God's Rest

  • By Pastor Boffey
  • on Friday, December 11, 2015
(Genesis 2:1) Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. (Genesis 2:2) And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. It is interesting to note the word finished used here to proclaim the completion of God’s work of creation is the same word later used to speak of the completion of the tabernacle, “...Moses finished the work” (EXO 40:33), and Solomon’s temple, “Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD...” (2CH 7:11). Scripture elsewhere explains that the furnishings and ceremonies of these two structures where sacrifices for sin were made are Old Testament types of Christ’s redemptive work. Thus, it is consistent that on the cross Christ would express the same sense of finality and accomplishment, proclaiming, “...It is finished...” (JOH 19:30). After finishing His work of creating the heavens and the earth, God returned to His former disposition: He rested. God rests not because He is weary (“...the Creator...fainteth not, neither is weary...” [ISA 40:28]) but because His work is complete. Soon that rest was broken by man’s sin, necessitating a far more arduous work than creation---that of redemption. Having finished atoning for His elect’s sin so as to give them eternal life (JOH 17:2-4), God has again returned to His former disposition of resting for the very same reason as in the primeval creation: His work is complete. The eternal salvation of every single one that the Father had given Christ to save (JOH 6:37-39 c/w JOH 10:27-29) was perfectly accomplished by His death, burial and resurrection. This was His work assignment from the Father: “...My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (JOH 4:34). The legal demand of God's law against sin (death) was satisfied entirely for all the elect by Christ's one-time offering of Himself in their stead: He entirely discharged their debt of sin. Christ would never again be offered in order to put away their sins (HEB 9:25-28 c/w 1PE 3:18), “For by ONE offering he HATH PERFECTED FOR EVER them that are sanctified” (HEB 10:14). Neither does Christ work to eternally save anyone by collaborating with the preacher of the word and the responding penitent elect. Were that the case, it would imply that 1) the work of eternal life for that elect had not yet been accomplished, 2) that Jesus was completely wrong when He declared (while speaking of the giving of eternal life to the elect), “...I have finished the work...” (JOH 17:4), 3) that Christ is not now resting from the work of eternal salvation. But He IS at rest from THAT work. It is noteworthy that among the furnishings of the Old Testament tabernacle or temple, there was no chair present. The Levitical priest stood daily; he could not “take a seat” because the work of taking away sin was never done by his offerings (HEB 10:4; HEB 10:11). Paul says of Christ, “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever SAT DOWN on the right hand of God” (HEB 10:12 c/w HEB 1:3 c/w HEB 12:2). Christ rightly proclaimed His work on our behalf finished (JOH 19:30). Christ now works by the Holy Spirit to bring the elect which His finished work fully saved unto heaven by the cross into a practical rest on earth by the gospel, ceasing from all their dead works (HEB 9:14), and works-righteousness (ROM 3:20; ROM 10:3; TIT 3:5) to rest in His finished work: “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his” (HEB 4:10). This is a work Christ does sitting down, at rest, through believers spreading the word of truth which bids the elect, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (MAT 11:28). “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest...” (HEB 4:11) by fully believing eternal salvation was finished by Christ for His elect, abandoning our wills and our worries to Him out of gratitude and a sense of duty. “This is the work of God,” Jesus said, “that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (JOH 6:29).

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The Cincinnati Church is an historic baptist church located in Cincinnati, OH.