The Faith-Rest Life
1Now the promise of entering into God’s rest is still for us today. So we must be extremely careful to ensure that we all embrace the fullness of that promise and not fail to experience it. 2For we have heard the good news of deliverance just as they did, yet they didn’t join their faith with the Word. # 4:2 Or “because they did not join in with those who heard the message with faith” (Joshua and Caleb). Instead, what they heard didn’t affect them deeply, for they doubted. 3For those of us who believe, faith activates the promise and we experience the realm of confident rest! For he has said, # 4:3 See Ps. 95:11; Heb. 3:11.
“I was grieved # 4:3 The Greek word orge is used for any emotion of extreme passion, usually anger. with them and made a solemn oath,
‘They will not enter into my rest.’ ”
God’s works have all been completed from the foundation of the world, # 4:3 Or “God’s works have been completed, even though the world has fallen.” The Greek word katabole means “to fall down,” “to throw down.” It is most often used for “laying down a foundation,” but it can imply the fall of humanity through sin. Even though the world has fallen, God’s works have already been accomplished, unhindered by the sin of man. God’s finished works supersede the brokenness of our planet. 4for it says in the Scriptures, # 4:4 See Gen. 2:2.
And on the seventh day God rested from all his works.
5And again, as stated before,
They will not enter into my rest.
6Those who first heard the good news of deliverance failed to enter into that realm of faith’s rest because of their unbelieving hearts. Yet the fact remains that we still have the opportunity to enter into the faith-rest life and experience the fulfillment of the promise! 7For God still has ordained a day for us to enter into called “Today.” For it was long afterwards that God repeated it in David’s words,
“If only today you would listen to his voice
and do not harden your hearts!”
8Now if this promise of “rest” was fulfilled when Joshua brought the people into the land, # 4:8 See Josh. 21:44; 22:4. God wouldn’t have spoken later of another “rest” yet to come. 9So we conclude that there is still a full and complete Sabbath-rest # 4:9 The Aramaic can be translated “He arose to be the Sabbath for the people of God.” waiting for believers # 4:9 Or “the people of God.” to experience. 10As we enter into God’s faith-rest life we cease from our own works, just as God celebrates his finished works and rests in them. # 4:10 The word used for “Sabbath” in v. 9 is not the usual word, it is the celebratory aspects of the Sabbath that are emphasized in the Greek word sabbatismos. 11So then we must be eager to experience this faith-rest life, so that no one falls short by following the same pattern of doubt and unbelief.
12For we have the living Word of God, which is full of energy, # 4:12 The Aramaic can be translated “all effective.” There is a hint here of the spinning sword of fire, held by the angel guarding the way to the Tree of Life. To come eat its fruit, you must pass through the mighty sword of fire. The context implies we pass through this “fire-sword” on our way into the holy of holies. When the veil was split in two, the cherubim embroidered on the veil parted, as it were, to allow every worshiper to enter into the unveiled presence of God. See Gen. 3:24; Matt. 27:51. like a two-mouthed sword. # 4:12 God speaks his word, then we, in agreement, also speak his word and it becomes a “two-mouthed sword.” It will even penetrate to the very core of our being where soul and spirit, bone # 4:12 As translated from the Aramaic, the Greek is “joint.” and marrow meet! # 4:12 Soul and spirit are the immaterial parts of every person that make us who we are, joint and bone marrow are the physical aspects of our existence. All of this combined forms our humanity. God’s Word has the ability to uncover our hidden aspects and make them known. It interprets and reveals the true thoughts and secret motives of our hearts. 13There is not one person who can hide their thoughts from God, for nothing that we do remains a secret, and nothing created is concealed, but everything is exposed and defenseless before his eyes, to whom we must render an account. # 4:13 The word used here is logos. The Greek could also be translated “in his view the Word is our responsibility.”
Jesus, Our Compassionate King-Priest
14So then, we must cling in faith to all we know to be true. For we have a magnificent King-Priest, # 4:14 As translated from the Aramaic, which uses a word for a priest not of the Levitical order. The Aramaic word here for priest is not cohen but kumrea. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who rose into the heavenly realm for us, and now sympathizes with us in our frailty. # 4:14 The Aramaic can be translated “who has sorrow with us in our affliction.” 15He understands humanity, for as a man, our magnificent King-Priest was tempted in every way just as we are, and conquered sin. # 4:15 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “He was without sin” (sinless). 16So now we draw near freely and boldly to where grace is enthroned, # 4:16 Or “the throne of grace.” to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthen # 4:16 The Greek word boetheia means “urgent help,” and is often used as “reinforcing” (a ship in a storm). See Acts 27:17. us in our time of weakness. # 4:16 The Aramaic can be translated “tribulation.”