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1751. The Logic of Submission

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
April 15, 2024 5:00 pm

1751. The Logic of Submission

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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April 15, 2024 5:00 pm

Dr. Steve Pettit continues the series entitled “Run the Race,” with a message from Hebrews 12:9-11.

The post 1751. The Logic of Submission appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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The Daily Platform
Bob Jones University

Welcome to The Daily Platform. Our program features sermons from chapel services at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Every day, students are blessed by the preaching and teaching of the Bible from the University Chapel Platform. Today on The Daily Platform, Dr. Steve Pettit is continuing a study series entitled, Run the Race, which is a study of the book of Hebrews Chapter 12. Let's now listen to today's message, where Steve will show us reasons why we need to submit to our Heavenly Father. And so the Lord calls us to a race. The Christian life is a race of faith.

And we're to run that race. And this morning, I'd like us to look at Hebrews Chapter 12 and look at this passage of Scripture found in verses 9 through 11. Verses 9 through 11. Throughout human history, God has called his people to do hard things. He's called us to do hard things.

Job was called to suffer undeserved pain and loss. Joseph was sold into slavery. Noah was asked to build an ark to preserve his family. Abraham had to leave his home for an unknown promised land. Moses had to go back into Egypt to leave the children of Israel out of bondage. And every one of these people of faith had to do hard things in order to follow God.

And if that's true of the people of God in the Scripture, it's true of the people of God today. And I think one of the hard things in the Christian life is what we looked at a couple of weeks ago as we talked about the theme of chastening. And in our last message, the writer of Hebrews is challenging us with the idea that in this race, we're having to endure.

We're having to stick it out. And that's a part of the training. That's a part of the education. That's a part of chastening. When we think of chastening, we think of it in a negative way, but in reality, it's very positive. It's getting in shape. It's learning.

It's getting an education. So in verse seven of Hebrews 12, it says, for it is for chastening that you endure. That is the process of endurance is the process of training. So what you are having to endure is what you're going through right now. And God is helping you develop a stick it out faith to hang in there even though there are tough experiences, even though there are hard circumstances, and even when you fall. Because one of the hardest things to deal with in your Christian life are your own failures. But a just man falls seven times, but he rises up again. And even when you fail, it doesn't mean that you're out of the race. It means you need to get up and run again.

So how do you keep on going? And in our last message, I touched on it. I'd like to just expand it before we really get into the verses this morning. I read a number of years ago one of the religious classics of the 20th century written by Dr. D. Martin Lloyd-Jones. The name of the book was called Spiritual Depression.

It's a book I recommend for everyone. For he addresses the way in which Christians should handle the mental and the emotional struggles of life. And essentially his main application is to learn how to counsel your own self by doing two things. Number one, by stop listening to your own heart. Or if I could say it this way, don't let your emotions control your life. The second thing is to start listening to God's promises and specifically you have to learn how to tell yourself the truth. Because the heart is deceitful. And if you listen to your own heart, you may listen to actually yourself lying to yourself. So you have to tell yourself the truth. You have to speak God's promises to yourself. And essentially that's the fundamental idea of the book.

So last week, let's apply it. Here the writer of Hebrews is reminding us that we're having to endure. It's hard.

Emotionally it's a struggle. So what do we speak to ourselves? What do we say to ourselves that is true? We are to speak to ourselves the fact that if we are being chastened then it means God loves us. What is it that we tell ourselves? It is the fact that God is our Father and we are His children and He loves us. We speak to ourselves three things. Number one, I am God's child.

He is my Father. Number two, God loves me. And when you don't feel like it and when you wonder about it, you need to speak the truth to yourself. Because truth doesn't change. And then number three, you need to say to yourself, God is changing me for good.

This is good. This is what God is doing in my life. And how do you stay mentally and emotionally strong? It is always through God's love.

So tell yourself the truth. So that's essentially what we looked at last time. And so now we come to verse 9 and the writer takes us a step further. And here he teaches us how to continue to respond to chastening. And let's look at verse 9 in Hebrews 12 and we'll read down to verse 11. Notice the word furthermore.

That is, this is something that is in sequence. He's following up the idea of speaking truth to yourself about God's love. And notice he says, Furthermore, we have had our fathers of our flesh which corrected us and we gave them reverence.

Shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits and live? 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. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous. Nevertheless, afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. The word furthermore is saying this. Here's the next thing I want to say about chastening. So verses 9 through 11 is the continuation of the thought that he started in verse 5.

And here's what he is saying. I have reminded you that you need to remember that God loves you. Now I want to challenge you to actually do something. And that is you need to submit yourself to your heavenly Father's chastening.

You need to put yourself under his mighty hand. And what's very interesting to me is that the writer of Hebrews is not commanding believers to do that. You know when you study the Bible you always look in the Greek language for the imperatives, the commands. But in this passage of scripture he's not giving us a command to submit. It is not an imperative.

It's a statement of fact. And what he is doing is almost like counseling a college student. Instead of just looking at the student and commanding you to do this, he actually does something different. He appeals to your logic. He appeals to your will through your mind. He is reasoning with you that you should be willing to submit yourself to the Lord. That's why I've entitled this sermon, The Logic of Submission. That is surrendering yourself to God is something you need to think through logically. But I also thought of some alternative titles to the message like, obedience makes good sense. Or disobedience is really dumb. Or stupid people don't submit, however you want to look at it.

So I'll let you choose the title. But I'll keep it up on the higher level and call it The Logic of Submission. And notice the process of logic that he uses. It's the process he's used through the whole book.

We call it a fortiori. It simply means to argue from the lesser to the greater. Like, if this is true, this is definitely true.

Or, if you like this, you're really going to like this. Or, that's okay, but it has no comparison to this. That's the logic that he uses. And we see the use of this logic as the author gives three compelling reasons to motivate us to submit to our Heavenly Father.

And the first reason is because of who it is that is chastening us. Look at verse nine. Furthermore, we've had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence, that's speaking about our earthly fathers. Shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits and live?

It's an argument from the lesser to the greater. If you obeyed your dad, should you not submit to your Heavenly Father? If your earthly father chastens you and you show them respect, how much more should we put ourselves under or submit ourselves to the authority of our Heavenly Father? How many of you had a father that corrected you? Would you raise your hand?

Okay. Now, what did you do? Did you obey your dad? You said, I had to obey my dad. He was six foot five. He weighed 300 pounds.

He drank motor oil for breakfast. And his favorite Bible verse was, I brought you into this world and I can take you out. Okay, so you obeyed him. Maybe your dad wasn't like that. Maybe your dad disciplined you in such a way that you just had this warm sense that he loved you and this was for your good. And you know he wants you to do well. He wants you to succeed.

And you may not see the immediate benefit of the discipline, but you can trust him and it's all good. So, whatever your motivation was, at least we could say you obeyed him. And here's the point. If you submit to your earthly father, then how much more should you submit to your heavenly father? And think about it. There is not only a reward for obeying your earthly father, but look at the reward for obeying your heavenly father.

Notice what he says. Shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the father of spirits and live? What's the benefit that comes to us through the father?

It's called life. The book of Hebrews calls God the living God, the creator of life, the one who has opened up a new and living way to heaven. He is the giver of eternal life. One writer said it this way. Those who live life to the fullest do not buck God's discipline, but rather they embrace it. And here's his point. All of his discipline has a view to some spiritual benefit in this life.

You could say it this way. If we submit to God, we experience a full life. And if we rebel against God, we experience an empty life. So, what are you going to do? Are you going to submit?

Are you going to surrender? But the logical thing is we should submit because of who it is that is chastening us. It is our heavenly father.

But then he gives a second logical, compelling reason why we should submit. And that is not only because of who chastens us, but how he chastens us. Look at verse 10. They, speaking of your father, verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure. But he, speaking of our father, for our prophet, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

Now notice the same logic a fortiori. The process of the father's discipline is compared to God's discipline. He says our earthly father's process is fallible.

That means it is capable of making mistakes. The writer says our fathers chastened us after their own pleasure. Now, I remember when I first read that verse, that was a little confusing to me. Because I didn't really sense that my father got great pleasure in disciplining me. That's never been the case.

You know, you've heard the statement, this is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you. That doesn't make any sense. And it doesn't mean that they do it so that they can be happy. So the idea that they do it for their own pleasure, so that their kids don't drive them crazy. And that's why they discipline you. The idea of the word pleasure means they did the best they could at the time. In other words, the parents do the best they can with the knowledge they have and the background and the experience.

But at best, it's fallible. That means they make mistakes. How many parents look back over the years as they raised their children and see the mistakes they made? At times, discipline was too hard. At other times, it was too soft.

I had a guy that used to travel on our team. And I was, I'm not his dad, I was his boss. And I was hard on him. And he said to me one day, he said, brother Steve, he said, you've been harder on me than anybody in my life. And I thought to myself, your dad should have been harder on you. Because I'm having to do it now.

Mistakes are made. At times, your parents acted very patient. In other times, they acted irritated. How many of you have ever seen your father mad? How many have ever seen your mother mad?

That's worse. You know, like fire, flames coming out of the eyes. Lightning bolts. My mother, bless her heart, when she got mad, she just, she took her hair brush and she was dangerous.

Because if we were in swinging distance, we got whacked in the head. Sometimes your parents get irritated. They get angry.

Sometimes they're moody. There are times that their judgment is swayed. For example, if you grew up in a family of three or four or five children, generally the older feel like the younger get away with murder.

And had they done it, they would have been murdered. Or it seems like because of the nature of children that maybe one is a little more manipulative or they're the favored child or whatever. Or perhaps you got disciplined and your parents didn't have the full knowledge and they reacted and they got upset and they got mad with you and you really weren't at fault. In other words, your parents make mistakes, but they did the best they could.

And here's the point. Even with parents having faults, as a child, you are required to show them respect and submit to your parents' correction. Now if you're willing to do that for your own mom and dad, how much more for your heavenly father? For the heavenly father's process is not fallible, it's infallible.

Or to put it in simple terms, it's perfect. What does he say? He does it for our profit, that is for our advantage, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

What is he saying? God's correction has no faults and no errors. It is either correct in its purpose or its application in both. Whatever struggles come our way, we can rest assured that God's best, we can say it this way, the best, the wisest, and the most loving choice is being made for us by God. We can rest in God's goodness and sovereignty. And the ultimate profit is that we become partakers of his holiness. Or to simply put it this way, we become more like him. So as we submit to his chastening, we are changed more and more into his likeness little by little.

We enjoy more and more of his presence. We can say it this way, father knows best. And the point is, if we are willing to submit to our parents who only discipline us for a short period of time, and at best in an imperfect way, how much more should we submit to a father who is always working everything for our best? For most of you, your parents discipline is over.

It took up maybe at the best 15% of the whole of your life. But your heavenly father, he's still working on you. And he will be working on you until you enter into glory.

So what's the logical thing to do? You don't fight God, you sweetly and willingly and joyfully surrender to him. God, I want your will. I submit to you. And if it means I have to endure this, if it means I have to stick this out, if it means I have to go through this, then God, I will sweetly surrender to you because father knows best.

And then there's a third and final compelling reason. Not only because of who chastens us and how it is that he chastens us, but finally because of what chastening produces in our life. Notice verse 11. Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous but grievous.

Nevertheless, afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. He begins by saying that the initial production of chastening in your life is not joyful. It's painful.

It's grievous. When your parents corrected you, it was always painful. Whether it was a spanking or a privilege removed or a possession taken away or an unwanted responsibility or a verbal reprimand or having simply to wait for your dad to come home.

It's never joyful. However, most adults who are properly disciplined can look back towards their parents with a sense of gratitude, respect, and love because they know that this discipline had a payback. It's a blessing to you because it taught you self-control and it taught you respect and it developed in your life character.

The experience of discipline molded your life and enabled you to become who you are today. And so though it was not joyful at the time, it brought about a change in your life. Likewise, likewise, no chasting from God is a joyful experience. That doesn't mean you can't find joy in the process.

But initially, so if you would say this semester has been like super hard for me, okay. Take it. Submit. Surrender.

Yield. Don't let your emotions control you, but trust your good, good Father who knows best. It is not something that is joyful. It could be sickness. It could be financial stress. It could be a distressing situation you find yourself in somehow. We think life is supposed to be perfect, but you don't develop character in perfect comfort. You grow character in your life as you go through conflict and struggle.

But there is a payback. And what does the Scripture say here? Afterwards, it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. He uses the metaphor of agriculture. He says it yields fruit.

What is this fruit? It is a quality of life that has a close walk with God and conforms to God's character. What is the end result oftentimes of your struggle? Getting close to God.

You know what? When you go through trials, you pray more. You seek God more.

You want to find answers. You find a greater joy in spiritual things as they comfort your heart. It changes you.

You become a different person. It yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness. And then he concludes with an athletic metaphor. He says to those that are exercised thereby.

And here's what the writer of Hebrews does. He now takes us full circle. He began with us running a race. It's almost like he went from us running a race to now he's talking about fathers and sons and disciplines. But he actually brings us back to the race when he uses the phrase to those that are exercised thereby.

And what he is saying is this. I took a departure to show you what is happening to you. You're running this race. You're enduring.

And what is God doing? He's training you. He's educating you. You're learning.

You're being chastened. And what you need to do is to recognize that God loves you. To get your head on straight. And then to submit and then surrender. And then he says essentially, get back in the race. And he concludes in verses 12 through 14 and we'll look at that next week.

Because in those verses, he's telling us to get back in the race and to run the race. And this time, run it with all of your heart. It's like you get your second wind.

You go through a full semester at Bob Jones University. You start out like running a race and everybody's excited. And then they get about halfway through and they don't think they're going to make it.

Or they want to throw in the towel. And somewhere if you stay with it, you get your second wind. You get a new fresh strength. You get revived.

And he's talking about how we experience revival. So let me challenge you to get in the race. Stay in the race. Stick it out. Don't throw in the towel. Don't quit.

Don't give in to your emotions. But learn to train your thoughts by understanding God's love. Father, we thank you for your word. Thank you that you give us strength through your word to run the race. Help us to be faithful.

In Jesus' name, amen. You've been listening to a sermon preached by Dr. Steve Pettit. Steve is now utilizing his gifts as a compelling communicator and expositor of Scripture and travels to local churches with preaching, concerts, and conferences emphasizing Gospel-centered evangelism and Christian leadership development. You can get more information about Steve's ministry at StevePettit.com. That's StevePettit.com. Join us again tomorrow at this same time as we study God's Word together on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-15 19:21:58 / 2024-04-15 19:31:00 / 9

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