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Hebrews 11 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see. 1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
2 The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.
3 By faith, we see the world called into existence by God's word, what we see created by what we don't see. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
4 By an act of faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain. It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference. That's what God noticed and approved as righteous. After all these centuries, that belief continues to catch our notice. 4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.
5 By an act of faith, Enoch skipped death completely. "They looked all over and couldn't find him because God had taken him." We know on the basis of reliable testimony that before he was taken "he pleased God." 5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
6 It's impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
7 By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn't see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God. 7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
8 By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God's call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. 8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
9 By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.
10 Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations - the City designed and built by God. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
11 By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant, old woman as she was at the time, because she believed the One who made a promise would do what he said. 11 By faith Abraham, even though he was past age--and Sarah herself was barren--was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.
12 That's how it happened that from one man's dead and shriveled loins there are now people numbering into the millions. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
13 Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. 13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.
14 People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.
15 If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.
16 But they were after a far better country than that - heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
17 By faith, Abraham, at the time of testing, offered Isaac back to God. Acting in faith, he was as ready to return the promised son, his only son, as he had been to receive him - 17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,
18 and this after he had already been told, "Your descendants shall come from Isaac." 18 even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."
19 Abraham figured that if God wanted to, he could raise the dead. In a sense, that's what happened when he received Isaac back, alive from off the altar. 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
20 By an act of faith, Isaac reached into the future as he blessed Jacob and Esau. 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
21 By an act of faith, Jacob on his deathbed blessed each of Joseph's sons in turn, blessing them with God's blessing, not his own - as he bowed worshipfully upon his staff. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
22 By an act of faith, Joseph, while dying, prophesied the exodus of Israel, and made arrangements for his own burial. 22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.
23 By an act of faith, Moses' parents hid him away for three months after his birth. They saw the child's beauty, and they braved the king's decree. 23 By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict.
24 By faith, Moses, when grown, refused the privileges of the Egyptian royal house. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter.
25 He chose a hard life with God's people rather than an opportunistic soft life of sin with the oppressors. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.
26 He valued suffering in the Messiah's camp far greater than Egyptian wealth because he was looking ahead, anticipating the payoff. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
27 By an act of faith, he turned his heel on Egypt, indifferent to the king's blind rage. He had his eye on the One no eye can see, and kept right on going. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.
28 By an act of faith, he kept the Passover Feast and sprinkled Passover blood on each house so that the destroyer of the firstborn wouldn't touch them. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.
29 By an act of faith, Israel walked through the Red Sea on dry ground. The Egyptians tried it and drowned. 29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
30 By faith, the Israelites marched around the walls of Jericho for seven days, and the walls fell flat. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.
31 By an act of faith, Rahab, the Jericho harlot, welcomed the spies and escaped the destruction that came on those who refused to trust God. 31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
32 I could go on and on, but I've run out of time. There are so many more - Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets. . . . 32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets,
33 Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions,
34 fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.
35 Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection.
36 Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison.
37 We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless - 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated--
38 the world didn't deserve them! - making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world. 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
39 Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.
40 God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
113 Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. 113