10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.
Now we come to the benefit of discipline in verse 10.
The word “for” shows where God’s discipline of believers is preferable to that of our physical fathers.
they [physical fathers] indeed,
Earthly fathers’ discipline falls short in two regards: (1) it only occurs when they have children, and (2) they discipline from a finite perspective.
for a few days chastened us
Our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few days according to what they deemed fit to their human standards. The time of trial was brief.
as seemed [subjective judgment] best to them,
Human fathers make mistakes in the discipline of their children. Their judgment is not always sound. They often make subjective judgments about their children that do not conform to facts. They may do it in the wrong manner or for the wrong purpose. Often their attitude is wrong. However, they do it by what they deem best to them.
but He for our profit [advantage],
God, in the role of our “Father,” always does things for our “profit” or advantage. He does what is proper for us. He is never peevish in His discipline of us. God never reacts emotionally but deliberately; He thinks about what is best for us. He is interested in the development of our character. This means His choices are always the right ones to achieve His purpose in us.
The purpose of divine discipline is not the punishment of the believer but for the “profit” of the Christian. One evidence of “profit” is that we will partake of His holiness (He 12:10). A second benefit is that it will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness (He 12:11).
that [purpose] we may be partakers of His holiness.
God’s purpose in the discipline of the believer is that he may partake of His “holiness.” This is education in who God is and what He is like (Ps 119:71).
Discipline moves us toward God’s standards of life and weens us from the worldview of society about us. When we accept His purpose for us, it is an act of faith in God’s sovereign actions upon us.
God never makes a mistake in His discipline of His sons and daughters.
The Father never disciplines out of anger or bitterness. He always corrects out of love and not from an emotional need He might have.
The purpose of divine discipline is for the Christian’s “profit.” It is God’s way of helping us to understand the importance of who and what He is. It shows us the difference between the eternal and temporal, what is spiritual and what is carnal. All this leads us to understand that God’s character is set apart from this world’s values. It directs us to “holiness”; that is, to live the set-apart values of God.
The Christian who knows what God is doing is a person who will mature in his faith. He knows that God knows what He is doing.
God always disciplines His believers from His love. He never makes a mistake when He executes divine discipline because He is sovereign. His purpose for this discipline is that we share His holiness (2 Co 4:17; 1 Pe 1:15–16). Affliction cleanses the dross from our lives (1 Pe 1:7). It prepares us for eternity (2 Co 4:17).
The church at Corinth experienced divine discipline for abusing the Lord’s Supper (1 Co 11:20–22). God caused them to experience weakness and sickness, and some even died (1 Co 11:30). They underwent discipline, not condemnation (1 Co 11:32). His discipline is for our “profit.” Since God’s discipline always produces what is best for us, it is always for our “profit” or advantage. He always does what is best for us.
When parents discipline their children, they do not put them out of the family or disown them. The issue is correction, not punishment. Neither does God cast us out of His family when we sin.