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Anticipation Begins with a Promise

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There is the theological, theonomic and the typological rest of God. By theologically , I mean theology proper.

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God is the one who introduces the concept of Sabbath rest in Gen. Israel also understood Sabbath rest in connection with the conquest of Canaan under Joshua where God would give Israel rest from their enemies Josh. This is why Joshua when he gives his redemptive-historical summary of the history of Israel leading up to the conquest, begins with the promise God made to Abraham Josh.


Finally, the typological aspect of this rest is perhaps the most significant for Hebrews. For even as Hebrews will go on to develop, Biblical rest is rooted in the Creation day Sabbath where God rested serving as the basis for the 4 th Commandment for Israel to observe that day of rest, and ultimately served as the basis for the Promised Land to become a type of eternal eschatological rest in the New Creation cf. Hebrews ties all this together here in chapter four through Jesus Christ.

This typology is inherently present in the OT. That means that while we read it the Old Testament, the story of Abraham, the story of Moses, Joshua and the people of Israel, God is already signaling forward to a greater Land, a greater city, and greater country realized and inaugurated in Christ. It means that in Christ, we have a greater rest than Israel ever experience on the seventh day, it means that we have greater safety and security in Jesus than Joshua would ever experience in the land of Canaan from their enemies and alien forces.

Israel could be driven out of the land by alien powers like Babylon but we can never be driven out of Jesus by Islam cf.

Rest Bible Verses

No weapon formed against us can prosper. This brings us to the all-important subject of faith. The singular condition of faith is the word of God. Speaking evangelically, a person cannot be saved apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 6:11

Hebrews is the book of faith 4. Without faith it is impossible to please God This of course is because, through faith God justifies the ungodly Rom.

Matthew 11:28-30

Through faith, man is reconciled to God, justified in the sight of God, and put right with God Gal. Consequently through faith, believers live a life that is pleasing to Him 2 Cor. But in 1 Thessalonians we see a glorious contrast to the unbelief of the wilderness generation with those who exemplify how the good news is to be received:. You can cancel anytime during the trial period. To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings. Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account.

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The Promise Of Rest

Hebrews 3 Hebrews 5. Jesus, same as Heb. Enrich your faith and grow in spiritual maturity with the incredible Bible study and devotional books listed below. First , there is an urgency regarding the offer of rest. It is not something that we believe for the moment, but rather something we believe and lay hold of day after day. It is the message of salvation to which we are exhorted to give much more careful attention 2: Faith is also known as belief, just as the absence of faith is unbelief.

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Faith is a key concept in the Book of Hebrews, as will be dramatically evident when we get to chapter It is an evil heart of unbelief that falls away from the living God 3: Unbelief leads to a hardened heart, which leads to rebellion and divine discipline. Community is not a term that is found in our text, or even in the Book of Hebrews.

But it is a concept which is emphasized as vitally important to the believer. For we had good news proclaimed to us just as they did. But the message they heard did them no good, since they did not join in with those who heard it in faith 4 Hebrews 4: For we also have received the good news just as they did; but the message they heard did not benefit them, since they were not united with those who heard it in faith CSB, emphasis mine.


For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened ESV, emphasis mine. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard NASB, emphasis mine.

For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it NKJV, emphasis mine. So we have two ways of understanding this verse, due to a measure of ambiguity in the Greek text. Or, 2 The good news did not do some any good because they did not personally embrace it by faith. Perhaps the ambiguity is deliberate, so that both meanings apply. It is pretty clear that the Word does us little good if we refuse to believe it.

But the writer to the Hebrews also wants us to realize that our faith and Christian walk is not a solo proposition but a choir event. When we come to faith in Christ, we are joined with Christ and with other believers see 1 Corinthians This is why the author can employ Psalm 95, a psalm which summons the community of faith to worship.

This is also why he expects the saints to gather regularly to encourage one another and to watch for those who are drifting:. There are several kinds of rest referred to in Hebrews. Therefore we must be wary that, while the promise of entering his rest remains open, none of you may seem to have come short of it Hebrews 4: This rest is the rest from our labors. And there is the eternal rest which all Christians will experience.

I believe that we see this in Romans 7 and 8. Chapter 8 is the solution. The Christian is to live in the power of the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that raised the dead body of Jesus from the grave. By the working of His Spirit in us, we are able, to some degree, to live a godly life see Romans 8: This is resting in Him, or we might even say, abiding in Him see John This is the key to fruitfulness.

The ancient Israelites, along with those who lived in the days of the psalmist, had the promise of rest, a rest which could only be attained by faith. We are not that different from those ancient Israelites. Just as they received the good news of a promise of entering the land of Canaan, so we have received an even greater revelation of good news, the good news of salvation by faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It requires not only initial faith on our part, but on-going faith.

This kind of faith is encouraged and stimulated by our association with others who share the same faith 4: This is the rest some failed to enter, but which remains available to us today, a rest received by faith 4: And so we need to believe God and enter this rest, rather than to refuse to believe and fail to enter, as did the ancient Israelites. When I think of the Old Testament law, with all of its requirements and stipulations, it makes me tired.

How could one ever please God by the works of the law? No one ever could, for the purpose of the law was not to provide men with a list of works by which one could be saved.

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The purpose of the law was to demonstrate to men that they could never save themselves, but must be saved some other way. And that way was the promised Messiah, Jesus the Christ:. For there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed.

But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they teach. The concept of rest is such a beautiful thing to one who is weary of striving to please God in his or her own strength. For a Hebrew Christian to entertain thoughts of retreating back to Judaism, of going back under the law, was to set aside rest for fruitless works.

Have you experienced the rest which only Christ can give? And then simply trust in the only provision God has made for sinners to be forgiven and to enter into His rest. My Christian friend, are you resting in what Christ has done for you? Or are you striving in the power of your own flesh to please God, just as Paul describes in Romans For I do not do what I want — instead, I do what I hate.

For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it.