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Chapter 12

1Therefore, let us too, with such a crowd of witnesses about us, throw off every impediment and the entanglement of sin, and run with determination the race for which we are entered, 2fixing our eyes upon Jesus, our leader and example in faith, who in place of the happiness that belonged to him, submitted to a cross, caring nothing for its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Think of the opposition that he encountered from those sinners against themselves, if you would not grow weary and faint-hearted. 4You have not yet resisted unto death in your struggle with sin, 5and you have forgotten the challenge addressed to you as God’s sons,

“My son, do not think lightly of the Lord’s discipline,

Or give up when he corrects you.

6For it is those whom the Lord loves that he disciplines,

And he chastises every son that he acknowledges.”

7You must submit to it as discipline. God is dealing with you as his sons. For where is there a son whom his father does not discipline? 8But if you have none of that discipline which all sons undergo, you are illegitimate children, and not true sons. 9When our earthly fathers disciplined us we treated them with respect; should we not far more submit to the Father of our spirits, and so have life? 10For they disciplined us for a short time and as they thought proper, but he does it for our good, to make us share his holiness. 11Discipline is never pleasant at the time; it is painful; but to those who are trained by it, it afterward yields the peace of character. 12So tighten your loosening hold! Stiffen your wavering stand! 13And keep your feet in straight paths, so that limbs that are lame may not be dislocated but instead be cured.

14Try to be at peace with everyone, and strive for that consecration without which no one can see the Lord. 15Be careful that no one fails to gain God’s favor, or some poisonous root may come up to trouble and contaminate you all— 16some immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his very birthright for one single meal. 17For you know how, when he afterward wished to claim the blessing, he was refused it, although he begged for it with tears, for he had no opportunity to repent of what he had done.

18For it is no tangible blazing fire that you have come up to, no blackness and darkness and storm, 19no trumpet blast and voice whose words made those who heard them beg to be told no more, 20for they could not bear the order, “Even a wild animal, if it touches the mountain, must be stoned to death,” 21and so awful was the sight that Moses said, “I am aghast and appalled!” 22But you have come up to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to countless angels, 23to the solemn gathering of all God’s elder sons, enrolled as citizens in heaven, to a judge who is the God of all, to the spirits of upright men now at last enjoying the fulfilment of their hopes, 24to Jesus the negotiator of a new agreement, and to sprinkled blood that speaks more powerfully than even Abel’s. 25Take care not to refuse to listen to him who is speaking. For if they could not escape because they would not listen to him who warned them here on earth, how much less can we, who reject him who is from heaven! 26Then his voice shook the earth, but now his promise is, “But once more I will make not only the earth but the very heaven to tremble!” 27Now the words “But once more” indicate the final removal of all that is shaken, as only created, leaving only what is unshaken to be permanent. 28Let us, therefore, be thankful that the kingdom given to us cannot be shaken, and so please God by worshiping him with reverence and awe; 29for our God is a consuming fire.

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