The Race of Faith
1Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, #Col. 3:8let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and #1 Cor. 9:24; Gal. 2:2; Heb. 10:39let us run #Rom. 12:12; Heb. 10:36with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, #Luke 24:26who for the joy that was set before Him #Ps. 69:7, 19; Phil. 2:8; (Heb. 2:9)endured the cross, despising the shame, and #Ps. 110:1has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The Discipline of God
3#Matt. 10:24For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, #Gal. 6:9; Heb. 12:5lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4#(1 Cor. 10:13)You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
#Job 5:17; Prov. 3:11, 12“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6For #Ps. 94:12; Rev. 3:19whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”
7#Deut. 8:5; 2 Sam. 7:14If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what #Prov. 13:24; 19:18; 23:13son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8But if you are without chastening, #1 Pet. 5:9of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to #(Job 12:10)the Father of spirits and live? 10For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, #Lev. 11:44that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields #Is. 32:17; 2 Tim. 4:8; James 3:17, 18the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Renew Your Spiritual Vitality
12Therefore #Is. 35:3strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
14#Ps. 34:14Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, #Matt. 5:8; (Heb. 9:28)without which no one will see the Lord: 15looking carefully lest anyone #2 Cor. 6:1; Gal. 5:4; Heb. 4:1fall short of the grace of God; lest any #Deut. 29:18root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16lest there be any #(1 Cor. 6:13–18)fornicator or profane person like Esau, #Gen. 25:33who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was #Gen. 27:30–40rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
The Glorious Company
18For you have not come to #Ex. 19:12, 16; 20:18; Deut. 4:11; 5:22the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it #Ex. 20:18–26; Deut. 5:25; 18:16begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20(For they could not endure what was commanded: #Ex. 19:12, 13“And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” 21And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, #Deut. 9:19“I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)
22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23to the general assembly and church of #(James 1:18)the firstborn #Luke 10:20who are registered in heaven, to God #Gen. 18:25; Ps. 50:6; 94:2the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men #(Phil. 3:12)made perfect, 24to Jesus #1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 8:6; 9:15the Mediator of the new covenant, and to #Ex. 24:8the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things #Gen. 4:10; Heb. 11:4than that of Abel.
Hear the Heavenly Voice
25See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For #Heb. 2:2, 3if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, #Hag. 2:6“Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the #(Is. 34:4; 54:10; 65:17; Rom. 8:19, 21); 1 Cor. 7:31; Heb. 1:10removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may #Heb. 13:15, 21serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29For #Ex. 24:17our God is a consuming fire.