Ephesians; 1:4 - Election of church age believer, part 31.
Context of HEB 4:14-15:
HEB 2:14 Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil;
HEB 2:15 and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
HEB 2:16 For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.
HEB 2:17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
HEB 2:18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
Jesus is the Son of Man. He has taken the throne lost by Adam, and through the cross, He has caused us to sit with Him and rule with Him.
DAN 7:13 One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
DAN 7:14 "And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language
Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.
HEB 3:1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.
HEB 3:2 He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house.
HEB 3:3 For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house.
HEB 3:4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.
HEB 3:5 Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later;
HEB 3:6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.
HEB 3:7 Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says [PSA 95:7-11],
"Today if you hear His voice,
HEB 3:8 Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
HEB 3:9 Where your fathers tried Me by testing Me,
And saw My works for forty years.
HEB 3:10 "Therefore I was angry with this generation,
And said, 'They always go astray in their heart;
And they did not know My ways';
HEB 3:11 As I swore in My wrath,
'They shall not enter My rest.'"
The Exodus Generation would not enter the Promised Land.
Promised Land/Sabbath Rest: A consecration rest in the subjection of one’s mind, will, and heart to God’s power and way, enabling one to conquer sin.
HEB 3:12 Take care, brethren, lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God.
HEB 3:13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
HEB 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end;
HEB 3:15 while it is said,
"Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me."
HEB 3:16 For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses?
HEB 3:17 And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?
HEB 3:18 And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?
HEB 3:19 And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
The entire purpose of this letter to the Hebrews is to get these believers to enter the fulness of Promised Land rest.
HEB 4:1 Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it.
Therefore, in light of what was written in 3:17-19, in light of Kadesh-Barnea, there is a danger of falling short from attaining all God wants His elect to gain in this life.
God made rest available to the nation of Israel, and while some individuals entered into it, the nation failed to and the promise of rest went unfulfilled, yet now that promise remains open to whosoever will come because the Son of Man has destroyed the power of Satan. If any man wants Sabbath Rest, he can have it by the grace of God, first by faith in the gospel and then by continued faith in God’s word.
“rest” - katapausis = to cease from activity (used 8 times in Heb 3-4). To cease from the struggles that come with disobedience.
It is a consecration rest in the subjection of one’s mind, will, and heart to God’s power and way, enabling one to conquer sin.
The Sabbath was to be a day of rest, praise of God, singing praise, a celebration, and delightful. It was to be a day of remembrance in that God redeemed His people and was among them. Therefore, it was a holy day in which the people humbled themselves.
This is certainly not meaning that we are to cease from all activity. Rather, it means to cease from the struggles that come with disobedience. Every disobedience brings a struggle or conflict with it as the Bible teaches the principle of reap what you sow.
Faith or life rest is entered by an attitude of faith and obedience in all things to the will of God in which the believer enjoys the fruit of God’s spiritual blessings.
The fear is the fear of failing to enjoy the blessings from God. “Come short of it” - not enter.
The verb phobeo means to fear. In earlier Greek it meant “to put to flight.” The equivalent in Hebrew is yare which is used for the bearing of man towards God as he stands before Him. A reverential fear is a good definition when used of God, but in our passage, it is not God that is to be feared, but not entering into His rest. The idea is helped by picturing the example that the writer uses, Israel at Kadesh-Barnea.
Fear of the consequences of apostasy is a recurring note in this epistle.
HEB 10:26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
HEB 10:27 but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.
HEB 10:29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
HEB 10:30 For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge His people."
HEB 10:31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Judgment, as it so often refers in the OT in 10:27 is death (walking and eventually physical).
for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
HEB 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;
HEB 12:29 for our God is a consuming fire.
In verse 28 “reverence” is the Greek word eulabeia which signifies, firstly, caution; then, reverence, godly fear, or apprehension. One scholar defines it as holy fear, “that mingled fear and love which, combined, constitute the piety of man toward God.”
Awe is the translation of deos, which is a synonym of phobos (fear).
Those who have a proper, reverent fear of God need fear none else.
"The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.
What shall man do to me?"
Judgment here is as it could so often be in the OT, not loss of salvation, but death. The Christian Jews might think that if they go away from the way of Christ they will be covered in some ceremonial way by the blood of sacrifices. But, as they chapter says clearly, Jesus is the only sacrifice. There are no more after Him. The willful sin in context is going back to Judaism, which a decision to completely reject the way of Christ in favor of the way of Moses, making the servant of the house above the builder and Son of the house.
Whether it is towards Judaism, immorality, some moral degeneracy, selfish pursuit of evil, if we continue on it we can expect some terrible judgment, which refers to God’s discipline.
When the differing reports of the spies came into the camp, instead of fearing the Canaanites, they should have feared not going in and thus feared the result of not obeying God.
It is clear that this rest is not reached automatically just as the Promise Land was not conquered automatically.