Hebrews "Enter His Rest Through Faith"
Each book in the Bible gently guides God's people into a more intimate relationship with their Creator, as He knows must occur, for His people to receive Him in the depth of the relationship that He purchased for them. Each day we are covering, in sequential order, one of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament and explaining how each of them is revealing God in a more intimate way than has been given to this point in the scriptures.
Today is the nineteenth day of the series, “The Progressive Revelation of Jesus Christ” and the book is, Hebrews, the nineteenth book in the New Testament as it appears in our Bible. Hebrews is a letter written to people who knew the Mosaic Law and the Jewish traditions and were maturing Christians that needed some further instructions on how to navigate this new life in the relationship with God through Jesus. The author of this book in the Bible is not known.
The first statement that I will mention is, “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. The writer is creating a case for Jesus to be who the people were waiting to come as their Saviour, and the recipients knew the scripture said there is one God; so it is written for the audience to understand that the Son of God is anointed by God and is above all other people who’ve ever lived.
The letter also has, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” The previous few books in the Bible speak of work ethics, and now Hebrews is commanding God’s people where to focus their life’s labor, and a true rest filled state of being exists for God’s people that are properly motivated and have their energy focused in the right direction.
Hebrews clarifies who Jesus is and how He became that being throughout it, but let’s look at one key scripture in the case that it makes about Him. It says, ”And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, ‘Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.’” This is the first time in the scripture that it boldly state Jesus not placing Himself in His position, but God the Father did it. Jesus did say that He did nothing that He did not see the Father do and said nothing that He did not hear the Father say, but this statement in Hebrews clarifies what He said. This is furthering our understanding that humility is not being a person who cannot achieve anything, but being the person who God can use to do whatever He wants to do with the person; which sets that person into a freer position than is humanly possible.
Hebrews continues with, “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,” The fundamentals have been conveyed and it is time to reach for the deeper things of God instead of dwelling on the things that have already been established. The amazing relationship that God paid the price to have with His people is not an abstract foreign one that most people cannot explain; it is a personal one that transforms His people’s lives into a state that is only available to them.
The sin issue has been taken care of not only “by the blood of Jesus,” but “through the blood of Jesus.” Hebrews says it this way, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;…For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:” There is a state of freedom from sin that was mentioned in earlier scriptures, but now is plainly stated which before people grasp the depth of it will actually say it is impossible, but it is not impossible. It is exactly what God has performed and given to His people to accept.
Once His people accept it, the next step is to receive the revelation of what they are and not only who they are in Christ. God’s people are His temple, and His temple is where He dwells. Hebrews says it like this, “For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.” The depth of this passage would take volumes to start to explain, but I will say that it explains the inside of a person of God in detail and that heaven in within them.
Hebrews also gives God’s people a definition with this scripture, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.” Now is the time faith will always exist, hope can be past, present, or future and is always fulfilled when it is godly hope, and faith is always followed by action.
Hebrews then tells us where faith comes from and who gives it to us with, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” People can and do exercise their faith every day, and God exercises it for them through challenges that He creates or allows to occur in their lives. Faith typically occurs through difficult situations that force people into uncomfortable positions that they are forced to reach out to God like they would not, if they weren’t in the position they were in.
One key to the kingdom of heaven that a lot of people miss is, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” God has set in His people a state of true peace they can experience that does not depend on their environment or circumstances. This peace can be possessed in and through them even in war; because God’s people are definitely in a spiritual war, but they don’t have to allow it to reach inside them.
Hebrews again boldly states that Jesus did not do the things that he did through His own strengths and abilities with, “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,” and continues the thought with “that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” The same God that did these amazing things through His Son Jesus Christ can and will make His people perfect and do great things through them as well.
The examples in this blog are only a limited sample of the deepening relational revelation described through the letter to the Hebrews which explains how to enter God's rest through faith.
The intent of the blog is to demonstrate the difference in the revelation that God gives to His people as they intently follow Him and focus on what He has told them through their individual lives and the revelation they’ve received through the Holy Spirit and His Holy Bible.
Tomorrow I will share how the letter written by James brings an even more intimate portrait of the relationship through its recording, “Faith without works is dead.”
Tomorrow I will share how the letter to the “James” brings an even more intimate portrait of the relationship through its recording, “Faith without works is dead.”