Hebrews 4 (cont)
The message then for us is not to harden our hearts as the children of Israel did, and for that reason, they perished in the wilderness. The wilderness journeyings of the people of God and their entrance into Canaan under Joshua’s leadership was only a shadow of the rest of God that would be forthcoming under Christ therefore there remains an available rest to the people of God, to the Jews and to the Gentiles alike if we hear the message of the gospel, mix it with faith and yield up our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
If we come to the rest of God what are the implications? On the seventh day, God ceased from His own works. What does this mean? For six days God labored spinning the ongoing processes of creation into existence. Then on the seventh day after pronouncing that all was good and as He intended He rested in the process that He initiated. So (v. 11) let us labor to enter into rest. How do we do this? By faith. By adopting into our lives a total dependence on the finished work of Calvary and the ongoing guidance of the Holy Spirit whereby we cease from our own striving to make it through life and come to a place of trustful peacefulness in the unfolding daily grace of a loving Father. You can see then that rest is not inactivity. We aren’t sitting around waiting for everything to be handed to us. Instead, we are trusting in the finished work living in the Spirit and walking by the Spirit (progressing through the process of God as it is revealed to us).
Why are we at rest? In v. 12 we see that we rest because the word of God is quick so I don’t have to be. The word of God is powerful, so I don’t have to be. The word of God is sharp, so I don’t have to be. The word of God pierces and divides, so I don’t have to. The word of God is the discerner and will do all these things in me and through me if I will trust in its power to safeguard my life. Who is this word? None other than (v. 14) Jesus our high priest passed into the heavens. Because of who He is in us and through us we hold fast our profession. What is our profession? That Jesus Christ is Lord.
When our lives are in jeopardy, we declare the Lordship of Jesus.
When our bodies are ravaged with sickness, we declare the Lordship of Jesus.
What our families are struggling we declare the Lordship of Jesus.
When financial problems plague us, we hold fast to our profession of the Lordship of Jesus.
We hold fast verbally with our mouth and believing in our hearts that our lives are bounded by and controlled not by the ravages of this word but by the sweet influences of the kingdom of God that opens its treasuries to you not by virtue of our own goodness but by means of the ongoing priestly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf.
In all of these things, Jesus was tempted in all points as we are daily yet He did so without sin. Our sin separates us from God, but they do not separate us from Jesus, our High Priest by whom our sins are expiated not by animal sacrifice but by the sacrifice of Himself whereby we come boldly not on the basis of our own goodness. We leave our goodness at the door.
In Christ, we are delivered from our goodness as equally as we are delivered from the inherent evil of our fallen nature. Our entrance and access to the throne of grace is on the basis of the shed blood of Jesus Christ who stands there in the moment of our need mediating our approach to God on the basis of His blood and the life that is in this blood. Therefore because of the blood, the willingness of God to answer us is as full and freely available as if we ourselves were sinless because it is the sinless blood of Jesus that becomes the determinator by our faith as to whether or not we get a hearing at the altar of God before the throne.