this, “Does Job fear you for nothing? If you take away all the blessings you’ve given him, then he will stop worshiping you.”

God said, “OK, strike him, but spare his life.” So Satan afflicted him.

Usually, discipline comes because we are doing poorly. But also sometimes, discipline can come because we are doing so well.

Job was a spiritual athlete. Because of his excellence, God brought a greater challenge to him so that he might rise to higher levels of spirituality.

In the later chapters of Job, “God knows the levels he is testing me, and when I come out of the fire, I will come out as gold.”

When God disciplines us, Satan tempts us to believe, “God doesn’t care for me, he has left me.” Actually, the very opposite is true. He disciplines us because he is with us, loves us, cares for us, and he wants us to grow and grow and grow until we are like Jesus in our character and attitude.

What are the benefits of discipline? There are many, but we should remember God’s right discipline in the right time, in the right way.

God’s discipline is always for our good, for our highest good. “God is good, all the time; all the time, God is good.”

God’s discipline is always to our advantage. Here are some advantages to our discipline, sufferings, and difficulties, and problems. In this world, we cannot escape these things, but we must be able to respond positively by faith.

1. Helps us to look upward and forward instead of inward

God provides patience, endurance, good character, hope, love in our suffering.

Romans “Therefore, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have gained access to this grace in which we now stand. We rejoice in the glory of God and also in our sufferings, which produces patience, endurance, character, and hope, which does not disappoint us because God has poured his love into our hearts.”

2. We can trust in God’s sovereignty for our lives

Romans 8:28 “In all things, God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose.”

3. Sufferings enable us to help others who are suffering

2 Cor 1:4 “God comforts us in all our troubles so that we may comfort others in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

For children, remember, discipline is essential. But discipline is not the purpose, it is only the means.

What is the purpose of God? Let’s see the last two verses:

v. 10-12 “but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

God’s plan for us is righteousness, peace, joy and holiness, sharing in his nature.

So, what about this world around us? Why do we need discipline? To live a righteous life in this unrighteous world; to live peaceful; to live holy; to live godly life in this ungodly world. So, we must continually focus our eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.

Let us continue running with patience this race set before us. God loves you so much and desires we grow and grow and grow without stop until we become like our example, Jesus Christ.

God bless you to be victorious in living a Christian life in this world.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 14 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Christ is Superior to Moses (Hebrews 3:1-6)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ is Superior to Moses (Hebrews 3:1-6)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Christ is Superior to Moses

Hebrews 3:1-6 (Pastor Heo)

1 Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, *fix your thoughts on Jesus*, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.


Theme of Hebrews: Superiority of Christ

We have studied:

  • Jesus over angels
  • Jesus over Moses (today)

Jesus is much superior to Moses – we all agree, I think. If this is true, we may think, “Why we need to review and study this topic. This point is so obvious and natural. We don’t need to study this I guess.”

We know Jesus is God, Savior, Lord, Creator. Moses is a creation – a servant of God (one of the great ones, but not worthy to be compared to Christ).

Then, why do we need to study this topic?

To understand this, we need to understand the background – esp Jewish background. If we are unfamiliar with Jewish history, it is difficult to appreciate Moses’ high standing in their culture.

At that time he was the GREATEST of all men. At that time, some thought he was superior to Jesus, in fact.

In John 9, one day Jesus healed a man born blind. He spit on the ground and made mud with his saliva and put it on his eyes and told him to go wash. He did, and immediately, he could see.

After doing this, the people around him asked, “Who opened your eyes?” He said, “The man they called Jesus.” They asked again and again. He said again, “I answered clearly. Do you want to become his disciple?” They then insulted him. “YOU! You are the disciple of that fellow! But we are disciples of Moses!” (They thought Moses was superior to Jesus.)

According to Jewish history, there are 6 reasons why Moses is so highly exalted.

(But this is not the main topic – only to understand the background.)

  1. He was an inconquerable deliverable
    • (divinely chosen for his task – his life was miraculously preserved even under the sentence of death as a baby – plucked from the Nile river. God ordained him at the burning bush.)
  2. He performed the most miracles
    • (at least 10 plagues over Egypt – Nile -> blood, frogs & gnats, flies, the death of livestock, boils, hail, darkness over Egypt, death of the firstborn – after the plagues, he parted the Red Sea with his staff and passed through on foot – he smote the rock and released mineral water in the desert. In the battle against the Amalakites, when his hands were up, the Jews were winning).
  3. He was the greatest prophet
    • (God communicated to other prophets through visions, dreams, symbols, revelation – but to Moses directly. God said, “Listen to my words” (Numbers 6:12) “with Moses, I speak face to face.”)
  4. He was the Law Giver
    • (The Law was the greatest thing in all the world at that time – 10 commandments, etc – When he received the 10 commandments, his face shown and radiated. He received laws about the tabernacle, the levitical law, etc. The first 5 books of the Bible are the Law of Moses).
  5. He was the greatest historian
    • (The Pentatuch – the first 5 books in the OT – these are still the most important historical and religious books to the Jews today. Moses wrote them all.)
  6. Moses was meeker and gentler than all others
    • (God said, “My servant Moses is meeker than all others on the face of the earth.” He was the MOST “gentle”man.)

The first recipients of the book of Hebrews were the Jews. So, it was important to make it clear that Jesus is superior to Moses.

How about today? Yes, we still need to know that Jesus is much MORE important than the most important thing or person you have in your mind. Are you clear in this matter?

Challenge: If Jesus is NOT #1 in your life, Jesus is not your Lord / Savior.

Please take this and think on it seriously.

Today, who is Moses to you? What is your “Moses”? (The most important other thing / person in your life.) Jesus is much more superior to this.

v. 1

“1 Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.”

Holiness:

  • Set apart FROM something
    • TO something
  • From Satan, sin, the world
    • To God, holiness, service

“I’m holy.”

We are set apart to service to God. Salvation is a heavenly calling. Someday, God will bring us to his home – heaven – and go to live with Christ forever and ever. If we are called, we must fix our thoughts on Jesus. This is the key message.

“Fix our thoughts on Jesus.”

Hebrews 12:2 “Fix your eyes on Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith.” (repeated idea)

Are you doing this?

Let me ask this question: What / who are you becoming?

Consciously or unconsciously, we are BECOMING whatever we are looking at and looking for. We are becoming what we are focusing on and seeking and worshiping. What / who are you worshiping? We are becoming what we are worshiping.

Yes, no we are worshiping Christ – but “to fix on” means to “give diligent and continual observation and mind to”. Continually contemplate on these things.

What do we need to fixate on Christ? Let me share 4 things.

#1 Desire (zeal / passion / enthusiasm)

This is the beginning point. No desire? No fixation.

David showed his desire to see God. Ps 27:4 “One thing I ask of the Lord, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”

Ps 42:1 “As the deer pants for the water, so my soul thirsts for God. My tears have been my food day and night.”

NT: Apostle Paul in Phi 3:8-10 “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing my Lord Jesus – for whose sake I’ve lost all things – I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in him. I want to know Christ and his resurrection, becoming like him in his death.”

Do you have desire?

Without desire, it is impossible.

If you have no desire, pray for it. “God, give me passion to know you and make you known to others.”

#2 Concentration

We must put Jesus first in our lives and keep him before us at all times in order to fix our thoughts and minds on him.

Concentration is power.

#3 Discipline

This comes from “disciple” – we want to be disciples and disciple-makers.

Without discipline, disciples cannot be made fully.

Discipline = “self-training”

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw of everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…”

I need discipline. I know that. And so do you.

#4 Time

This worship service is 11-12:20 or so. “We need time.”

But we know today that people are losing patience – becoming more and more impatient. They like “microwave – culture”. Quick service, “Rocket delivery”, fast food.

But, especially in the spiritual life, we need patience, perseverance, endurance. We need time to meditate, to think, to grow, to heal, to recover, to fix our thoughts on Christ. We need MORE time.

For example: We cannot enjoy the beauty of this country without time.

Please spend more time, much time with him in your devotional time.


Who is Jesus in this verse one?

“…the apostle and high priest…”

This is very interesting. This is the ONLY place in the whole 66-book Bible where he is referred to as this “apostle.”

As “high priest” he is introduced about 12 times. This is one of the themes of Hebrews.

What does this mean?

  • “Apostle” = “the one who is sent”
  • Apostolos = Greek = he who is sent

Jesus explained that he was “sent” by his Father God – more than 10 times in John. This means that Jesus is the FIRST, greatest apostle. He is the source and foundational of ALL following apostles. His apostleship means “Mission Accomplished.” (He shouted this on the cross ‘it is finished.’)

He is also the High Priest (par excellence) – he was fully God and fully Man.

Jesus is the ONLY person through whom God speaks to man; and man can approach God (Jesus is the bridge / mediator).

Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him because he is always interceding for them.”

Jesus is the representative of the Trinity God in meeting man. Also, he is the representative of ALL human beings in meeting God.

He is the bridge between God and man.

v. 2-6

“2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, *testifying* [this is the real reason Moses was considered a great man before God] to what would be said in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.”

The logic:

  • Moses is a house? Jesus is the builder.
  • Moses is a servant? Jesus is the son.

What a difference.

The real spiritual, eternal reason why Moses was accepted by God as “great” was that he was faithful to his task – given by God.

The reality of Moses was that he was faithful in his mission – to testify about Jesus. What a great secret / mystery from the perspective of God.

In John, Jesus evangelized a man named Philip and when he met him he said, “Follow me.” After being evangelized, the first thing Philip did was to evangelize others. Immediately, he met his friend Nathaniel and said, “Come and see! I have found the One whom Moses wrote about in the Law! He is Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph.”

That’s why Jesus said, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me.” – because Moses wrote about Jesus.

Jesus himself testified that Moses wrote the 5 books about him.

That’s why, whenever I preach, I should focus on Jesus. If you believe my sermon, you will believe in Christ as Savior and Lord because I focus on Christ.

We are called as heavenly, holy people and someday we will leave this world and live with him.

The greatest and eternal legacy we can leave behind on earth is to testify about Christ.

Last sentence: are you saved?

Remember, very practically,

To BE saved, yet NOT to proclaim Christ as Savior is impossible – because salvation has such a powerful power.

God bless your thoughts, mouth, hands, feet, interests, purpose in this world.

Let’s pray.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen