The awesome promises in this chapter come alongside aggressive commands for your life.
Read / Listen to the chapter:
Read the chapter in an outlined format
Hebrews 4 (ESV)
Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands,
let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.
2 For good news came to us just as to them,
but the message they heard did not benefit them,
because they were not
united by faith
with those who listened.
3 For we who have believed enter that rest,
as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’ ”
although his works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way:
“And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.”
5 And again in this passage he said, “They shall not enter my rest.”
6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it,
who formerly received the good news
failed to enter because of disobedience,
7 again he appoints a certain day,
“Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,
if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”
if Joshua had given them rest,
God would not have spoken of another day later on.
9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,
whoever has entered God’s rest
rested from his works
as God did from his.
11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest,
so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.
12 For the word of God is
living and active,
sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing to the division
of soul and of spirit,
of joints and of marrow,
and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
13 And no creature is hidden from his sight,
but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
14 Since then we have a great high priest
who has passed through the heavens,
the Son of God,
let us hold fast our confession.
15 For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
who in every respect has been tempted as we are,
yet without sin.
16 Let us then
to the throne of grace,
may receive mercy
and find grace
to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4 Summary
If the Old Testament stood by itself, it would be hugely disappointing. It catalogs one failing after the other of God's people to uphold His covenant, the promised Savior would be unfulfilled, and Israel, though they did make it to the Promised Land, never found the true rest that Adam lost.
But of course the Old Testament does not stand alone! Chapter 4:9 summarizes the entire chapter:
There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God...
This will be the theme for the rest of Hebrews: showing how, because of what v14 refers to as our great High Priest, you and I can attain the blessing of true rest and peace.
Chapter 4 contains several key imperatives for those seeking this prize:
Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it (v1).
We seek rest, but we must be wary of resting now. Instead, in the same way that fear heightens our senses when we're in danger, we must be constantly vigilant to that which can derail us from attaining our goal.
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience (v11).
The tension in this command is awesome. Although we are fully saved by grace alone, we must strive / make every effort / be diligent / do our best to stay true and not be swayed.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (v16).
Last week we read Leviticus 16, which detailed the intricate steps that a priest needed to follow when he entered into the Holy of Holies once a year to make atonement for sin. Now that Christ has tore down the veil, make sure you respond to God's invitation to come before Him often so that you may find the grace you need so you can continue to fearfully strive to enter the Sabbath rest God has for you.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father sees everything and will bring all to give an account (v13)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for continued strength for you to make every effort to enter God's Sabbath rest (v11).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: