Breaking of the Outer Man and the Growth of the Spirit

Hebrews 12:5-11 (NKJV):

My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the LORD loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.'

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 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 no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peacable fruit of righteousnes to those who have been trained by it.

Suppose you eliminated suffering – what a dreadful place the world would be! I would almost rather eliminate happiness. The world would be the most ghastly place because everything that corrects the tendency of this unspeakable little creature, man, to feel overimportant and overpleased with himself would disappear. He’s bad enough now, but he would be absolutely intolerable if he never suffered.”

Malcolm Muggeridge, Jesus Rediscovered, pp. 199-200

Suffering Breeds Life and Growth:

  • The Gospel! (1 Cor. 15:1-4)
  • Genesis 32:24-32 – Jacob becomes Israel through suffering and a time of darkness
  • Exodus 1:12
  • Leviticus 24:2
  • Numbers 17 – rod had to wait a dark night before budding
  • Job 23:1-10
  • Psalms 66:8-12
  • Song of Songs 5 – Bride was taken through period of separation for her maturing
  • Mark 6:38-44 (especially verse 41) – breaking bread –> multiplying of food
  • John 12:3 (compare with Mark 14:3)
  • John 12:24 – firstfruits produced by death
  • John 15:2
  • Acts 9:15-16
  • 2 Corinthians 1:8-10
  • 2 Corinthians 4:7-18
  • 2 Corinthians 11:22-29 – the mark of Paul’s apostleship: suffering

Suffering is part of True Christianity

  • Acts 5:41
  • Acts 14:22
  • Romans 8:16-17
  • Philippians 1:29
  • 2 Timothy 3:12

One thought on “Breaking of the Outer Man and the Growth of the Spirit

  1. I saw a video yesterday about the Christian house church movement in Iran. Two striking quotes that are related to this message:
    Lethargy and indifference is a greater threat than persecution.
    When we are weaklings, we can lean into God’s strength.

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