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 <<  Ibrani 12 >> 

1SURROUNDED, then as we are by these serried ranks of witnesses, let us strip off evening that hinders us, as well as the sin which dogs our feet, and let us run the race that we have to run with patience,

2our eyes fixed on Jesus the source and the goal of our faith. For he himself endured a cross and thought nothing of its shame because of the joy he knew would follow his suffering; and he is now seated at the right hand of God's throne.

3Think constantly of him enduring all that sinful men could say against him and you will not lose your purpose or your courage.

4After all, your fight against sin has not yet meant the shedding of blood,

5and you have perhaps lost sight of that piece of advice which reminds you of your sonship in God: My son, regard not lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art reproved of him;

6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

7Bear what you have to bear as "chastening"as God's dealing with you as sons. No true son ever grows up uncorrected by his father.

8For if you had no experience of the correction which all sons have to bear you might well doubt the legitimacy of your sonship.

9After all, when we were children we had fathers who corrected us, and we respected them for it. Can we not much more readily submit to the discipline of the Father of men's souls, and learn how to live?

10For our fathers used to correct us according to their own ideas during the brief days of childhood. But God corrects us for our own benefit, so that we may share in his holiness.

11Now obviously no "chastening" seems pleasant at the time: it is in fact most unpleasant. Yet when it is all over we can see that it has quietly produced the fruit of real goodness in the characters of those who have accepted it.

12So tighten your loosening grip and steady your trembling knees.

13Keep your feet on a steady path, so that the limping foot does not collapse but recovers strength.

14Let it be your ambition to live at peace with all men and to achieve holiness "without which no man shall see the Lord".

15Be careful that none of you fails to respond to the grace of God, for if he does there can spring up in him a bitter spirit which can poison the lives of many others.

16Be careful, too, that none of you falls into impurity or loses his reverence for the things of God like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.

17Remember how afterwards, when he wanted to have the blessing which was his birthright, be was refused. He never afterwards found the way of repentance though he sought it desperately and with tears.

18You have not had to approach things which your senses could experience, as they did in the old daysflaming fire, black darkness, rushing wind and

19out of it a trumpetblast, a voice speaking human words. So terrible was that voice that those who heard it begged and prayed that it might say no more.

20For what it had already commanded was more than they could bearthat "if even a beast touch this mountain it must be stoned".

21So fearful was the spectacle that Moses cried out, "I am terrified and tremble!"

22No, you have been allowed to approach the true Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have drawn in to the countless angelic army,

23the assembly of the Church of the firstborn whose names are written in Heaven. You have drawn near to God, the judge of all, to the souls of good men made perfect,

24and to Jesus, mediator of a new agreement, to that cleansing blood which tells a better story than the blood of Abel.

25So be sure you do not refuse to hear the voice that speaks. For if they who refused to hear those who spoke to them on earth did not escape, how little chance of escape is there for us if we refuse to hear the One who speaks from Heaven.

26Then his voice shook, the earth, but now he promises: Yet once more will I make to tremble, not the earth only, but also the heaven.

27This means that in this final "shaking" all that is impermanent will be removed, that is, everything that is merely "made", and only the unshakable things will remain.

28Since then we have been given a kingdom that is "unshakable", let us serve God with thankfulness in the ways which please him, but always with reverence and holy fear.

29For it is perfectly true that our God is a burning fire.

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