We rest celebrating the accomplished atonement and the fullness of our salvation: sins forgiven, debts paid, death defeated, and the new creation is at work in our lives.
Scripture: Hebrews 4:1-5
- We must not be complacent about entering God's rest.
- The promise and the sanction (penalty) still stand, so we are to live in godly fear.
- The Hebrews were familiar with the Exodus account of God's deliverance of Israel to enter God's rest in the land of Canaan.
- Like Israel, in our distress we say, “If God does not meet our demands, let us go back to Egypt” (Num. 14:1-4).
- It does not matter how many times God delivers and provides for us, we still complain due to our lack of faith.
- We have had the gospel preached to us, just like Israel had.
- The same gospel was preached under both testaments.
- Israel did not profit from the gospel because they lived in unbelief; to live by faith means faithfulness to God and a right response to God, not merely assent to a set of propositions.
- Like the recipients of Hebrews, we have no excuse.
- There are connoisseurs of sermons: people who are hearers of teaching, but who do not put it into practice under the authority of a local church.
- He who watches Israel does not sleep; the rest of God is a rest of completion and victory, not of weariness.
- We rest celebrating the accomplished atonement and the fullness of our salvation: sins forgiven, debts paid, death defeated, and the new creation is at work in our lives.
- The rest in Hebrews is a theological and moral fact; it is not an absence of work. True rest is only re-entered through Christ; we are re-established in the dominion mandate to rule and subdue, doing God's will, bringing all thought and life under the reign of Christ and His government.
- By obedience we enter His rest; by disobedience we forfeit His rest. So we enter the rest of God by doing His works.
- God's garden is the world. If we are disobedient, it will be left uncultivated and our generation may forfeit the blessing.
- To neglect the calling of God upon us is to perish in the wilderness (Heb. 10:36-39).
- We are among those who press on and are saved.
- The Christian calling is to joyfully do God's will. We are not to endlessly mourn or introspect our past sins.
- We are to alter the present and future by repentance and faith.
- We are to rest in God's Sabbaths because He is in control.
- Sabbath rest presupposes work. As we work under God in the preceding six days, we enabled to enjoy a holy rest.
- The Christian Sabbath is resurrection Sunday and it represents the creation of a new people in Christ.
- The pseudo-rest of the leisure society leads to boredom and self-destructive diversions.
- Sabbath is made for man; the gift of rest is the day for dominion man to rejoice in Christ and His work.
- If we do not rest and give the land its rest, God will take the land away, giving it rest (Lev. 26:43).
- Rest in Christ's work and go out and work in terms of His rest.
- What is the rest of God? How can we be sure of entering it?
- How is the rest of God forfeited by disobedience?
- What does it mean to live by faith? What is the work of God's rest?
- What is the attitude we should have about doing God's work?
- How are our work and God's rest related?
- How is the muzzled, state-approved church in China similar to the Canadian church?
- What is the significance of the Christian Sabbath?
- How can the principle of entering God's rest be applied to our lives this week?