The Sabbath RestBro. David Chancellor
1/9/2005 11:00 AM
Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
The writer points out that there was a rest beyond that which was found by the Israelites in Canaan. God had more in mind than them simply reaching the promised land. This writer was pointing out that real rest was provided by Christ.
There is a need to cease from our works as God did from his. There’s much discussion in religion about works. If you’re trying to earn standing with God, you’ll never get there. What are our works that we’re to cease from?
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
These are some of the works of the flesh. These are the works that must cease. The works of the flesh in a person’s life are his own works.
We cease from our own works, but it doesn’t mean that we’re without works. The works that we do change.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
The Sabbath was a sign that they were a people set apart fro God. It signified the sanctification God would bring, a time when we would cease from our own works and work for God. The Sabbath now is a spiritual thing that lasts every day of the week. It is a life of holiness and deliverance from sin to have the works of God in us.
Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Jesus asked, "Have you not seen God in me?" Jesus’ works were God’s works. His life was the life of God at work. "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also…" Jesus did more than miracles; he went about doing good. Jesus’ works can be found in the fruits of the Spirit. If you would do the works of Christ, your works must stop. When our works stop, Christ’s works in us begin. You can tell who is saved because their works have ceased and God’s have begun.
Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
The Jews were challenging Jesus because he said that he was the Son of God. Jesus used the scripture to help them see that he wasn’t out of order by his claim. He made the point that his life bore certain fruit. Our lives should bear fruit, too. People should be able to see God in us. If the Spirit of God dwells in us, he will be the source of God’s work in us.
We rest in God because by his grace we receive an end of our own works in him. The works we do from then on are a natural outcropping of the Spirit of God in us. When God comes in the heart, it makes a change in that one, and causes the works of God to be done. The life of sin is summed up as, "I did it my way." The life of the child of God is lived God’s way.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Paul wasn’t physically crucified, but his old life was over. Christ was living in him. This is the rest that we have. We live now in the life that Christ provided. We aren’t what we used to be because Christ lives in us and works through us. God causes a change to our character. We don’t have to do the old works anymore. The motions of sin cease when God comes in.
Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
You can’t buy salvation by any means. You must put your faith in Christ if you would work the works of God. It takes a work of God in us if we would cease from our works. Turn to Christ to find rest.