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Ephesians; 1:4 – Election of church age believer, part 33.

EPHESIANS-1-181228
length: 62:28 - taught on Dec, 28 2018
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Class Outline:

Friday, December 28, 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” - To cease from the struggles that come with disobedience.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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 or rather ceased from His work. The “somewhere” is GEN 2:2. God’s work was finished.

 

The Hebrew word sabbat describes the enjoyment of accomplishment, the celebration of completion. This is the rest we must enter into.

 

God, by His powerful Word, transforms the chaos into a holy and blessed creation. Disorder (formless and void) into order. He determined His good pleasure, darkness would become light for all who would receive it.

 

Though the world would become populated and plagued with pagan gods and false ideas, God would call out a people through one man, Abraham. He would give them the Law and He would defeat the pagan gods and their ideas. He would give Abraham’s children a land and, in that land, give them a theocratic rest, just like the rest God enjoyed when He ceased from all His work. The Hebrew word sabbat describes the enjoyment of accomplishment, the celebration of completion. The theocratic rest within the land was dominion, fruitfulness, and rest in the Land of Promise.

 

The fact that order and light was created out of chaos and darkness by the Word of God (“God said let there be …”), order and light can only be seen and enjoyed by obeying the Word of God.

 

HEB 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

 

The believer enters into a life of Sabbath rest from works and embarks on a life of holiness in that rest.

 

We learn from the creation account 1) that God is a redeeming God who changes darkness to light, death to life, and chaos to blessing; 2) that God is absolutely sovereign over all life and all pagan ideas that would contend for our allegiance; and 3) that God works by His powerful Word - to create, to redeem, and to sanctify. Obedience to His powerful Word, either the written Word or the living Word, our Savior, will transform believers into His glorious image.

 

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

 

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.

 

PSA 37:23-24

The steps of a man are established by the Lord; And He delights in his way. When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.

 

So then,

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

 

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

 

However, this doesn’t mean that He isn’t doing anything. Seeing God’s way in this rest, “His rest,” guides us in our understanding of entering into it.

 

JOH 5:16 And for this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath.

 

JOH 5:17 But He answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working." 

 

JOH 5:18 For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

 

What things was Jesus doing?

 

JOH 5:5 And a certain man was there, who had been thirty-eight years in his sickness.

 

JOH 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, "Do you wish to get well?" 

 

JOH 5:7 The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me."

 

JOH 5:8 Jesus said to him, "Arise, take up your pallet, and walk." 

 

JOH 5:9 And immediately the man became well, and took up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day.

 

JOH 5:10 Therefore the Jews were saying to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet."

 

JOH 5:11 But he answered them, "He who made me well was the one who said to me, 'Take up your pallet and walk.'" 

 

JOH 5:12 They asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, 'Take up your pallet, and walk'?" 

 

JOH 5:13 But he who was healed did not know who it was; for Jesus had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place.

 

JOH 5:14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse may befall you." 

 

JOH 5:15 The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

 

JOH 5:16 And for this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath.

 

JOH 5:17 But He answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working." 

 

JOH 5:18 For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

 

God has been and is doing plenty of work.

 

It is significant that He says this on a Sabbath. God ceased from His work and calls it “My Sabbath” or “My rest,” but His continuing work is in helping mankind. God ceased from planning or decreeing or establishing His good pleasure, which makes them a surety, and He continues to work to help man see and realize that good pleasure and enter into it; enter into God’s rest.

 

As those who have entered into His rest, we also continue to work, but as God does, on behalf of others, helping them to enter into His rest, and although we don’t have a Sabbath day in which to do no work, we have the reality of a Father who will provide all of our needs and so, even if we have to work seven days a week, we do not worry about our needs. We seek first His kingdom, and that is our only concern.

 

Jesus told the healed man, "Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse may befall you." Are we to think that the man was allowed to sin before? This is odd to us unless we think like Jews. Sin brings the curse under the Law. This the Jew of the first century fully understands. Jesus isn’t asking the man to be sinless. He is telling him to enter into the good pleasure of God, enter into His rest, which is away from sin.

 

Now that the man can walk, and is probably healthier than he has ever been, he has more sins that he can get mixed up in. Jesus warns him just like the writer of Hebrews warns us, “Let us fear, lest the promise remains of entering into His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it.”

 

His Sabbath Rest: good pleasure is established - rest and rejoice. God’s work in time: for man - our own work is the same (for others).

 

On six different occasions, Jesus was persecuted by the Jews for healing someone on the Sabbath. This work was for others. Jesus tried to open their eyes with clear examples. If a sheep falls in a pit on a Sabbath day, don’t you pull him out? Don’t you water your ox on a Sabbath day. If your son falls into a well, do you pull him out? A sheep in a pit, a son in a well, and a dehydrated ox all suffer.

 

The Sabbath was made for man. God serves man and saves man, and in this man has been given rest. The believer works in the world, where it is sometimes difficult to sustain himself, but he is not worried. His concerned work is for others. His work for himself, for his provisions, is not a concern. He works as unto the Lord, and he knows that the Lord will provide. He waits on the Lord for himself and he works with concern on behalf of others. This is Sabbath Rest.   

 

Sabbath was a day of celebration and delight. We have joy and delight as we work for others. It was to be holy and observed in humility. We realize that our work for others is holy and can only be done in humility. It was a day of rest. We rest in the joy of our own security while we work for others.

 

Man was not made for the Sabbath. The perversion of the Sabbath, like all things from God that man perverts, made it a burden instead of a delight. Was man made to be burdened? No, rather, he was made to enjoy the blessings from God. Man is tested because of his fall, but in Christ he rests from worry. Would you worry if you had to take a first-grade math test? God has given us rest on all sides.

 

The Sabbath was to be a day of celebration and delight, but you cannot prescribe joy. Joy can only come from observance of who God is and what He has done. The almost numberless directions about avoiding work that the Jewish Sabbath had become, must have made a due observance of the Sabbath the greatest labor of all. Man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man.

 

Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath: 1) He gave it to Israel. 2) He observed it perfectly by rejoicing in the good pleasure of His Father and working for others.

 

Not only is Jesus Lord of the Sabbath because He gave it to Moses and therefore Israel, but also because, as a Man, He observed it perfectly. So perfectly in fact, that He observed it on the cross.

 

And also:

 

JOH 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

 

There is debate over what is meant by “high day” but often it is thought to be the first day of Unleavened Bread.

 

MAT 27:45-46

Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour [3 P.M.]. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, " Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? "that is," My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

 

Since the Sabbath began on Friday at sundown, Jesus died just before it began, the ninth hour being 3 P.M. It was not long after this hour that the priests in the Temple sounded their three-fold blast of trumpets and all work and all business was to cease. This is no small coincidence.

 

After the trumpets, the Sabbath-lamp was lit and the festive garments were put on, and then a second time the priests drew a three-fold blast, to indicate that the Sabbath had actually begun.

 

Jesus died just before the Sabbath and entered His own rest from His finished work on the “high Sabbath” day. 

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