Sunday, July 2, 2017

Paul's Epistles – Hebrews – Part 6: A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God

Paul's Epistles – Hebrews – Part 6:
A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God
Pastor Bruce A. Shields

The “official” writer of this epistle is unknown. However, I obviously believe it is Paul since I have included it in the “Paul’s Epistles” Sermon Series.

I believe there is enough evidence from early scholars to agree this was more than likely Paul’s work.

Last week we examined Paul’s writings on Jesus, the Son being Greater than Angels.

This week, Paul will give a warning for listeners to pay attention, and the fact that Jesus was made fully human.

We have already seen in Hebrews so far;

·        Jesus is greater than angels

·        And that we are to pay the most careful attention to Jesus and His way so we do not stray

·        And how Jesus (New Covenant) is greater than Moses (Old Covenant)

·        Paul’s warning about unbelief

“A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God”
Hebrews 4:1-13
Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”

And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.” And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”
Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts.”

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
12 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. 13 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.

The overall message of this epistle to the church is;
The Cure for Lacking Boldness or Courage in your Christian Faith and Backsliding is a Right beginning for the Glory and Work of Christ”

a. The Good News was/is proclaimed
                                                                 i. The message of belief (to TRUST in) God

                                                              ii. This message given to the Israelites for putting trust in God is the same message to us today

                                                           iii. We must put our trust in the Lord, trusting in Him is the belief we need to enter His rest!

b. The disobedient shall never enter in to His rest
                                                                 i. We see they wandered for 40 because they were disobedient

                                                              ii. Because of disobedience, they were never allowed to enter His rest

                                                           iii. Paul explains the same goes for today
1. If you do not Trust in the Lord, you are disobedient
2. If you are disobedient, you “will never” enter the Lord’s rest

c. Therefore, be obedient “today” and enter His rest
                                                                 i. We see Paul mention scripture referring to “today” multiple times

                                                              ii. Paul is stressing God’s point, if you hear God’s voice TODAY, answer Him TODAY

1.  Proverb 27:1 “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”

2.  James 4:13-14 “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”

                                                           iii. God urges us to make right with Him NOW, TODAY, do not wait, for you may not have tomorrow!

a. “Today” if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart

                                                                 i.  Isaiah 22:13 “Behold, joy and gladness, killing oxen and slaughtering sheep, eating flesh and drinking wine. “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

b. There was no rest from Joshua (not Jesus)

                                                                 i. First of all, this was supposed to be translated Joshua, not Jesus
1. Remember last week, Joshua and Caleb were the only 2 who did not provoke the Lord in the wilderness.

                                                              ii. Paul reminding the Hebrews that Joshua leading the Israelites into Canaan was symbolic of the rest that was to come in trusting in Jesus, not the actual rest of God.

                                                           iii. Rest is found nowhere but in the Lord, and by no means (acts/works or man) other than Trusting in the Lord

c. When you rest, you rest from works as God did
                                                                 i. God rested on the 7th day when creation was completed

                                                              ii. We, through our faith in Christ Jesus, can rest because the plan of redemption is finished, no works/deeds/acts need to be done to receive Salvation

                                                           iii. Paul states in verse 11, “Let us hasten therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the example of unbelief”

a. Alive and Active
                                                                 i. The Word is actively seizing the conscience of the sinner

                                                              ii. Cutting him to the heart (the seat of disobedience and obedience)

                                                           iii. Then comforting him and binding up the wounds so that we transform in accordance with the Holy Spirit

b. Penetrating, dividing soul & spirit
                                                                 i. It convinces us powerfully

                                                              ii. Converts us powerfully

                                                           iii. Destroying the strongholds Satan sets up in us, so that the Lord’s Kingdom may be built up within us

c. Dividing joints and marrow
                                                                 i. It enters where no sword can making critical dissection

                                                              ii. Causing habitual offenders to prevail

                                                           iii. Proud souls humble

                                                            iv. Perverse spirits meek and obedient

                                                               v. This sword can make men willing to undergo the most painful of operations for the purpose of conquering sin

d. The Word of God judges THOUGHTS and ATTITUDES of the heart
                                                                 i. The Word will turn a sinner inside out, and allow him to see himself for what he truly is, bringing to light the very sin that keeps him from living a victorious and obedient life

                                                              ii. Reveal to me my heart Lord!

CONCLUSION – 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.

The Lord Jesus Christ, His person, His omniscience…

Nothing in all creation is hidden from His sight. Nothing is concealed from Christ, therefore, no motions or workings of our heads or hearts are covered, yet revealed, open and manifest to Him.

Let us conduct ourselves appropriately toward the Lord of Salvation.

If you hear His voice calling, answer TODAY!

Hold firmly to faith and profess Him.

Never deny Him or be ashamed of Him before men.

Boldly come to His throne of Grace, there His Grace reigns and acts with sovereign freedom, power and bounty.

It is good for us to be found at His throne of Grace where we receive mercy and fond Grace to help us in our time of need.

Through our faith in Him, Trusting, we can find God’s rest, and find ourselves in a place where the Holy Spirit can begin a work in us.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!
Want to hear the audio to this sermon?    CLICK HERE!

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