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Rev. Tony Fraley is one of the great preachers of milledgeville, Georgia. Hear ye him.



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Chapter 11: 10

11:10: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

This text, inspired by God but written by an unknown writer, is describes the life search of every saint on the journey toward the promised land.

Generally described as the faith chapter, Hebrews 11 traces the activities of several of the patriarchs of biblical faith as the journey from one place to another in faith that God would lead them safely. Each sought to find a place to worship God, give him praise and leave in peace. They were looking for a city that would resemble the paradise of Eden. The city they sought did exist and cannot exist as long as the frailties of man exist.

Chapter 12: 11

12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

This text focuses on the importance of discipline to development of the Christian life.

Paul, writing to the Hebrews explained the importance of developing good discipline as Christians. He points out in Hebrews that often God moves to discipline those, who are by acceptance of Christ, his own children. The word "chastise" in this context, refers to punish. When believers stray God punishes them, because he loves them. Ironically, in biblical history, those who were not among the chosen people often escaped punishment and seemed to get away with just about anything. Those who were God's elect however, were always being punished for their indiscretions. When the Canaanites worshipped Baal they often prospered, but each time Israel moved in that direction they were punished with droughts, famine and pestilence.

According to Holman: the word "discipline" comes from a Latin word "disco" which means to learn or get to know, a direct kind of acquaintance with something or someone. Discipline refers to the process by which one learns a way of life. Discipline requires a relationship between a person who knows the way of life (discipline) and an apprentice who is trying to learn the way of life. The idea is for the experienced person to lead the learner through a process (the discipline) until the learner can imitate and live like or better than his teacher.

Each believer is a disciple or a learner of the Christian life style. Our goal is to learn, through a gradual process, the Christian way until we can live it like the master lived it. To help us, God often chastises us, to help us develop discipline.

The chastisements of God have taken two forms: Physical and denial of privileges. When Israel sinned in the wilderness, God sent serpents among them to bite the them with poisonous venom. That was physical punishment. When Moses sinned in the wilderness by taking credit for God's act of providing water for the people he was punished by being denied access to the promised land. That was denial. God has used both methods of punishment in dealing with his people, depending on the circumstance. It appeared when they had either a dream or a possession denial of either the dream or possession was used. When they had neither, physical punishment was given.

This text makes it clear that whenever God punishes us we should know that it is because he loves us and we should be happy because we know the outcome will be good. The preponderance of biblical teaching follows this line:

"Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:" -Job 5:17

"My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth." -- Proverbs 3:11-12

"For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." -Hebrews 12:6

Those whom God loves can expect to be discipline, either physically or by denials to help them learn the Christian way of life.

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