Wednesday, October 03, 2018

04 Hebrews 4 – His Eternal Sabbath Rest – Don’t Miss it for the World!

Thankfully, the next rest stop is not anyone's guess, as this image suggests! The Word of God describes it right here in Hebrews 4. In fact, the next rest stop is out of this world! God had said regarding the unfaithful Hebrews who lived in Moses’ day, “They shall not enter my rest” (Heb 3:11, citing Ps 95:11). Though there was a kind of earthly rest in the time of Joshua (Josh 21:44; 23:1), the writer of Hebrews notes that this was not God’s ultimate rest. THat is because much later, through David, God announced another day in which his faithful people might enter his rest. The writer connects this “today” with God’s seventh-day “Sabbath” rest after his six days of creation. We may enter God’s Sabbath rest in heaven, when our “six days” of faithful service on earth have ended.

We might title Hebrews 4:1-13, “Heaven: Don’t Miss it for the World!”
We could call Hebrews 4:14-15, “You Have a Friend in High Places – Jesus.”
These are lesson notes, not written in a polished or finished manuscript form.  
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4:1-13 Heaven – Don’t Miss it for the World!
4:1-3a        God’s Promise is Conditional. We must fear.
Did the Israelites ever enter God’s promised rest? 
In a limited sense, yes (2nd generation).  Josh 21:44; 23:1
In a complete, ultimate, eternal sense, no.
Hebrews: “So, God’s promise of rest still remains.”
The door is open to us!  You and I may enter that rest!
But, the “gospel” the Israelites heard did not profit them.
Why?  They failed to enter through unbelief / disobedience.
Will the gospel we heard profit us … if we turn from it?
“We who believe enter that rest.”
Should we really fear that we might come short of it? Yes!
4:3b-11      God’s Rest is Eternal. We must be diligent.
“My rest” … God “rested” on the seventh day, when He finished His “works” (of creation).
Hebrews connects God’s creation rest …
         with the Promised Land rest …
                 with the eternal rest (heaven).  Rev 14:13
Since the Israelites missed God’s rest, God (in David) set another day to offer His rest:  “Today.”  Ps 95:7
This offer proves that Joshua did not give this rest.
Since God entered the Sabbath rest after finishing His work, we will enter God’s Sabbath rest after finishing ours.
Let us then be diligent, lest we fall as they did.
“Joshua” or “Jesus” in Heb 4:8?
The King James Version has “Jesus” in Heb 4:8. The apparent reason for this is the fact that the Greek word can refer either to Jesus or to Joshua. The verse is actually saying that, if Joshua had provided the ultimate rest, God would not have spoken of another day after Joshua’s time. All other major translations, including the New King James Version, correctly translate the word as “Joshua.”
The names “Joshua” (Hebrew) and “Jesus” (Greek) are identical. The meaning is, “Yahweh saves” or “Yahweh is salvation.” See Matt 1:21. It’s clear that Joshua is the OT type or shadow, and Jesus is the NT antitype or fulfillment. What the first “Joshua/Jesus” did not do, and could not do, the second, perfect “Joshua/Jesus” did.
Is there a “Christian Sabbath?” Not on earth, but in heaven!
Some mistakenly teach that the fourth commandment (Ex 20:8-11) requires Christians to observe the seventh day, rather than the first day, as the appointed day of worship. The New Testament contradicts that doctrine, insisting upon the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:1), also called “the Lord’s Day” (Rev 1:10).
Others mistakenly teach that the OT Sabbath has no NT fulfillment, that only the other nine commandments are noted in the Christian covenant. Hebrews 4 is very clear that the Christian’s “Sabbath” is fulfilled, not in a weekly observance here, but in the eternal “seventh day” of God’s rest in heaven. The promise that a Sabbath rest remains for the people of God (Heb 4:9) spurs us on to serve him wholeheartedly during our “six days” here.
4:12-13      God’s Word is Alive. We must give account.
God breathes and gives life through His Word.  Gen 1
Just because it is God’s Word, it cannot die.  2 Tim 3:16
It is not man’s own interpretation.  2 Pet 1:20-21
Whether spoken or written, it is always at work.
It accomplishes its purpose.  Isa 55:10-11
It is the Spirit’s sword.  Eph 6:17
It cuts and cures.  It hurts and heals.
It diagnoses and distinguishes …
It exposes and energizes …  1 Cor 4:5
It calls us to account …
How does Heb 4:12-13 fit the context of Heb 4:1-11?
4:14-15 Jesus – Our Friend in High Places
“A great High Priest … into the heavens.”
Jesus understands my temptations.
Was Jesus really tempted?  In all the ways we are? Yes!
Single temptation: to abandon one’s confession.
When, where, and how was Jesus tempted?
Peirazo: to try, try on, test, examine, tempt.
“God tests but does not tempt.”
With what does temptation begin?  How does it progress?  Where does it end?  Jas 1:13-15
Jesus sympathizes with my struggles.
What is sympathy?  Who needs it?  When?
Jesus, without His own sin, can handle mine.
How did He avoid sin?  What if He had sinned?
Jesus offers mercy and grace, just in time.
The throne of judgment is the throne of grace.
“Therefore, let us” … draw near and claim it!
Again Hebrews follows an indicative truth – “Jesus is our High Priest” – with a “therefore” exhortation – “Let us draw near!”

1 comment:

Ben Little said...

Thank you brother Cory