Christ's Better Rest

Christ’s Better Rest
(Hebrews 4:1-11)
I. The Book of Hebrews sets forth the superiority of Christ over angels, Moses, Levi and Joshua, etc.
A. Joshua of old did what Moses could not do: he brought a redeemed people into their God-
given inheritance. c/w ROM 8:3-4; GAL 3:10-13.
B. Joshua is spelled “Jesus” in ACT 7:45; HEB 4:8. Both names mean, “Jehovah saves” or
“Jehovah is salvation.” ISA 43:11 c/w MAT 1:21; 1JO 3:5.
C. As good and great as Joshua was, Paul shows the Hebrew Christians that Jesus is greater.
1. Jesus wrought a greater inheritance: eternal in the heavens. HEB 9:15.
2. Jesus needed not the help of the church to conquer. HEB 9:12.
3. Joshua’s church could lose their inheritance; Jesus’ church has a secure inheritance.
JOH 10:27-28.
4. Jesus’s rest is superior to Joshua’s.
II. In HEB 4:1-11, Paul applies the lesson of O.T. Israel’s failing to enter into God’s rest because of hard-hearted unbelief (HEB 3:7-11, 18-19) and sets forth a superior promised rest achieved only through obedient faith in Christ.
A. We must not only not come short of God’s promise of rest, we must not even seem to come
short of it. v. 1 c/w 1TH 5:22.
1. to come short of: (a) to fail to reach (a standard); not to equal in some quality; to be
something less than, not to amount to; †(b) not to extend to (a place) (obs.); †(c) to
fail to get; also, to lose; (obs.).
2. The standard is conformity to Christ (EPH 4:13) which demands not only not
walking according to fleshly lusts, but also to not make provision for the flesh to
fulfil its lusts. ROM 13:11-14.
B. The gospel was preached to Israel in the wilderness as well as unto us.
1. The gospel did not profit them for lack of faith.
2. The word of God works effectually in those who believe it. 1TH 2:13.
3. Israel served as an example of unbelieving children of God. 1CO 10:1-5.
4. They had come through the Red Sea by faith (HEB 11:29) but did not continue to
walk by faith and so came short.
5. They could have enjoyed unbroken partaking of Christ in fellowship but their
unbelief forbade that and robbed them of their promised rest.
6. Fear, rather than faith, ruled in Israel’s hearts (NUM 14:9). Lest any let the fear of
failure of fully entering Christ’s rest make them give up, Paul goes on to encourage
them with gospel promises of grace and mercy. HEB 4:14-16.
C. This rest transcends the sabbath rest. vs. 3-5.
1. David spoke of another rest to a nation that observed the sabbath.
2. This rest is not for a specific calendar day, but it is for today while it is called today.
v. 7; HEB 3:15.
3. This rest demands prompt action: resistance can be devastating and irremediable.
D. Joshua
v. 8.
JAM 4:17; ROM 11:19-22.
(Jesus) did not give the children of Israel that rest that remains to the people of God.
1. This rest transcends the rest of the earthly inheritance of Canaan which Joshua did lead them into. DEU 12:9; JOS 1:13-15.
2. The Holy Ghost by David promised this rest “afterward,” after Israel was long settled in Canaan.
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3. Therefore, Christ transcends Joshua.
E. “Therefore,” in conclusion, there is a rest remaining to the people of God beyond that of
the sabbath and the land of Canaan. vs. 6, 9.
1. This would be of particular importance to Jewish Christians who may have assumed
that they had as a people long ago achieved God’s rest.
2. It would also discourage the notion that Canaan and sabbaths were the epitome of
God’s rest.
F. This rest remains to the people of God, not the wicked. ISA 57:20-21.
G. This rest is found in believing and obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ.
vs. 2-3; MAT 11:28-30; ISA 11:10 c/w ROM 15:12.
1. Since Israel did not enter into rest because of unbelief (HEB 3:18-19), it follows
that those who believe do enter into rest.
2. In v. 3, Paul deduces a positive proposition from the negative proposition of
PSA 95:11.
H. To enter this rest we must cease from our own works as did God. v. 10.
1. We cease working for our salvation and rest in Christ’s finished work.
ROM 10:1-4.
2. We cease from our own works and we take the Lord’s yoke upon us.
v. 11; HEB 9:13-14.
I. Israel’s fall in the wilderness is an example to us today. v. 11; 1CO 10:5-11.
1. God bore with Israel only so long, then He swore irremediable judgment against them. NUM 14:26-30, 40-45.
2. We must beware lest God so deal with us. PRO 29:1; REV 2:21.
J. The promise of rest is for today, while it is called today (HEB 3:15; 4:7; 2CO 6:1-2). We
had best not put it off.
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