We need to cease from our works if we truly believe in Jesus’ perfect work on the cross
Hebrews 4:3 & 10 “3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: "So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest,' “although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.”
These two verses go together and are often missed or overlooked with the verses of explanation between them. There is a two part contrast in verse three; those who enter into rest and those who will not be able to inter to rest. Verse 3 is also using a quote from Psalms 95:11 where God swore that the children of Israel could not enter into rest as previously established due to their unbelief. When a person becomes born again they enter into rest, but most people have no idea what that rest is. God’s rest is one from completion not exhaustion. When He rested on the seventh or Sabbath day it was because His creation was perfect and nothing else was needed. We know from Isaiah 40:28 that God could have created twice as much or more if He had wanted to. His decision to rest was based on the fact that He had perfectly created everything needed to sustain itself. When a master painter completes their art they stop when their eye sees what their heart was looking at. They do not come back and add any additional brush strokes because to do so would ruin its perfect state. The same is with God; why would He create two exact fruit trees when the first would provide the fruit and reproduce? It is also important to understand that His completed work was also mature and without needing time for maturity. He created Adam and Eve last and placed them into His restful state in the Garden of Eden. They didn’t have to wait for the fruit trees to grow seven years before it was producing fruit. Everything they needed was there ready for their use and their life was dedicated to fellowship with God, not working to produce anything; at least until the fall of man. Our perfect and complete salvation through the blood of Jesus is just as complete and ready for our rest. We do not have to plead or work for our healing, our salvation, or our needs as in Christ Jesus all is complete. What we do have to do is to believe on the name of Jesus and inter into His rest. It is disbelief that keeps man so pinned up with anxiety over his salvation, healing, and needs here on earth. Anti – Christ is preached when anything other than God’s grace is preached on how to enter into that rest.
When a born again Christian falls into strife over their own salvation, always looking for the “sin that so easily ensnares them”, then that person has stepped out of God’s rest. People do not like to hear this, but anytime a Christian gets caught up in legalism, rules, or even religious actions, what they are actually doing is saying that the blood of Jesus was not enough for them so they must bleed also. What religious works are actually doing is mixing human tainted blood with that of Jesus. That just doesn’t work; it is the pure blood of Jesus that has already paid the price.
I often tell people that Christianity is not for sissies. It takes a great deal more inner strength to do nothing outside of you when in a spiritual battle over your health, overcoming sin / personality flaws, finances, or anything else of spiritual nature than it does to follow some rule or religious action. For example I still hear today people saying they are going to pray all night so they can get their answer from God. Here is an example of what I mean: A pastor may be praying for themselves or others and lose track of time and get into a deeper presence of the Lord receiving revelation and encouragement which is a great thing. The problem happens when the same pastor comes to their congregation and says we are going to have an all-night encounter with God and be willing to stay there until we all grow deeper in the Lord. What has happened is that a precious encounter with the Holy Spirit by the pastor has just become man’s rule of action to follow by another person to try to have the same encounter for themselves. Worse yet is if the pastor adds any pressure or comments of lack of sincerity of a member if they do not participate. Or if they do go to the all night prayer out of respect for their pastor, but do not experience the same encounter with God then they think God is upset with them. That member has just received condemnation because of their supposed lack of spirituality. We are called to worship together and come together to hear the preached word, and through that develop fellowship with one another, but our personal walk with Jesus is just that; our personal walk with Him. Verse 10 is summing this up, 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His, have you entered into His rest? This may take time to fully understand this because as humans we are raised from children to students to employees, only to live in a sticker chart mentality of “cause and effect”. Faith is having ultimate trust that what has been done in the past through Jesus will in fact come to fruit in the future which is hope. Love is living in the present, not looking back at what was or looking forward to focus on what might be, but staying in the present and trusting God in the now. Life is a gift from God. Having Jesus as your Lord and savior, but staying in doubt and works mentality is like having the ultimate gift and not allowing that gift to bless you like it can, but instead putting it up on a shelf to show everyone you know that you have that gift. Remember that today is living in the present; and today is a present. Open your gift of rest in Christ Jesus.
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