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…
I. THE STATE OF BELIEVERS UNDER THE GOSPEL IS A STATE OF BLESSED REST. It is God's rest and theirs. God created man in a state of present rest. This rest consisted in three things.
1. Peace with God.
2. Satisfaction and acquiescency in God.
3. Means of communion with God. All these were lost by the entrance of sin, and all mankind was brought thereby into an estate of disquietment. In the restoration of these, and that in a better and more secure way doth this gospel-state of believers consist(1) Without it our moral state in respect of God is an estate of enmity and trouble.
(2) There is in all men before the coming of the gospel a want of an acquiescency and satisfaction in God.
3. Unto peace with God, and acquiescency in Him, a way of intercourse and communion with Him is required, to complete a state of spiritual rest. And this also, as it was lost by sin, so it is restored unto us in and by the gospel.
II. IT IS FAITH ALONE WHICH IS THE ONLY WAY AND MEANS OF ENTERING INTO THIS BLESSED STATE OF REST. And that both negatively so that without it no entrance is to be obtained, whatever else men may plead to obtain it by; and positively, in that it alone effects it, without a contribution of aid and strength in its so doing, from any other grace or duty whatever.
III. THERE IS A MUTUAL INBEING OF THE PROMISES AND THREATENINGS OF THE COVENANT, SO THAT IN OUR FAITH AND CONSIDERATION OF THEM, THEY OUGHT NOT UTTERLY TO BE SEPARATED.
1. Because they have both of them the same rise and spring. They do both of them but declare the actings of the one holy God according to the distinct properties of His nature upon distinct objects.
2. Both of them, as annexed to the covenant, or as the covenant is administered by them, have the same end. God doth not design one end by a promise, and another by a threatening; but only different ways of compassing or effecting the same end. The end of both is, to increase in us faith and obedience.
3. Theatenings are conditional; and the nature of such conditions is, not only somewhat is affirmed upon their supposal, and denied upon their denial; but the contrary unto it, is affirmed upon their denial; and that because the denial of them doth assert a contrary condition.
4. The same grace is administered in the covenant to make the one and the other effectual.
(John Owen, . D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: For we who have believed do enter into that rest, even as he has said, "As I swore in my wrath, they will not enter into my rest;" although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.