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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

This week we are continuing our series on Sunday nights titled “Jesus Christ as Our High Priest.”

The book of Hebrews isn’t the most popular book in the New Testament.

In many respects it is neglected.

The Jewish, or Old Testament, back ground that permeates every chapter has probably contributed to its neglect by many pastors.

The book of Hebrews portrays an exalted concept of Jesus Christ.

This week we are talking about,

Christ, The Believer’s Rest.

Text

Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)
16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Scripture Reading

Hebrews 4:1-16 (ESV)

Introduction
The author of Hebrews considered a major problem confronting the New Testament Christians as he studied the Ten Commandments.

Moses wrote that those who fear God are to “remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” in Exodus 20:8.

New Testament Christians emphasise keeping Sunday, the first day, as a day of worship, not Saturday, which is the seventh day.

1 Corinthians 16:2 (ESV)
2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.

This chapter discusses the basic meaning behind keeping the “seventh day.”

The key to this whole concept is the word “rest.”

Hebrews 4:4 says God rested on the seventh day.

Hebrews 4:4 (ESV)
4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.”

The writer of Hebrews interprets the idea of “rest” for believers as being found within the person of Jesus Christ in verses 4:9-11 and verse 4:16.

Hebrews 4:9-11 (ESV)

9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,

10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)

16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

consequently, this chapter presents the teaching that if a person is involved in God’s rest, it will be within a relationship with Jesus christ.

The reality of God’s rest.

In Chapter 3, the author warned that anyone who rejects God’s ways will not be allowed to enter His rest.

The author revealed the reality of God’s rest to the readers.

There was concern.

Hebrews 4:1-2 (ESV)

4 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.

2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.

The writer was concerned that certain recipients of this letter might not be involved in God’s true rest.

B. The identity of God’s rest.

The foundational idea of God’s rest lies within God’s creation activities.

Hebrews 4:3 (ESV)
3 For we who have believed enter that rest, 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.

After six days of work, God finished creation.

Then He rested on the seventh day, Hebrews 4:4 (ESV)

4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.”

God desires His creation to share in His rest, Hebrews 4:5-6 (ESV)

5 And again in this passage he said,
“They shall not enter my rest.”

6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience,

The way to enter this rest is through belief, of faith, in God, that’s what verse six is telling us.

Joshua’s followers did not find the desired rest.

God had had a future revelation that would meet the inner needs of humankind.

Remember Matthew 11:28-29 (ESV)

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Hebrews 4:9 (ESV)
9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,

Hebrews 4:15-16 (ESV)
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The nature of this promised rest is found in Jesus.

C. What about the availability of rest?

Hebrews 4:10 (ESV)

10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

God’s rest is available to everyone.

To enter into this rest, however, people must not try to achieve it by their own good works.

Titus 3:5-7 (ESV) tells us,

5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

No one can earn it by performing righteous deeds.

Only by faith can anyone share in God’s rest, Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV) says,

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

2. The need for God’s rest.

There is hunger created.

Hebrews 4:11 (ESV)
11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

The author seems to have contradicted himself in verses ten and eleven.

But there is no contradiction.

The impossibility of attaining God’s rest is asserted in verse ten.

In verse eleven, though, he encouraged his readers to hunger for this rest.

Their hunger should not involve an attempt to win God’s rest, but a sincere seeking of God’s way.

B. The Word revealed.

Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)

12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

It seems appropriate that a statement regarding the dynamic power of God’s Word is inserted in the context at this point.

What humans cannot accomplish through their personal efforts, God accomplishes through His Word.

C. God Observed.

Hebrews 4:13 (ESV)

13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Again, an astounding revelation is given.

God’s very character calls for Him to examine people’s hearts.

God perceives their inner faith and responds with the gift of rest.

3. The way of God’s rest.

The recipients of the letter were not left to search out the intricacies of God’s rest.

Rather, the writer presented the way through which this rest is made available to humankind.

Heavenly source.

Hebrews 4:14 (ESV)

Jesus the Great High Priest

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

People’s needs are met by a heavenly High priest.

He supersedes our highest expectations.

It is His responsibility to extend to us God’s rest.

B. Compassionate source.

Hebrews 4:15 (ESV)
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

People’s hungers are satisfied by a loving high Priest.

His desire for us is far superior to our desires for ourselves.

It is His duty to provide us with God’s rest.

C. Approachable source.

Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)

16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
People’s ineptness tends to make them shy away from approaching God.

Yet God longs for us to draw near to Him.

Conclusion.

When individuals submit to God’s will, they find help in time of need.

This is the essence of God’s “rest.”

People are no longer dependant on themselves.

They no longer experience their own failures.

They rely on God and enjoy His strength.

This is God’s rest for us.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.
Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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