Better Than All Heroes of the Faith

Hebrews 10:19-12:13

1019Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20by the way which he dedicated for us, a new and living way, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21and having a great priest over God’s house, 22let’s draw near with a true heart in fullness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and having our body washed with pure water, 23let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering; for he who promised is faithful.
24Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good works, 25not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as you see the Day approaching. 26For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more a sacrifice for sins, 27but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which will devour the adversaries. 28A man who disregards Moses’ law dies without compassion on the word of two or three witnesses. 29How much worse punishment do you think he will be judged worthy of who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30For we know him who said, “Vengeance belongs to me,” says the Lord, “I will repay.”* Again, “The Lord will judge his people.”* 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 32But remember the former days, in which, after you were enlightened, you endured a great struggle with sufferings; 33partly, being exposed to both reproaches and oppressions; and partly, becoming partakers with those who were treated so. 34For you both had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and an enduring one in the heavens. 35Therefore don’t throw away your boldness, which has a great reward. 36For you need endurance so that, having done the will of God, you may receive the promise.
37In a very little while,
he who comes will come, and will not wait.
38But the righteous will live by faith.
If he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”*
39But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the saving of the soul.
111Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen. 2For by this, the elders obtained testimony. 3By faith, we understand that the universe has been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen has not been made out of things which are visible. 4By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had testimony given to him that he was righteous, God testifying with respect to his gifts; and through it he, being dead, still speaks. 5By faith, Enoch was taken away, so that he wouldn’t see death, and he was not found, because God translated him. For he has had testimony given to him that before his translation he had been well pleasing to God. 6Without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to him, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists, and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him. 7By faith, Noah, being warned about things not yet seen, moved with godly fear,* prepared a ship for the saving of his house, through which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. 8By faith, Abraham, when he was called, obeyed to go out to the place which he was to receive for an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he went. 9By faith, he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a land not his own, dwelling in tents, with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he looked for the city which has the foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11By faith, even Sarah herself received power to conceive, and she bore a child when she was past age, since she counted him faithful who had promised. 12Therefore as many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as innumerable as the sand which is by the sea shore, were fathered by one man, and him as good as dead. 13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen* them and embraced them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. 15If indeed they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had enough time to return. 16But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
17By faith, Abraham, being tested, offered up Isaac. Yes, he who had gladly received the promises was offering up his one and only son; 18even he to whom it was said, “your offspring* will be accounted as from Isaac”;* 19concluding that God is able to raise up even from the dead. Figuratively speaking, he also did receive him back from the dead. 20By faith, Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even concerning things to come. 21By faith, Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. 22By faith, Joseph, when his end was near, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel; and gave instructions concerning his bones. 23By faith, Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that he was a beautiful child, and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. 24By faith, Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25choosing rather to share ill treatment with God’s people, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a time; 26accounting the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he looked to the reward. 27By faith, he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 28By faith, he kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of the blood, that the destroyer of the firstborn should not touch them. 29By faith, they passed through the Red Sea as on dry land. When the Egyptians tried to do so, they were swallowed up. 30By faith, the walls of Jericho fell down, after they had been encircled for seven days. 31By faith, Rahab the prostitute, didn’t perish with those who were disobedient, having received the spies in peace. 32What more shall I say? For the time would fail me if I told of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets; 33who, through faith subdued kingdoms, worked out righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,* 34quenched the power of fire,* escaped the edge of the sword,* from weakness were made strong, grew mighty in war, and caused foreign armies to flee. 35Women received their dead by resurrection.* Others were tortured, not accepting their deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36Others were tried by mocking and scourging, yes, moreover by bonds and imprisonment. 37They were stoned.* They were sawn apart. They were tempted. They were slain with the sword.* They went around in sheep skins and in goat skins; being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38(of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts, mountains, caves, and the holes of the earth. 39These all, having had testimony given to them through their faith, didn’t receive the promise, 40God having provided some better thing concerning us, so that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
121Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3For consider him who has endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, that you don’t grow weary, fainting in your souls. 4You have not yet resisted to blood, striving against sin; 5and you have forgotten the exhortation which reasons with you as with children,
My son, don’t take lightly the chastening of the Lord,
nor faint when you are reproved by him;
6For whom the Lord loves, he chastens,
and scourges every son whom he receives.”*
7It is for discipline that you endure. God deals with you as with children, for what son is there whom his father doesn’t discipline? 8But if you are without discipline, of which all have been made partakers, then are you illegitimate, and not children. 9Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live? 10For they indeed, for a few days, punished us as seemed good to them; but he for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness. 11All chastening seems for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been exercised thereby. 12Therefore lift up the hands that hang down and the feeble knees,* 13and make straight paths for your feet,* so that which is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

*Hebrews 10:30 Deuteronomy 32:35
*Hebrews 10:30 Deuteronomy 32:36; Psalm 135:14
*Hebrews 10:38 Habakkuk 2:3-4
*Hebrews 11:7 or, reverence
*Hebrews 11:13 TR adds “and being convinced of”
*Hebrews 11:18 or, seed
*Hebrews 11:18 Genesis 21:12
*Hebrews 11:33 Daniel 6:22-23
*Hebrews 11:34 Daniel 3:1-30
*Hebrews 11:34 1 Kings 19:1-3; 2 Kings 6:31-7:20
*Hebrews 11:35 1 Kings 17:17-23; 2 Kings 4:32-37
*Hebrews 11:37 2 Chronicles 24:20-21
*Hebrews 11:37 Jeremiah 26:20-23; 1 Kings 19:10
*Hebrews 12:6 Proverbs 3:11-12
*Hebrews 12:12 Isaiah 35:3
*Hebrews 12:13 Proverbs 4:26

LEARNING FROM THE PAST

  • With which character do you most identify in this passage? Why?
  • What strengths and/or weaknesses do you see in this character in this passage?
  • What do you think God was wanting do in the life of your selected character?
  • What do you think God is wanting to do in your life as you reflect on this passage? How can you cooperate with his loving purposes this week?
World English Bible (WEB)
a Public Domain Modern English translation
of the Holy Bible.

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