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Ephesians; 1:4 – Election of church age believer, part 32.

EPHESIANS-1-181227
length: 65:41 - taught on Dec, 27 2018
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Thursday December 27, 2018

 

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.

 

 “rest” - katápausis = 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.

 

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.

 

Obedience is not something we should fear, but lack of it. The good news is that the Son of Man has conquered and He has made us conquerors. This is cause for great rejoicing.

 

The fear is the fear of failing to enjoy the blessings from God. “Come short of it” - not enter.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Grab hold of your faith and go in, believer. It was God’s good purpose to leave His elect in an invisible, spiritual war. If we don’t think His rest is worth fighting for, then we wouldn’t enter it if there was no fight. If we don’t supremely value God’s grace and rest and peace, could we possibly envelop ourselves in it? If we valued it, we would fight for it, and God is revealing to us the extent to how much we do value it.

 

HEB 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

 

Twelve men came back from spying out the land and the good news was preached by two of them.

 

The readers of this letter and all Christians since the beginning of the church have heard the good news from twelve apostles, and all of them agree.

 

They: 12 spies. We: 12 apostles. What will we do with our report?

 

What we hear must be united with faith.

 

HEB 4:3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just 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.

 

“We who have believed” could refer to the promises of God and not only the gospel. He is writing to believers, and though all believers have entered the eternal rest of heaven, to be experienced at death, not all believers enter into God’s Sabbath Rest in time.  

 

All believers have been predestined for this rest, but it is clear that if they are disobedient, they will not enter it. All believers will enter heaven, and so they have, in the mind of God at least, entered into His eternal rest.

 

Which leads us to the next question. The passage says “My rest,” but what does God’s rest refer to? The next line answers this.

 

HEB 4:4 For He has thus said somewhere concerning the seventh day, "And God rested on the seventh day from all His works";

 

When God finished the six days of creation, He rested from His work. The “somewhere” is GEN 2:2. God’s work was finished.

 

God rested - The heavens, the earth, and all their hosts were completed. The stage was set for the plan of God.

 

ISA 46:3 "Listen to Me, O house of Jacob,

And all the remnant of the house of Israel,

You who have been borne by Me from birth,

And have been carried from the womb;

 

ISA 46:4 Even to your old age, I shall be the same,

And even to your graying years I shall bear you!

I have done it [qal perfect = already determined], and I shall carry you;

And I shall bear you, and I shall deliver you [all imperfect = no time element].

 

ISA 46:5 "To whom would you liken Me,

And make Me equal and compare Me,

That we should be alike?

 

ISA 46:6 "Those who lavish gold from the purse

And weigh silver on the scale

Hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god;

They bow down, indeed they worship it.

 

ISA 46:7 "They lift it upon the shoulder and carry it;

They set it in its place and it stands there.

It does not move from its place.

Though one may cry to it, it cannot answer;

It cannot deliver him from his distress.

 

ISA 46:8 Declaring the end from the beginning

And from ancient times things which have not been done,

Saying, 'My purpose will be established,

And I will accomplish all My good pleasure';

 

When God declares that which has not been done [perfect], it must be done the way He declares it [imperfect]. Nothing could prevent the accomplishing of His good pleasure. He declared them and they will happen. This is the attitude that the writer is conveying to us. We must enter the same rest, based on faith and hope. God has determined my steps and I will walk in them. This is His rest and we must enter into it.

 

This principle is not stated any more beautifully than by David in Psa 37.

 

PSA 37:1 Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers.

 

PSA 37:2 For they will wither quickly like the grass, And fade like the green herb.

 

PSA 37:3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

 

PSA 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

 

PSA 37:5 Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

 

PSA 37:6 And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your judgment as the noonday.

 

PSA 37:7 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

 

PSA 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing.

 

By faith, man’s free-will must align with God’s Sovereign will if the man is to enjoy the blessing of God’s good pleasure.

 

PSA 37:9 For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.

 

PSA 37:10 Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place, and he will not be there.

 

PSA 37:11 But the humble will inherit the land, And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

 

PSA 37:12 The wicked plots against the righteous, And gnashes at him with his teeth.

 

PSA 37:13 The Lord laughs at him; For He sees his day is coming.

 

PSA 37:14 The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow, To cast down the afflicted and the needy, To slay those who are upright in conduct.

 

PSA 37:15 Their sword will enter their own heart, And their bows will be broken.

 

PSA 37:16 Better is the little of the righteous Than the abundance of many wicked.

 

PSA 37:17 For the arms of the wicked will be broken; But the Lord sustains the righteous.

 

PSA 37:18 The Lord knows the days of the blameless; And their inheritance will be forever.

 

PSA 37:19 They will not be ashamed in the time of evil; And in the days of famine they will have abundance.

 

PSA 37:20 But the wicked will perish; And the enemies of the Lord will be like the glory of the pastures, They vanish —  like smoke they vanish away.

 

PSA 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.

 

PSA 37:22 For those blessed by Him will inherit the land; But those cursed by Him will be cut off.

 

PSA 37:23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord; And He delights in his way.

 

PSA 37:24 When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.

 

PSA 37:25 I have been young, and now I am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Or his descendants begging bread.

 

PSA 37:26 All day long he is gracious and lends; And his descendants are a blessing.

 

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