Entering Into the Rest
3 Jul 2016
God wants to give rest to whoever is weary and burdened, but finding this rest is based on whether or not we believe His grace has made it available to us. We see the promise of rest for the Believer in the Old Testament, and we realize it is a shadow of the future. Following this theme through to the New Testament, we learn that Jesus is our rest. This promise has been available for the taking since the beginning of time, and all that is required for us to reach this point is simply to trust and believe what God tells us. If we are willing to receive what He has for us, we will enter into His rest.
A. This message is too important for us to misinterpret or overcomplicate.
1. We must fear lest we come short of the promise of entering into God’s rest. The Gospel was preached to all, but those who did not hear it in faith did not profit from it. All God’s works have been finished since the foundation of the world (Hebrews 4:1-4).
a. Here, the word “fear” means being cautious, aware, and diligent.
b. In this context, resting means to rely on, have confidence in, and trust what God already did. The highest form of faith we can have is to rest, but resting is not the same thing as doing nothing.
c. God rested on the seventh day after creating heaven and earth. He rested because it was finished, and we should do likewise.
2.The Old Testament was a shadow of Who was to come later. Jesus is our Sabbath.
a. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Work six days, and rest on the seventh, for God made all of creation in six days, and He rested on the seventh day (Exodus 20:8-11).
b. Let no man judge you in respect to a holy day, or of the Sabbath days (Colossians 2:16).
3. There are some to whom the Gospel was preached who do not enter into God’s rest, because of their unbelief. There remains a rest for His people, and those who enter in have ceased from their own efforts. We must work to enter in (Hebrews 4:5-11).
a. Even today, some people still struggle because they do not believe that everything they need is already finished and waiting to be claimed.
b. Religion says we must work to try and finish what Jesus has completed, but the only work remaining for us is to enter into His rest. It is labor for us to resist what the world tells us, and deliberately agree with what God says.
B. When we truly believe, we are freed to receive what God wants to give us.
1. He has made us to sit in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2:6).
a. Sitting and resting are synonymous. How well we sit and rest determines how well we walk and live.
2. God promised His people He would give them cities they did not build, houses full of good things, wells they did not dig, and vineyards they did not plant. He said to remember Him when they received all these things (Deuteronomy 6:10-12).
a. This was not based on their self-efforts, but on their belief.
3. When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well, He told her about the living water He had to offer. He later told His disciples He had meat they did not know about (John 4:4-11, 32).
a. Compared to what Jesus has for us, what we can offer Him is nothing. We must draw from Him, and let Him minister to us.
C. Spiritually, we must be fed first before we can feed others.
1. Jesus told His disciples that they had freely received, and they were to freely give (Matthew 10:8).
a. We must first sit, rest, and receive before we can give to others.
2. When Jesus was teaching and Mary sat at His feet to listen, He told Martha that Mary had chosen the good part, which would not be taken away from her (Luke 10:38-42).
a. Mary knew how to receive from God.
3. The Son of Man came not to be ministered to, but to minister and give His life for many (Matthew 20:28).
a. Jesus came to serve, not to be served.
4. When we are ministering to others, it is better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
a. This is fine to remember when we are dealing with the world, but God wants to
b. minister to us, and have us receive what He gives us.
c. When we draw from Him, we become better givers.
Hebrews 4:1-11 John 4:4-11, 32
Exodus 20:8-11 Matthew 10:8
Colossians 2:16 Luke 10:38-42
Ephesians 2:6 Matthew 20:28
Deuteronomy 6:10-12 Acts 20:35