Holy Rest (1)

  • Actually, we could flip the title and call this Rest Holy. Faith is seeing the finished work of Christ and resting there. When God gives you a word it’s a word He wants to work in your life. It’s not up to you to work it. You simply receive it and enter into his rest.

    How do we do that? We do that with much determination. It’s the one place where God says to labor or work. Here’s the scriptures in the New Living Translation. Hebrews 4:9-11.

    So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.

    Why do you suppose the writer said this special rest was “still waiting for the people of God”? It’s because not all of God’s people have entered into that rest. They are still working to try and achieve acceptance from God. They are still trying to perform and live up to a set of standards that are NOT demanded in the gospel of God’s great grace.

    10 For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world.

    This confirms the comments I made on verse 9 above. “All who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors.” You cannot rest until you stop working. The only way to get rest is to receive His rest by entering into it.

    11 So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.

    The King James Version reads “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief”. The Easy To Read version reads “So let us try as hard as we can to enter God’s place of rest. We must try hard so that none of us will be lost by following the example of those who refused to obey God”.

    You see? This is the one place where God emphasizes putting forth great effort. Not to perform, not to work, not to try and be so spiritual, but to REST. I like what the KJV says at the end. “Lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”

    Hebrews 3:19 reads “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief”. Hebrews 4:6 reads “Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:”.

    Unbelief in what? In the truth of scripture. In the truth of what God the Holy Spirit said through mighty men who penned the words given them. In short, quit working and performing those religious legalistic acts and rest in what God in Christ Jesus has already done for you.

    In Hebrews 10:11-14 we see that the priests of the Old Testament never sat down. Here’s the scriptures and comments concerning them.

    11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which CAN NEVER take away sins.

    What a powerful example of what “not” to do today. Why are preachers, teachers, and even lay people always spouting out condemnation to people with false religious sounding statements. Statements like “make sure your sin list is short”. “You have to confess and ask for forgiveness for every sin and every time you sin”. “If you have sin in your life, God will not hear you”. That’s not found anywhere in scripture, but based on the above scripture, I can say without fear of contradiction that it’s a waste of time to even entertain such nonsense. “Which can NEVER take away sins.”

    12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.

    Oh, Oh, Oh. Here comes another one of those pesky “big buts” in the bible that just drive religious/legalists crazy. They skirt around statements like this, because it doesn’t fit their messages of condemnation. How many times did “our High Priest” offer Himself to God? ONCE. What kind of sacrifice was He? “A single sacrifice.” For what? For SINS. How long was it good for? “Good for all time.” Now I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty clear. It would take a lot of help to misinterpret those truth statements. Then He sat down.

    Jesus is perfect theology. He is, or should be, our greatest example of truth, grace, and faith. Remember, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17). So, Jesus SAT DOWN. When you sit down, you are taking a position of REST.

    13 There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet.

    Look here. Even Jesus quit performing. The reason? Because it is finished. That’s what He said on the cross. IT IS FINISHED! Even He knew that when something is finished, it’s time to quit trying to do it and sit down. Now He’s waiting until His enemies are “humbled and MADE a footstool. He’s letting it BE done, rather than trying to DO it.

    14 For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.

    Here’s another one of those pesky truth statements that just irritates the insides right out of the legalists. So lets break this little verse down which has so much to say. By which offering? “By that ONE offering.” Who made something perfect? He did. For how long? Forever. Who is being made perfect forever? “Those who are being MADE HOLY.”

    So let me get this straight. He, Jesus, by His one offering on the cross where He said it is finished, is FOREVER making PERFECT those who are being MADE holy. What is our part? What do we have to DO? What should we DO? The same thing Jesus did in verses 12 and 13. SIT DOWN AND WAIT.

    Now if you still aren’t getting this truth in scripture, or you doubt whether it is truly being said by the Holy Spirit, just keep studying. Hebrews 10:15-18 will help you get it right.

    15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says,

    That should convince even the greatest skeptic that what is being said is Truth and it’s being said by the Holy Spirit. I mean even Holy Spirt is testifying here. Look what He says.

    16 “This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”

    Don’t miss this. It’s a NEW COVENANT, not the Old Covenant. He’s moving the law from stone tablets that kill and putting them in our hearts and writing them on our minds. That takes you out of the religious trap of always trying to perform to keep a set of rules and moves you into a want to based on Truth.

    17 Then he says, “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.”

    WAIT A MINUTE HERE. Did I just read where God said He WILL never again remember? So God’s will is not to remember. It’s not that God has a bad memory. It’s that He has a good “forgetter”. What is it He will never again remember? Get ready. This will destroy your theology. It’s “their (our) sins and lawless deeds”. NO WAY. That just can’t be true. BUT IT IS. You just read it. So just know, that while you are remembering your sins and your past, He’s forgotten them. It’s like saying don’t forget to remember that He has forgiven and forgotten your sin.

    18 And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.

    It just gets worse for the religious, performance oriented, legalist. What happens when sins HAVE (past tense) been forgiven? Well, there is no more need to offer any more sacrifices. Is that clear enough? Why are you constantly trying to offer up sacrifices to God for your sins that are no longer there or remembered by Him. God doesn’t understand what to do with your “please forgive me’s” that come His way constantly by religious people. He scratches His head and looks to His right where Jesus is sitting. Then He says “I thought you took care of all of that at the cross”? Jesus responds “I did”.

    Now I know this is just driving religious people crazy, and they are probably getting angry. So if that’s you, here’s my recommendation. Take it up with God. I didn’t say these things, He did. He’s in management. I’m in sales. We don’t mix the two up. It just would not be healthy.

    There is more truth to be poured out in part 2 of this study, but we will stop right here for now. Grace and Peace.