New Living Translation
God’s Discipline Proves His Love
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.[a] Because of the joy[b] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;[c] then you won’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children?[d] He said,
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?[g]
10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
A Call to Listen to God
14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. 16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.
18 You have not come to a physical mountain,[h] to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. 19 For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. 20 They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.”[i] 21 Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.”[j]
22 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. 23 You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. 24 You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.
25 Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! 26 When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.”[k] 27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.
28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a devouring fire.
- 12:2a Or Jesus, the originator and perfecter of our faith.
- 12:2b Or Instead of the joy.
- 12:3 Some manuscripts read Think of how people hurt themselves by opposing him.
- 12:5a Greek sons; also in 12:7, 8.
- 12:5b Greek son; also in 12:6, 7.
- 12:5-6 Prov 3:11-12 (Greek version).
- 12:9 Or and really live?
- 12:18 Greek to something that can be touched.
- 12:20 Exod 19:13.
- 12:21 Deut 9:19.
- 12:26 Hag 2:6.
Christian Standard Bible
The Call to Endurance
12 Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses(A) surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance(B) the race that lies before us, 2 keeping our eyes on Jesus,[a] the pioneer and perfecter[b] of our faith. For the joy that lay before him,[c] he endured the cross, despising the shame,(C) and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, so that you won’t grow weary and give up.(D) 4 In struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons:
7 Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline—which all receive[e]—then you are illegitimate children and not sons.(F) 9 Furthermore, we had human fathers discipline us, and we respected them. Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live?(G) 10 For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but he does it for our benefit, so that we can share his holiness.(H) 11 No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit(I) of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.(J)
Warning against Rejecting God’s Grace
14 Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness(M)—without it no one will see the Lord.(N) 15 Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and defiling many.(O) 16 And make sure that there isn’t any immoral[g] or irreverent(P) person like Esau, who sold his birthright in exchange for a single meal.(Q) 17 For you know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, even though he sought it with tears, because he didn’t find any opportunity for repentance.(R)
18 For you have not come to what could be touched, to a blazing fire, to darkness, gloom, and storm, 19 to the blast of a trumpet, and the sound of words. Those who heard it begged that not another word be spoken to them, 20 for they could not bear what was commanded: If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.[h](S) 21 The appearance was so terrifying that Moses said, I am trembling with fear.[i](T) 22 Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God (the heavenly Jerusalem), to myriads of angels, a festive gathering,(U) 23 to the assembly of the firstborn whose names have been written[j] in heaven, to a Judge, who is God of all, to the spirits of righteous people made perfect,(V) 24 and to Jesus, the mediator(W) of a new covenant,(X) and to the sprinkled blood, which says better things than the blood of Abel.(Y)
25 See to it that you do not reject the one who speaks. For if they did not escape when they rejected him who warned them on earth, even less will we if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven.(Z) 26 His voice shook the earth at that time, but now he has promised, Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.[k](AA) 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what can be shaken(AB)—that is, created things—so that what is not shaken might remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe,(AC) 29 for our God is a consuming fire.(AD)
- 12:2 Or us, looking to Jesus
- 12:2 Or the founder and completer, or the source and perfecter
- 12:2 Or who instead of the joy lying before him
- 12:6 Pr 3:11–12
- 12:8 Lit discipline, of which all have become participants
- 12:13 Or so that the lame will not be turned aside
- 12:16 Or sexually immoral
- 12:20 Ex 19:12
- 12:21 Dt 9:19
- 12:23 Or registered
- 12:26 Hg 2:6