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No Pain, No Gain, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
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December 27, 2023 10:00 am

No Pain, No Gain, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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December 27, 2023 10:00 am

A good parent does not immediately satisfy a child’s every want and whim because a good parent is concerned for that child’s character, future, and heart attitude.  Through Christ, God claims us as His own children.  Because of this, God is concerned with far more than our immediate comfort and pleasure.  Yes, God uses the challenges of this world to train up His children.  Hebrews 12:11 tells us that our Father’s loving discipline yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. A good parent doesn't immediately satisfy a child's every want and whim, because a good parent is concerned for that child's character, future, and heart attitude. Through Christ, God claims us as His own children. Because of this, God is concerned with far more than our immediate comfort and pleasure. Yes, God uses the challenges of this world to train up His children. Hebrews 12-11 tells us that our Father's loving discipline yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. In today's message, Pastor Rich unpacks the meaning of our Father's discipline, why we need it, and how God uses hardship in our lives.

Let's listen in now. This is part two of a message titled No Pain, No Gain from Hebrews 12-11. It was first preached on January 13, 2013. But that's the word chasten here that the author of Hebrews uses. There's another word that he uses. It's in verse five. It's the word rebuke. Here he's quoting Proverbs. And the word rebuke is to expose a flaw, to expose a flaw.

Michael Jordan said, if I ever had a problem, my parents never had a problem telling me I had a problem. That's exposing a flaw. And the difficulties, and this is what God is doing in the difficulties that we're experiencing, through those difficulties, God can use them to expose a flaw.

Why? Because He's molding us. He's conforming us into His image. And so the rebuke there, it's not a verbal lashing. He's simply exposing a flaw, and He can use the adversities, the hardships of our lives to expose a flaw.

For example, the testimony we just heard a few minutes ago. What was His character flaw? He thought He had to be in control of everything. That is a character flaw, by the way. You understand that, right? Because you're not in control.

You can't be in control. God is sovereign, and He doesn't share that with anyone. Okay, so the rebuke that the Lord mentions here through the writer of Hebrews, the rebuke is to expose a flaw. The third word is this. It's in verse six, scourge. Look at that verse, whom the Lord loves, He chastens and scourges every son whom He receives. Scourging. That is a word that is used for whipping someone, all right? Now, here's how we need to understand that, okay? The Lord doesn't actually physically whip us, all right?

But what is the purpose of scourging? It is a parent with a small child, because God, we understand that God is the one who established what is right and what is wrong. And a young child will grow up thinking that they are the center of the universe, and they are the ones who determine what's right and wrong. Therefore, they will do what they want to be right for them. Now, selfish behavior, sinful behavior, is, listen to this, sinful behavior is inherently self-destructive, okay?

That's because God is the standard. Sinful behavior is inherently self-destructive. Here's what scourging does. Scourging introduces pain to the child so that they will learn from that pain and experience it before the behavior destroys them. If my child, if I allow my child to continue in selfish behavior, and I don't change that, and I don't help my child recognize the pain of selfish behavior, then that selfish behavior will ultimately destroy that child. That's the idea of scourging, to have the child learn the pain before the behavior destroys that child.

This is what God does as we are His children in the difficulties and adversities that we experience. One of my favorite coaches in the NFL of all time was Tom Landry. In fact, he's how I learned about the NFL.

It doesn't mean he was a good friend of mine, it's just I was reading about him, right? Tom Landry said this, my task, he's saying this as a coach about his NFL players, okay, my task is to renew the minds of our players so that I can get them to do what they do not want to do in order for them to achieve what they want to achieve. It's a good statement.

It's a good statement. You see, we all want the character, but we don't want the suffering. But the scriptures are clear, suffering produces character. As it is with the physical disciplines of an athlete, the physical disciplines of a soldier. That's that kind of a discipline and that's what God is using in our lives to mold us.

The fourth word is in verse 11 at the end of our text for today, verse 11 at the very end of it. To those who have been trained by it, trained, this word trained is the word gumnadzo, it's the word from which we get gymnasium, okay? It is speaking of rigorous exercise, the idea of being devoted to a calling. As a soldier devotes himself to the training. As an athlete, for example, an Olympic athlete devotes himself or herself to the training required to go and perform for the prize. It's that kind of rigorous exercise. I like what Elizabeth Elliott said, you remember her, in all that was ever ours, she writes, freedom and discipline have come to be regarded as mutually exclusive.

You can scroll ahead there. Freedom and discipline have come to be regarded as mutually exclusive. When in fact freedom is not at all the opposite but the final reward of discipline.

It is to be bought with a high price not merely claimed. The professional skater and racehorse are free to perform as they do only because they have been subjected to countless hours of grueling work, rigidly prescribed, faithfully carried out. Men are free to soar into space because they have willingly confined themselves in a tiny capsule designed and produced by highly trained scientists and craftsmen, have meticulously followed instructions and submitted themselves to rules which others defined. You see it's that level of discipline that is molding and training the person into a successful prophet. That is what God is using in the lives of his children. Now, we've looked at the words that are describing it. It's important that those of Christians who are suffering, regardless of what kind of suffering it is, when we look at suffering for what it is and how God uses it, we perceive it.

It is important for us to perceive it accurately. Then the question comes to why. Well, why is this happening?

Very interesting word here. Go back with me at verse 4. Chapter 12 verse 4. You have not yet resisted the bloodshed striving against sin. Why is this adversity happening? One, because you are an antagonist.

Did you know that? You are an antagonist. Christian, you are an antagonist. The word here that is used is antagonizumai.

You recognize that? What does it mean? You're striving against sin. Here's what that means. As a child of God, by virtue of who you are, a child of God, you represent something that counters self preeminence. Let me say that again. As a child of God, you represent something that counters, rubs against the grain of self preeminence.

Let me share a secret with you. People don't like that. That makes you an antagonist. This is why Jesus said that truth brings a sword. Truth divides. Because the gospel of grace of Jesus Christ directly counters the human problem of self preeminence. And that's what you represent as a child of God, and people don't like that. That causes friction. That makes you an antagonist.

That's one reason why this is happening. There's another reason why this is happening, and it's because you're a child of God. Peter calls us a royal priesthood. You're a child of God.

Before I get further in the notes, let me ask two questions for you, okay? If you are here this morning, I'm speaking to you as a child of God. If you are not a child of God, by that I mean if you have not entrusted yourself in faith to Jesus Christ, then you are not a child of God. You are listening to this, but you can't identify with what I'm saying. If you have entrusted yourself to Jesus Christ, then this is for you. I'm speaking to you. Two questions. Are you perfectly now like Christ? The answer to that is no. Let me answer the question for you. No, you're not. You know why?

Because I'm not. The second question is this, and it comes right out of verse seven. What son is there whom a father does not discipline? If you are not now perfectly like Christ, then the second question is this, what son is there whom the father does not discipline? God is invested in you and molding you like his son Jesus Christ.

Like the potter does the clay, he squeezes it, he molds it, he puts pressure on it, he cuts it. Why? Because he's crafting a masterpiece. That's why. Why does this adversity happening?

Why is it happening? Because you are a child of God and God is molding you. And so we get into verses five through eight which quote Proverbs three verses eleven and twelve. There's a bold statement mentioned here. Look at it with me in verse eight. But if you are without chastening of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. What is he saying here?

Listen to this. This is strong, okay? This is the word of God. If God is not molding you and training you through adversity, then you don't belong to him.

It's a strong statement, isn't it? When the Bible uses the term illegitimate, what it means is that you are without legal status or right. If before God you are without legal status or right, it just simply means this, you have not been reconciled to God. You are not justified before him. You are not his child.

And you might be, you just might be one of those in Matthew seven who the Lord Jesus said look at these people who come to the Lord in the last days and say look Lord all these religious things that we did in your name and Jesus is going to say what? I never knew you. You're not mine.

You don't belong to me. You see, whom the Lord loves, he chastens, he disciplines. If God isn't molding you and training you through the adversities, then I have to ask you, do you belong to him?

It's a bold statement of verse eight. Prince William on the other side of the pond, his regal outfit, his position, do you think he got there by his parents just simply letting him do whatever he wanted to whenever he wanted to? I think not.

We probably can't even imagine the level of discipline and training that he's gone through. It has to be there. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-27 12:15:04 / 2023-12-27 12:20:12 / 5

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