Summary: What does it mean to have faith in Christ?
Please open your Bibles to Hebrews Chapter 4…..
We will read again today “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
What we are about to read is alive and active! The question is, will we allow God’s words to impact our minds, hearts, and souls. We can not change for the better unless we yield to God’s word and God sees everything. Let us commune with God by listening carefully to what God wants to tell us this morning. Read along with me Hebrews 4:6-16….
v6a: the offer of God’s rest still remains (also in v1)
v6b: God’s rest was offered to the Hebrews in the desert but they disobeyed and lost that rest
v7: God’s rest was again offered during King David’s time! God called David to write about that rest!
v8: God’s rest was not completed through Joshua (even though Joshua entered the Promised Land)! Only one other person with Joshua, Caleb, in their generation made it to the Promised Land (those 2 were the only ones faithful whom God allowed to enter the Promised Land)!
Now, let us remind ourselves of how Christians are to have rest; note Hebrews 3:6…. 3:14….
God’s complete and final rest is by faith in Jesus Christ!! And so, Hebrews 4:9-10 makes sense if faith in Christ is the foundation of God’s rest!
v9-10: There’s a Sabbath-rest for all who believe in Christ and it is by faith not works!
What is faith??
We’ll talk more bout the meaning of faith in our applications.
v11? Let’s take a look at the other English Translations of this verse:
New King James Version (NKJV) Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.
English Standard Version (ESV) Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.
The Hebrew Christians 2000 years ago were warned of disobeying God, not to follow the disobedience of their ancestors in the dessert. Disobeying what (based on this passage and what happened in the desert)??
v12-13: God’s rest is found in obeying God’s Word (look at what it can do!) and God is omniscient!
v14-16: Jesus Christ is available (a great high priest – intercessor):
• was on earth but ascended back to heaven
• Son of God (He is God!)
• can empathize with people with all their weaknesses
• was tempted with every sin possible but yet Jesus never sinned!
• Provides grace when people are in need
v14-16: Christians are called to:
• hold on firmly (hold fast) to our faith in Christ
• fight temptation with the power of Christ
• approach (draw near to) God’s throne with confidence!
What should we apply to our lives for today from this passage?
First of all, let us not miss the main topic of Hebrews 3-4, as we had noted in previous messages: God offers and desires His rest to all human beings: God gave His rest to Adam and Eve by creating them and walking with them. God offered rest to Abraham by calling him to be a nation for God. God offered rest to the Israelites as they were freed from slavery in Egypt to a Promised Land. God offered His rest to King David and the people of Israel by telling them about the Messiah to come who will bring that complete and final rest.
And God offered His rest by sending His own Son Jesus Christ to the world to die for all the sins of people (which goes against God’s rest) and to be an example; and this offer is still available to anyone who is still alive. And so…
1. Have we accepted God’s rest by having faith in Jesus Christ? We’ll talk more about faith in a moment but let us just keep in mind that complete and final rest is found TODAY through faith in Jesus Christ!
And let us also note what the Apostle Paul stated to Philemon…
Philemon 4-6: I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.