7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
The Holy Spirit now gave His exposition of the quotation from Proverbs 3:11–12. His thrusts are three:
—There is a necessity for discipline of the believer.
—There is a proper response to discipline.
— There are benefits to discipline.
7 If you endure chastening,
“Endure” here means perseverance. Its literal idea is to remain under. The literal Greek may be translated “it is for the purpose of discipline that you endure.” The idea is that God’s “chastening” is for the development and maturity of the child of God.
If God did not introduce trial into the life of a believer, that would imply that He is indifferent toward the Christian. He would not function as a true Father. Believers are to remain under the chastening hand of God. If the believer endures divine discipline, then it shows (1) that God is dealing with a genuine believer, a “son,” and (2) that God confirms His sovereign love toward him or her.
The spirit by which we accept God’s discipline will facilitate our maturity.
The spirit whereby one receives divine discipline is crucial for growth. To ensure suffering with the right attitude is to realize that God has a proper motive in what He is doing with us.
It is crucial to receive divine chastening with the proper attitude. The right attitude is to accept God’s discipline on us as His sovereign way of helping us grow in Christ. His hand on us is for our “profit” (He 12:10). Whether we profit from God’s work on us rests on our attitude of how we receive it (Prov 23:7). It is important not to “despise” what God is doing in our lives (He 12:5). We are to “endure chastening” by accepting God’s love for us in our problem. This is the proper comportment for a son or daughter of God (He 12:5). We are to take the posture of Job (Job 1:21; 13:15). Faith brings God to the fore in any circumstance that we might face (Ps 27:13).
God has four measures in dealing with the believer’s sin:
—The Christian can confess sin (1 Jn 1:9).
—God can impose discipline measures (1 Co 11:30).
—God may remove reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Co 3:15; 2 Co 5:10).
—Ultimately, God may take the life of the believer (1 Co 11:28–32); 1 Jn 5:17).