Sermon #26                                                       Hebrews Notes


          Title:            Sonship, Obedience, and Suffering

          Text:            Hebrews 5:8

          Readings:     Philippians 2:1-17 – Larry Criss

          Subject:       God’s Method of Teaching His Children

          Date:            Tuesday Evening – August 8, 2000

          Tape #         V-95b



          Our heavenly Father’s discipline is the pledge of our adoption and the badge of our sonship. God chastens none but his own; but he chastens all who are his own. And all who are God’s look upon his loving rod of discipline as a marked token of his grace, knowing that “we are chastened of the Lord that we should not be condemned with the world” (1 Cor. 11:32). How I thank God that he does not leave me to myself. Painful as it is to feel the rod, I kiss the hand of my loving Father for laying upon my stubborn back.


“`Tis my happiness below

Not to live without the cross,

But my Savior’s power to know,

Sanctifying every loss.—

Trials must and will befall;

But with humble faith to see

Love inscribed upon them all –

This is happiness to me.


God in Israel sows the seeds

Of affliction, pain, and toil.

These spring up and choke the weeds

Which would else o’erspread the soil.

Trials make the promise sweet.

Trials give new life to prayer.

Trials bring me to His feet,

Lay me low, and keep me there.


Did I meet no trials here,

No chastisements by the way,

Might I not with reason fear

I should prove a castaway?

Bastards may escape the rod;

Sunk in earthly, vain delight;

But the true born child of God

Must not, would not, if he might.”

…William Cowper


          Spurgeon once said, “ I bear my willing witness that I owe more to the fire, and the hammer, and the file, than to anything else in my Lord’s workshop. I sometimes question whether I have ever learned anything except through the rod. When my school-room is darkened, I see most.”


          The title of my message tonight is Sonship, Obedience, and Suffering. Our text will be Hebrews 5:8.


·        (Hebrews 5:8)  "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered."


          There are several things which are obvious in these words.


1.    Though Christ is the Son of God, he was not exempt from suffering. If he would redeem us from our sins and from the wrath, he must suffer all that we deserve as sinners to the full satisfaction of divine justice (Rom. 8:32).


2.    Though the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God, he could not execute a perfect righteousness, to the full extent that the law and justice of God demands, without a perfect suffering (Luke 24:44-47).


3.    None of the children of God are exempt (John 16:33).


·        (John 16:33)  "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."


Proposition: As our Savior learned obedience by the things he suffered in this world, so we must learn obedience by the things we suffer.


I.     The Lord Jesus Christ is uniquely and pre-eminently the Son of God.


          All who are chosen, redeemed, and born of God, all believers, are the sons of God by adoption and grace. What a great, high honor and privilege that is (Gal. 4:6-7; Rom. 8:17; 1 John 3:1).


·        (Galatians 4:6-7)  "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (7) Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."


·        (Romans 8:17)  "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."


·        (1 John 3:1)  "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not."


          But our Lord Jesus Christ is uniquely and pre-eminently the Son of God in that he is the “only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).


A.  Christ is the eternally begotten Son of the Father, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the Holy Trinity (1 John 5:7).


B.  Our Lord Jesus Christ, as a man, is the only begotten Son of God in this sense also – He is the virgin born Son.


·        (Galatians 4:4-5)  "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, (5) To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."


C.  Again, the Lord Jesus Christ is uniquely and pre-eminently the son of God, the only begotten Son,. in his resurrection glory and exaltation as the firstborn among many brethren.


·        (Acts 13:27-33)  "For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. (28) And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. (29) And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. (30) But God raised him from the dead: (31) And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. (32) And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, (33) God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee."


(Psalms 2:7)  "I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee."


(Hebrews 1:5-6)  "For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? (6) And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him."


(Hebrews 5:5)  "So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee."


II.  Though he lived in this world as the Son of God, uniquely and pre-eminently the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ learned obedience as a man by the things he suffered.


          Obedience is voluntary subjection to the will of another. If it is not voluntary, it is only outward compliance, not obedience (Heb. 10:5; John 10:16-18). Obedience is owning the authority of another, performing the pleasure of another.


When the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world, he came here as Jehovah’s servant to do his will as a man. He was made under the law that he might obey, establish, fulfill and satisfy the law as a man.


This obedience was essential to his priesthood and to our salvation. While he volunteered to become obedient, he actually entered into the experience of obedience by the things he suffered as a man. He learned obedience by the things he suffered.


·        He denied himself.

·        He pleased not himself (Rom. 15:3).

·        He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Phil. 2:5-8).


·        (Philippians 2:5-8)  "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."


·        (Hebrews 5:8)  "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered."


          Though he was and is the Son of God, uniquely and pre-eminently the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ learned obedience by the things which he suffered. What were those things which he suffered? They are the very things his people suffer in this world.


A.  He suffered poverty (Luke 2:12).

B.  He suffered the temptations of the devil (Matt. 4:3).

C.  He suffered the unjustified slander of men (John 10:36).

D.  He suffered bereavement.

E.   He suffered misunderstanding and misrepresentation by both his own disciples and the world.

F.   He suffered the betrayal by one who claimed to be and should have been his friend.

G. He suffered desertion by men who were loved by him.

H.  He suffered sorrow like no man ever suffered sorrow (The Garden).

I.     He suffered being abandoned by his Father.

J.     He suffered death.


          Someone said, “God has one Son and only one without sin. He has no sons without sorrow.


III. Let us learn what God the Holy Spirit teaches us in this text.


·        (Hebrews 5:8)  "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;"


          The lessons here taught are both practical and of immense importance.


A.  Obedience is the character of the sons of God.


          Our Savior left us an example that we should walk in his steps. He has, by his own example, shown us how we are to live in this world. If we would follow Christ, we must yield ourselves to our heavenly Father in unquestioning, universal surrender, to do his will in all things. The extent of our obedience is and must be “even unto death.


B.  Obedience to God is a costly thing.


·        (2 Timothy 2:12)  "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:"


·        (1 Peter 2:19-24)  "For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. (20) For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. (21) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: (23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: (24) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."


·        (Matthew 5:10-12)  "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (11) Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. (12) Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."


C.  God’s love for us and our relationship to him as the sons of God do not exempt us from suffering.


          Though the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of his love, he was not spared any suffering and sorrow as a man. He was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” The disciple is not above his Lord, nor the servant above his Master. If we are the sons of God, we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of heaven.


·        (Hebrews 12:5-11)  "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: (6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (7) If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (8) But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. (9) Furthermore we have had 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? (10) 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. (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.


          "If a sheep stray from the flock, the shepherd sets his dog after it, not to devour it, but to bring it in again; even so our Heavenly Shepherd."


D.  The things which we suffer in this world by the will of God are the things by which we learn obedience to the will of God.


          We learn not by words, but by experience, -- not by reading but by tasting, -- not by instruction, but by correction, -- not by admonition, but by affliction.


·        (Psalms 119:67)  "Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word."


·        (Psalms 119:71)  "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes."


·        (Psalms 119:75)  "I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me."


"We often learn more of God under the rod that strikes us, than under the staff that comforts us." -- Stephen Charnock


"God's house of correction is His school of instruction." -- Thomas Brooks


"As the wicked are hurt by the best things, so the godly are bettered by the worst things." -- William Jenkyn


A.  We only learn patience by the trial of our faith.

B.  We never learn sympathy until we have walked in the shoes of those who need sympathy.

C.  We will never learn forgiveness until we experience forgiveness.

D.  We will not learn to help the fallen until we have been helped from a fall.

E.   We will never learn what we would or should do in any circumstance, until we are in the midst of the trial ourselves.

F.   We will never learn to be weaned from this earth until God graciously weans us from it.




·        (1 Peter 1:3-7)  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (4) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (5) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (6) Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: (7) That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."


·        (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)  "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."


·        (2 Corinthians 5:1)  "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."