We just went through the first two R's, REPENT AND RENEW. The third R is REST. It really is a by product or fruit of being in the Spirit and walking after the Spirit. It has the same context of peace and contentment. If we know who we are IN Christ and we know our identity as God's children, that we are deeply loved, totally accepted, and completely forgiven as the last teaching showed us, then rest is the result.
Lets look at the book of Hebrews. While this book is written to the Hebrews for the tribulation period in which they will go through, it has wonderful teachings that we can understand FOR US now.
Read chapter 3:1-6. We see that the writer is trying to get across to the Hebrews, and through out the whole book, that Jesus is greater than angels (ch. 1) and now Moses. As the writer goes through the book of Hebrews he is constantly comparing to angels, Moses, priests and sacrifices, traditions and so on, and encouraging the believing Hebrews to follow Christ.
So in chapter 3:1-6 he says that while Moses was faithful taking responsibility for his house, Israel, Jesus took responsibility for His house, all the world. He became the sacrifice for ALL mankind. The faithful in Christ.
Now read verses 7-19. He says that while Moses was faithful, Israel was not. He says that "Today (and notice how many times he says, "today.") do not harden your heart." Notice the different kinds of hearts: a hard, rebellious, evil, unbelieving, deceitful heart. We, too, had this before coming to the Lord, and we can still have this at times. BUT that does not mean we do not have the Spirit, or we are not saved. It means that, as in the teaching on Spirit-Soul-Body, our spirit is alive IN Christ but our mind-body is choosing to look elsewhere for significance. Notice that it says they had "NO REST". Physically, mentally, and emotionally the nation of Israel had no rest because of sin and unbelief.
Now read Chapter 4:1-11. God's promise was that Israel would have that rest in a land free from harm and with plenty of food. The promise for that rest is still there for the nation of Israel when they receive the risen Messiah in the end times. BUT we too can enter that rest now if we do not fear and come short of it. In other words, fear stops us from walking in faith. Fear is man looking at life, situations, or circumstances and trying to figure it out on his own ("playing god" as we said in the first teaching). No other emotion is mentioned as much as fear through the bible. In Revelations the word coward is used alongside of murderer and fornication.
Notice in verse 2 that the word "gospel" is used. There are many gospels in scripture, but only one God who is the object of that gospel. Gospel means "good news" so in each dispensation, there is "good news" in order to be saved, or to be obedient to God. Israel in the desert did not mix the "gospel" with faith and therefore they did not enter that rest. We, too, must enter that "gospel" by faith, the gospel that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again the third day in order that we may receive salvation. And so that we may enter that "rest."
Now the author goes on to say that there is a "SABBATH" rest. God rested on the 7th day and from then on He called this a Sabbath rest and it was from Friday to Saturday evening. In the New American Standard Bible, it reads in verse 9 a "Sabbath" rest, which is what the author is trying to get across.
I always ask people who come for teaching or counseling, "When is our Sabbath day?" Some say Sunday, others say every day. I always ask, do you really think a 24 hour period is going to give you "rest" mentally and emotionally? Maybe physically, but I have sat all day and have done nothing all day, and I am just as anxious, worried, fearful, and tired. Have you? Sure you have; we all have been there.
So, just as God rested from His works on the 7th day, Jesus did all the "WORKS" FOR SIN!
Therefore Jesus is our Sabbath, "our Holy Rest". He is in you; He has done the works. Hebrews says in verse 10, "For he who has entered His rest has ceased from his works."
In other words, when we stop working to feel good and attain our own righteousness, and stop being fearful by walking faithfully, and REST mentally and emotionally in Christ's works, we have that Sabbath (Holy) spiritual, mental, and emotional rest and peace and contentment! Praise God! Amen!
Verse 11: Let us work hard to enter that rest!! What? You just told me to stop working, Howard!
That's like driving faster to get to a stop sign. Yes, drive fast to get that rest. In other words, be sensitive to your thoughts and emotions. Are you fearful, anxious, worried? Is there unrest?
When there is sin, there is unrest mentally and emotionally. For most of us, this is everyday life after the flesh. So run fast to God so that you may feel His loving arms around you and know and feel that security and protection, and Rest!
go to R4 lesson 8