We know salvation (sozo) is by grace through faith, and a gift, not of works (Eph 2:8-9). All of the promises of God are included in that word (appearing 110 times in the NT). So we receive them all the same way–entering the rest of receiving by grace through faith–and so we are also to live, in His power (Romans 5:17, Romans 8:37, 2 Cor 13:4, 1 John 4:9) and not by our own strength.
The OT types of entering God’s rest:
– Israelites going from wilderness to Promised Land:
– God’s grace provided it, but the first generation failed to add faith (Heb 4:2). Psalm 95:7-11: God laments that they would not enter His rest because they knew His works but not His Ways, leading to an evil heart of unbelief (Heb 3:12, 19) and hardened hearts (Heb 3:15).
– So knowing His ways is the key to entering His rest. Caleb’s example: Joshua 14:7-15.
– When they did finally go in, they still had a battle (though God fought for them and promised them victory): Hebrews 4:8-10
– The type of the Sabbath:
– Hebrews 4:4, quoting Genesis 2:2
– Exo 20:11: God made this the 4th of the 10 Commandments (right after no Gods before Him, no idols, and not taking His name in vain)–so rest is key. (All the rest of the 10 Commandments were about how people were to interact with each other)
– Blessings associated with keeping the Sabbath: Isaiah 58:13-14
– The Heptadic calendar:
– Week of days – Shabbat (sabbath): the day of rest
– Week of weeks – Shavout
– Week of months – the religious year
– Week of years – the sabbatical year or the shmita year: when the land was to rest
– Seven weeks of years + 1 – Jubilee year: when slaves/captives were to go free
– Is it possible that God used the heptadic calendar, and structure throughout scripture of 7s appearing everywhere, because He intended to emphasize rest?
– But it was always just a type, not about actual works on the Sabbath: Matt 12-1-12
We can’t achieve righteousness through our own works–the harder we try, the worse we get (Romans 7:15-20). This is meant to drive us toward giving up (Romans 7:22-25) and receiving righteousness/life from the Holy Spirit, who literally imbues our bodies with it (Romans 8:1-11).
This isn’t just about righteousness, or about receiving God’s promises (2 Cor 1:20). Our “identity in Christ” also gives us the strength, energy, stamina, courage, etc to do what He has called us to do.
– We “reign in life” through Him (Romans 5:17)
– We were raised in Him to bear fruit to God (Romans 7:4). This includes love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22).
– You can’t bear these if you’re burned out. “contentions, outbursts of wrath” are rather fruits of the flesh (Gal 5:20) which are consistent with burnout. If the fruit is negative, we’re living from our own resources (flesh), not His (Spirit).
– We are full of goodness and complete in knowledge (Romans 15:14).
– We are enriched in every way (1 Cor 1:5).
– We have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16).
– All things are ours (1 Cor 3:21).
– His power is in us (Eph 1:19) – the word eis translated for or toward can also be translated in. Also Eph 3:20
– We are competent and can be confident (2 Cor 3:4-6)
– We can serve others from God’s strength (2 Cor 13:4)
– We have every blessing in the spirit realm (Eph 1:3)
– God created good works for us to do, which we do in Christ (Eph 2:10)
– We have grace and peace in abundance (2 Pet 1:2)
– We have power, love, and self-discipline/sound mind (2 Tim 1:7)
– We have everything we need for life and godliness so that we may participate in the divine nature (2 Pet 1:3-4)
– 1 Cor 15:10: Paul labored from God’s grace
– Jesus still went out on the boat, but slept through the storm (Matt 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, Luke 8:22-25).
We still labor, but plugged into His power source:
– Heb 4:4, 11: we are to be diligent to enter His rest, and we enter by believing (Heb 4:3). Faith without works is dead (James 2:17-18) but the “work” is believing
– Heb 12:1-2: run with endurance the race set before us, with our eyes fixed on Jesus, the joy set before us. Keeping our eyes fixed is how we lay aside the weights that entangle (deceitfulness of riches, desire for other things, Mark 4:19), and how we run with endurance (otherwise we’d collapse)
– We give Him those weights that might entangle/burdens: 1 Peter 5:7
– When we’re weary, He will give us rest (recharge us): Matt 11:28-30
– The Jews had swords to fight the giants. We have the sword of God’s word as our weapon (Heb 4:12) which we use to resist the devil and demand what’s ours (but remembering that the devil is defeated already, Col 2:15, Heb 2:14, which is where the rest comes in:)
– Luke 18:1-8