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The Faith-Rest Life

Now the promise of entering into God’s rest is still for us today. So we must be extremely careful to ensure that we all embrace the fullness of that promise and not fail to experience it. For we have heard the good news of deliverance just as they did, yet they didn’t join their faith with the Word.[a] Instead, what they heard didn’t affect them deeply, for they doubted. For those of us who believe, faith activates the promise and we experience the realm of confident rest! For he has said,[b]

“I was grieved[c] with them and made a solemn oath,
    ‘They will not enter into my rest.’ ”

God’s works have all been completed from the foundation of the world,[d] for it says in the Scriptures,[e]

And on the seventh day God rested from all his works.

And again, as stated before,

They will not enter into my rest.

Those who first heard the good news of deliverance failed to enter into that realm of faith’s rest because of their unbelieving hearts. Yet the fact remains that we still have the opportunity to enter into the faith-rest life and experience the fulfillment of the promise! For God still has ordained a day for us to enter into called “Today.” For it was long afterwards that God repeated it in David’s words,

“If only today you would listen to his voice
    and do not harden your hearts!”

Now if this promise of “rest” was fulfilled when Joshua brought the people into the land,[f] God wouldn’t have spoken later of another “rest” yet to come. So we conclude that there is still a full and complete Sabbath-rest[g] waiting for believers[h] to experience. 10 As we enter into God’s faith-rest life we cease from our own works, just as God celebrates his finished works and rests in them.[i] 11 So then we must be eager to experience this faith-rest life, so that no one falls short by following the same pattern of doubt and unbelief.

12 For we have the living Word of God, which is full of energy,[j] like a two-mouthed sword.[k] It will even penetrate to the very core of our being where soul and spirit, bone[l] and marrow meet![m] It interprets and reveals the true thoughts and secret motives of our hearts. 13 There is not one person who can hide their thoughts from God, for nothing that we do remains a secret, and nothing created is concealed, but everything is exposed and defenseless before his eyes, to whom we must render an account.[n]

Jesus, Our Compassionate King-Priest

14 So then, we must cling in faith to all we know to be true. For we have a magnificent King-Priest,[o] Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who rose into the heavenly realm for us, and now sympathizes with us in our frailty.[p] 15 He understands humanity, for as a man, our magnificent King-Priest was tempted in every way just as we are, and conquered sin.[q] 16 So now we draw near freely and boldly to where grace is enthroned,[r] to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthen[s] us in our time of weakness.[t]


  1. 4:2 Or “because they did not join in with those who heard the message with faith” (Joshua and Caleb).
  2. 4:3 See Ps. 95:11; Heb. 3:11.
  3. 4:3 The Greek word orge is used for any emotion of extreme passion, usually anger.
  4. 4:3 Or “God’s works have been completed, even though the world has fallen.” The Greek word katabole means “to fall down,” “to throw down.” It is most often used for “laying down a foundation,” but it can imply the fall of humanity through sin. Even though the world has fallen, God’s works have already been accomplished, unhindered by the sin of man. God’s finished works supersede the brokenness of our planet.
  5. 4:4 See Gen. 2:2.
  6. 4:8 See Josh. 21:44; 22:4.
  7. 4:9 The Aramaic can be translated “He arose to be the Sabbath for the people of God.”
  8. 4:9 Or “the people of God.”
  9. 4:10 The word used for “Sabbath” in v. 9 is not the usual word, it is the celebratory aspects of the Sabbath that are emphasized in the Greek word sabbatismos.
  10. 4:12 The Aramaic can be translated “all effective.” There is a hint here of the spinning sword of fire, held by the angel guarding the way to the Tree of Life. To come eat its fruit, you must pass through the mighty sword of fire. The context implies we pass through this “fire-sword” on our way into the holy of holies. When the veil was split in two, the cherubim embroidered on the veil parted, as it were, to allow every worshiper to enter into the unveiled presence of God. See Gen. 3:24; Matt. 27:51.
  11. 4:12 God speaks his word, then we, in agreement, also speak his word and it becomes a “two-mouthed sword.”
  12. 4:12 As translated from the Aramaic, the Greek is “joint.”
  13. 4:12 Soul and spirit are the immaterial parts of every person that make us who we are, joint and bone marrow are the physical aspects of our existence. All of this combined forms our humanity. God’s Word has the ability to uncover our hidden aspects and make them known.
  14. 4:13 The word used here is logos. The Greek could also be translated “in his view the Word is our responsibility.”
  15. 4:14 As translated from the Aramaic, which uses a word for a priest not of the Levitical order. The Aramaic word here for priest is not cohen but kumrea.
  16. 4:14 The Aramaic can be translated “who has sorrow with us in our affliction.”
  17. 4:15 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “He was without sin” (sinless).
  18. 4:16 Or “the throne of grace.”
  19. 4:16 The Greek word boetheia means “urgent help,” and is often used as “reinforcing” (a ship in a storm). See Acts 27:17.
  20. 4:16 The Aramaic can be translated “tribulation.”