Hebrews 4:3
Now we who have believed enter that rest. As for the others, it is just as God has said: "So I swore on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter My rest.'" And yet His works have been finished since the foundation of the world.
Sermons
Rest a Present Possession of the Christian BelieverW. Jones Hebrews 4:3
The More Terrible Result of Apostasy from Christ Seen in the Better Rest to Which Christ LeadsC. New Hebrews 4:1-11
A Delicious ExperienceIbid.Hebrews 4:3-6
Faith and RestS. Coley.Hebrews 4:3-6
Perfect RestHebrews 4:3-6
RestC. H. Spurgeon.Hebrews 4:3-6
Rest for the TrueHomilistHebrews 4:3-6
Rest in GodT. R. Stevenson.Hebrews 4:3-6
Sabbath DaysHebrews 4:3-6
The Christian's RestProf. Archer Butler.Hebrews 4:3-6
The Distinguishing Characters of True BelieversHebrews 4:3-6
The Rest of GodJ. Bannerman, D. D.Hebrews 4:3-6
The Rest of God and of ManA. Maclaren, D. D.Hebrews 4:3-6
The Rest of God's PeopleHomilistHebrews 4:3-6
The State of Believers Under the GospelJohn Owen, . D. D.Hebrews 4:3-6
Why God RestedR. W. Dale, LL. D.Hebrews 4:3-6
The Course of Christian Effort is Justified by the Certainty of a Future RestJ.S. Bright Hebrews 4:3-10
For we which have believed do enter into rest. The use of the present tense here ("do enter") has caused some difficulty to some expositors. Alford explains the text thus, that they are to enter into the rest who at the time of the fulfillment of the promise shall be found to have believed. Stuart points out that in "the idiom of the Bible, the present tense is often used as a universal tense, embracing time past, present, and future." It is indisputable that the words of the text, taken alone, suggest the subject which is stated above. And if further justification of our application of the text be needed, we may adduce two facts.

1. That our Lord promises rest - and, as we understand him, present rest - to those who believe in him (Matthew 11:28-30).

2. That faith in the Lord Jesus Christ admits the soul into rest here and now is a fact of Christian consciousness. So we proceed to consider the rest which is the present privilege and possession of those who intelligently and heartily believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I. REST FROM THE GUILT AND BURDEN OF SINS IS ATTAINED BY FAITH IS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. He reveals the infinite mercy of God towards the sinner, He delivers those who trust him from the condemnation of the holy Law which they have broken (John 3:14-18; Romans 8:1). He freely and fully forgave the sinners who penitently approached unto him (Matthew 9:2; Luke 7:48-50). He imparts freedom from the bondage of sin (John 8:31-36; Romans 6:12-22). And from this forgiveness and freedom from sin there follows rest from the dread of the punishment of sin. Thus, as regards the guilt and bondage and punishment of sin, they who believe in the Savior "do enter into rest."

II. REST FROM THE PRESSURE OF TEMPORAL ANXIETIES IS ATTAINED BY FAITH IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. There is much of mental disquietude and distress amongst men as to the possibilities of their physical life and their temporal circumstances. What if their health should fail! if heavy losses should befall them! if gaunt poverty or dreary destitution should overtake them! Now, our Lord's teaching as to the paternal providence of God, when it is truly believed, delivers the soul from these distressing apprehensions and corroding cares (see Matthew 6:25-34; Matthew 10:29-31; Luke 12:6, 7, 22-31).

III. REST FROM THE DISTURBANCE AND DISTRESS OF SELF-WILL IS ATTAINED BY FAITH IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. Much of life's unrest and sorrow springs from the absence of acquiescence in the will of God; much of positive distress arises from the opposition of our will to his holy will. Faith in our Lord delivers from this. His revelation of the Divine fatherhood, when it is heartily accepted, leads to acquiescence in the Father's will, and that is rest, as he himself teaches (Matthew 11:25-30). We are led into the truth that

"Our wills are ours, we know not how;
Our wills are ours, to make them thine."


(Tennyson.) And then into the higher experience of:

"The heart at rest
When all without tumultuous seems -
That trusts a higher will, and deems
That higher will, not mine, the best.

"O blessed life - heart, mind, and soul,
From self-born aims and wishes free,
In all at one with Deity,
And loyal to the Lord's control."


(Matson.)

IV. REST FROM UNSATISFIED AFFECTIONS IS ATTAINED BY FAITH IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. One of the deepest needs of the human heart is to love and to be loved in return. Unreciprocated and misdirected affections cause some of the bitterest griefs of human life. Our Lord summons us to set our supreme affections upon God (Mark 12:29, 80). As the Object of our highest and holiest love, God satisfies, inspires, and delights the soul; for he is supremely good and beautiful. He reciprocates our affections; he is unchangeable, and he ever liveth.

"Oh for that choicest blessing
Of living in thy love,
And thus on earth possessing
The peace of heaven above!

Oh for the bliss that by it
The soul securely knows,
The holy calm and quiet
Of faith's serene repose!"


(Monsell.)

V. REST FROM THE SOREST SORROWS OF BEREAVEMENT AND FROM THE DREAD OF DEATH IS ATTAINED BY FAITH IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. Concerning our beloved departed, "Jesus saith, Thy brother shall rise again.... I am the Resurrection and the Life," etc. He has taken the sting from death and the victory from the grave (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). "Our Savior Jesus Christ abolished death, and brought life and incorruption to light through the gospel." And now to the genuine Christian

"There is no death!
What seems so is transition.
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call death."


(Longfellow) To enter into and enjoy this spiritual rest is a privilege available to us here and now. "For we which have believed do enter into that rest." - W.J.







We which have believed do enter into rest.
1. A sweet experience declared, "We do enter into rest." It is an experience of a spiritual and heavenly benefit; whereof Caleb and Joshua's experience was the type (Joshua 19.). And here consider —(1) The benefit experienced; that is, rest. Rest is a sweet thing, as all weary labourers do know. But of all rest soul-rest is the sweetest, and such is this. The rest here meant is the rest held forth in the promise of the gospel (vers. 1, 2). And if ye ask where it is found? it is not in heaven only, for the believer enters into it now; but it is in Christ, whether in earth or heaven.(2) The experience of that benefit, "We do enter." He says not we shall enter, viz., at death, but in the present time, "we do enter. The believer's rest is not altogether put off to another life. It is not complete, indeed, till we come to heaven; but it is begun here, we are entering into it, and do enter; and the very entrance of the rest is sweet.

2. The parties in whose name this experience is declared, "We which have believed," viz., in Christ. Unbelievers still remain in their restless condition, but faith in Christ lays the soul to rest.

I. WHO THEY ARE THAT HAVE TRULY BELIEVED.

1. They who have believed, have believed the grace and goodwill of Christ to them in particular, held forth in His word of grace to them, viz., a good-will to save them from sin and wrath.(1) They have believed Christ's grace and good-will to them, notwithstanding felt unworthiness (Luke 15:18).(2) They have believed His grace and good-will towards the drawing them out of the miry clay of their sinfulness, as well as out from the rolling waves of guilt, the curse and eternal wrath. For this is the good-will of Christ testified in the gospel (Matthew 1:21).(3) The only foundation of their belief of it is the faithfulness of God in His word of grace (Galatians 3:21.(4) They have betaken themselves to the grace and good-will of Christ in His word of grace, and laid all their weight upon it.

2. They who have believed, have believed on Christ as their own Saviour for life and salvation to them (Acts 15:11). The sinner believing on Christ betakes himself to Him only, wholly and for ever.(1) He renounces utterly all expectations of rest to his conscience from the law, and betakes himself to a Crucified Christ for it (Philippians 3:3).(2) He renounces utterly all expectations of rest to his heart from the world, and his lusts, and betakes himself to a full Christ for it (Jeremiah 16:19).

II. THE ENTERING OF THOSE WHO HAVE BELIEVED INTO REST IN JESUS CHRIST.

1. I am to show what is supposed in that those who have believed do enter into rest.(1) Those who have not believed are in a stale of restlessness (Isaiah 57:20). Till the soul comes to Christ it can never get true rest: one may take rest as well on the top of a mast as get it in an ungodly, unregenerate, unconverted state. Those out of Christ have —

(a)A restless station, an insecure standing (Deuteronomy 28:65, 66).

(b)A restless labouring (Matthew 11:28).

(c)A restless wandering.

(d)A restless burden-bearing.

(e)A restless eternal state abiding them (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).(2) Restless souls may be laid to rest in Jesus Christ.(3) It is by faith the restless soul is laid to rest in Christ (Romans 15:13).

2. I proceed to show what is that rest in Christ which they who do believe enter into. It is twofold, spiritual and heavenly, initial and complete.(1) They who have believed do enter into spiritual rest, which is their initial or begun rest. Though they should get little more rest for their bodies till they rest in the grave, they enter into soul rest (Matthew 11:29); they get rest for their souls in Christ. And none that know what soul-trouble is, but they will value it more than any rest out of heaven.(2) Those who have believed do enter into heavenly rest at length. This is the rest completed. The grave is made a resting-place for their bodies for awhile, but the soul rests in Abraham's bosom at death till the resurrection. And then the soul and body together will have an everlasting complete rest together.

3. What is the import of their entering into that rest in Christ.(1) Sinners before they believe have a toiled, restless, uneasy life of it (Matthew 11:28). No wonder, for they are God's enemies, the law's criminals, sin's slaves, and Satan's drudges.(2) All that believe are wearied people, that find they need rest, and would fain have it (Isaiah 28:12).(3) They see and believe there is a rest in Christ for them.(4) They come to Him as a resting-place by believing on Him.(5) They compose themselves for, and set themselves to rest in Him (Psalm 116:7).(6) They are active to get rest in Christ. Entering speaks activity, and that lies in the exercise of faith.(7) They find a begun rest, but not complete; they are entered into it; though they are not yet come to the perfection of it, yet they are in the way to it.(8) The believer all his life long here is but entering into that rest: we do enter. The Israelites were forty years entering into Canaan, after they came out of Egypt. And from the moment of the first believing till the soul comes to glory, it is but entering into rest; entering being but an initial and imperfect action. Hence they that have come to Christ are still said to be coming (1 Peter 2:4). But at length they shall have it full and complete.

4. I come now to show how the soul is entered into rest in the way of believing, or the influence of faith to bring and lay the soul to rest. This is a mystery to the blind world: nobody can truly know the rest of the soul in Christ but those that have experienced it; nor the influence of faith that way, but those that have felt it, though they may talk rationally about it and preach it.(1) Faith discovers Christ as the only object commensurable to the desires of the soul (Psalm 73:25).(2) Faith takes possession of Christ as such an object offered to the soul: knits with Him in a marriage covenant by trusting on Him for all to itself (John 1:12). So it enters the soul to rest, as a wife in the house of her husband who has now made her final choice.(3) Faith draws the sting of guilt out of the conscience, and so enters the soul to rest (Romans 3:24, 25).(4) Faith sets the soul in safety (Proverbs 1:33).(5) Faith mortifies and breaks the power of reigning lusts (Acts 15:9).(6) Faith cures the soul of the dog-like appetite, that painful hunger and thirst which the eating of the forbidden fruit left in all mankind. Lay one never so soft, if hunger be gnawing him, and thirst scorching him, he cannot rest. Such is the case of all unbelievers, they are hungering and thirsting for satisfaction from the creature: they eat of the husks, but are never satisfied.(7) Faith contracts the desires of the soul into one point (Psalm 27:4).(8) Faith sees it hath a fulness in Christ enough to answer all its needs: and hence the language thereof is, "I have all, and abound" (Philippians 4:18).(9) Faith leaves all on Christ (Psalm 10:14).USE

I. Of information.

1. Jesus Christ is a resting place for the weary (Matthew 11:28).

2. True faith is an active and efficacious thing. It lays the restless soul to rest.

3. The way of believing is the way to solid rest.

4. Those who have believed may see what course to take at any time when their rest is disturbed. They must renew the actings of faith on Christ.USE

II. Of trial. Hereby ye may try whether ye have truly believed in Christ or not; for they who have believed do enter into rest in him.USE

III. Of exhortation. Ye who profess to have believed in Christ, rest in Him, and so evidence your faith. For motives consider —

1. There is no need ye should go to any other quarter for what ye need; "For it pleased the Father, that in Him should all fulness dwell" (Colossians 1:19).

2. There is no true rest to be found out of Christ (John 6:67).

3. It dishonours Him highly not to rest in Him. It gives out an ill report of Him to the world, whereby His name may be blasphemed, as if there were not enough in Him to satisfy in all cases.

4. Your not resting in Him will evidence your hypocrisy (Job 27:10).

5. Rest in Him now, and ye shall rest with Him for ever; but it ye forsake Him, He will cast you off, and ye will fall there where there is no rest for the ages of eternity. And it will aggravate your condemnation, that ye might have been well if ye could but have rested in Christ.

(T. Boston, D. D.)

Homilist.
1. Under all dispensations God has been holding out to mankind the promise of a glorious rest.

2. This glorious rest is something independent of all times, places, and privileges.

3. The enjoyment of this glorious rest is dependent upon a certain believing state of the soul.

4. This believing state of soul gives the enjoyment of this rest now.

I. FAITH IN THE GOSPEL INVOLVES CONFIDENCE IN THE PATERNAL PROVIDENCE OF GOD, AND THIS GIVES THE MIND REST FROM ALL SECULAR ANXIETIES.

II. FAITH IN THE GOSPEL INVOLVES AN ASSURANCE OF GOD'S WILLINGNESS TO RECEIVE US AS SINNERS, AND THIS GIVES US REST FROM ALL DISTRESSING DOUBTS ABOUT OUR SALVATION.

III. FAITH IN THE GOSPEL INVOLVES A TRANSFORMING IMPRESSION OF GOD'S BENEVOLENCE, AND THIS GIVES US REST FROM ALL THE DISTRESSING FEELINGS OF A SELFISH LIFE.

IV. FAITH IN THE GOSPEL INVOLVES THE CENTRING OF THE SOUL UPON ONE OBJECT OF LOVE AND ONE COURSE OF ACTION, AND THIS GIVES REST FROM ALL THE PAINS OF DISTRACTION.

V. FAITH IN THE GOSPEL INVOLVES AN ASSURANCE IN A BLESSED IMMORTALITY, AND THIS GIVES US REST FROM ALL DISTURBING THOUGHTS ABOUT OUR OWN DEATH AND THAT OF OUR FRIENDS.

(Homilist.)

Homilist.
I. WHAT IS THE REST?

1. A rest from sin.

2. A rest from sorrow.

3. It consists of what is positive also.

(1)It is a bestowment of eternal life.

(2)It is being with Christ.

(3)It is working for God without weariness, and with full power to do so.

II. WHEN IS THE REST? It commences with the renewed soul when it first "looks not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen." It brightens upon us more and more as we rise from the lower, the temporal, to the higher, the eternal life. It is fully revealed to us when we have done with mortality and sin.

III. FOR WHOM IS THE REST? Only for those who love holiness, and hate iniquity and sin.

(Homilist.)

It appears from the text that even now persons of a certain character enjoy rest.

I. OF THE NATURE OF THIS REST. It is not a rest merely to hear of, to speak of, and to desire, but a rest in actual enjoyment. "We who have believed do enter into rest."

1. That rest is pictured in some degree by its types — Canaan — the Sabbath — the Sabbatic year.

2. If the types may help us to a guess at the peace of the Christian, we may, perhaps, come at it a little more clearly by remembering the oppositions to peace which in the believer are removed. The believer rests from the guilt of sin because he has seen his sins laid upon Christ, his scapegoat, and he concludes that if sin were laid on Christ it is not on him.

3. Some conception of this rest may be gathered from the graces which a true faith begets and fosters in the Christian mind. After all, a man makes his own condition. It is not the dungeon or the palace that can make misery or happiness. We carry palaces and dungeons within ourselves, according to the constitution of our natures, Now, faith makes a man heavenly in mind; it makes him care more for the world to come than for that which now is; it makes the invisible precious to him, and the visible comparatively contemptible. Do you not see, therefore, what rest a true faith gives us amidst the distresses of this mortal life? Who cries for pebbles when he possesses pearls? The grace of faith, moreover, works in us resignation. He who fully trusts his God becomes perfectly resigned to his Father's will. The habit of resignation is the root of peace. Faith, furthermore, promotes unselfishness by kindling worthier affections; and so much is this for our peace, that it is most true that were a man perfectly unselfish it would be impossible for him to be disturbed with discontent. All our unrest lies at the root of self.

II. HOW DOES THE CHRISTAIN OBTAIN INTEREST? "We which have believed." Do notice this, that the way in which the believer comes to his rest is entirely through belief or trust. And what is this believing? Why it is a simple trust; it is a trusting upon Christ as God's appointed Saviour; it is trusting the Father and believing in His infinite love to us; it is trusting the Holy Ghost, and giving up ourselves to the sway of His Divine indwelling. Trusting brings rest.

III. WHAT IS THE GROUND AND REASON OF A CHRISTIAN'S REST? It is a dreadful thing to be at rest in extreme peril, lulled by false security. It is perilous to sleep in a house built on a foundation of sand, when the floods are out, and the winds are about, to sweep all away; it is horrible to be at peace in a condemned cell, when already the scaffold has been put up, and the hour of execution is hastening on! But the believer has good reason for being at peace, and why? He has these reasons amongst others. He trusts to be saved by a way which God has appointed. Here is a firm rock to rest on. What better person can we depend upon than Jesus, the Son of God? The believer, moreover, knows that all things which were necessary to save him and all the elect are already performed. In conclusion:

1. To the man who never has rested. Try God's way of rest. Trust, and you shall rest.

2. The next word is to those of you who once did rest, but do not now. You backslider, this is your word, return unto thy rest. You never will find rest out of Christ — especially you.

3. Lastly to you who are at rest now, endeavour to keep it; and the way to keep it is the way you first gained it.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

In the text we have a declaration of experience, "We which have believed do enter into rest," to which is very singularly added, "As He said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest." The happy declaration is supported by the tremendous oath of judgment, which shut out the unbelieving race. There is usually a promise embedded in a threatening, like gold in quartz; just as there is generally a threatening as the reverse of the golden coin of promise. I venture to say that the threatening in this case even gives a touch of rose colour to the promise, for it runs thus, "If they shall enter into My rest." Whereas the declaration only says, "rest": "we which have believed do enter into rest," the word "My" is added. That little word is like a bright gleam amidst the blackness of the tempest. Oh, the glory of that which God calls " My rest"!

I. THE PEOPLE TO WHOM THIS EXPERIENCE IS CONFINED. They rest, and no one else: they rest, because they have believed. As surely as unbelief shuts out, so surely does faith shut in. What is to believe?

1. To believe is, first of all, to accept as true the revelation of God; to give unfeigned assent and consent to all that God has made known in His Word, and especially to believe that He was, "in Christ Jesus, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them."

2. The operative point of faith is the next one: we trust ourselves with Him who is revealed; thus we carry our belief of truth to its practical conclusion.

3. Out of this trust must come action agreeable thereunto.

II. THE EXPERIENCE ITSELF: " We which have believed do enter into rest." We will propound no theory, and indulge no imagination, but keep to matters of fact.

1. Wherein do we rest?(1) We rest where God rests: that is, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. What a wondrous personality we see in Him! As God, He is the infinite delight of the Father. As personified Wisdom, our Lord Jesus says, "I was by Him, as one brought up with Him; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him." We cannot tell how much the Father loves Him, and how perfectly He rests in Him.(2) We rest in His work. Full atonement, perfect righteousness, glorious victory!

2. What is comprehended in this rest? All things. Here we lay every burden down.

3. What are the excellencies of this rest?

(1)Honour.

(2)A wonderful source of strength.

(3)An incentive to diligence.

(4)This rest also brightens life.

4. What are the limits of this rest? We may place them where we will. "According to your faith, so be it unto you." "We which have believed do enter into rest." It is an entrance, and no more, as yet. But when an Israelite had an entrance into Canaan, it was his own fault if he did not penetrate the interior, and traverse the land from Dan to Beersheba. "Ask, and ye shall receive." "All things are possible to him that believeth."

III. THE PERSONAL ASSERTION OF THIS EXPERIENCE: " We which have believed do enter into rest." I like the positive speech of the apostle for himself and his friends. I do not invite any of you to say that faith gives you peace unless it does so.

1. It must be a matter of fact. We want no empty profession.

2. This declaration, that we have rest, should always be made with a holy purpose. We must not go about boasting of our peace.

3. If you can say as much as this — "By believing have entered into rest," be thankful; for this privilege is a gift of love. It is a wonderful instance of sovereign grace that such unworthy ones as we are should enter into God's rest. But if you cannot say it, do not despair. Make it a point of question with yourself. Why have I not entered into rest? Is it because I have not believed? Oh, that all the way between here and heaven we may journey on with restful hearts, led beside the still waters! I have seen, in of the likeness, "Heaven was in him before he was in heaven." Now, that must be so with us, for nobody gets into heaven who does not get heaven into himself first. Oh, to get heaven into us this meriting, and keep it there for ever!

(Ibid.)

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.)

Comparing the Sabbath of God's rest at Creation with the Sabbath that is left to the people of God, he justifies the comparison by urging that "he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His." This, surely, would seem to show that when we cease from "our own works," the sacred rest commences. What, then, are " our own works"? By these I would understand all those wretched and laborious ways of life which have their origin and end in the corrupted principles of our own hearts, as contrasted with those ways of life and happiness which at once become ours, and with them a Sabbath-rest of spirit, when (and this is surely before the grave), abandoning all the miserable devices with which the wisdom of this world endeavours to delude itself into fictitious happiness, we cast our sins upon the sacrificed Lamb of God, our cares upon the Father of mercies, and, in the bright confidence of faith, walk humbly on to heaven, feeling already within us the dawnings of the heaven we are approaching.

(Prof. Archer Butler.)

My rest.
The great and outstanding characteristic of it is, that it is Jehovah's rest. It is, in the first instance, God's own rest before it becomes ours; and it becomes ours, only because it, in the first place, is God's. The repose and blessedness of Jehovah Himself must be not only the model for, but identical with, the repose and blessedness of the creature, in so far as their capacities permit of it. But the history of God's dealings with our race presents us with several and somewhat different examples of that Divine resting, which is the source and the foundation of the rest of His Church.

I. We have the rest of God THE CREATOR in the beginning, when He ceased from the work of creation, and rested on the seventh day from all His works which He had made. In that rest which Jehovah Himself found in a sinless and unfallen world, when the days' work was finished, and He kept and blessed the Sabbath day of creation, there was the foundation laid for the rest and blessedness of the unfallen creature.

II. We have another Divine rest spoken of in Scripture — THE REST OF GOD THE SON, WHEN HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD, HAVING FINISHED THE REDEMPTION OF HIS PEOPLE AND CEASED FROM ALL THE WORKS THAT HE WROUGHT. He rejoiced in His finished work, calling upon His people to rejoice in it likewise. And there, where the Saviour found rest. will the soul of the sinner find rest also.

III. There is yet another rest of the glorious Godhead referred to in Scripture — THE REST OF GOD THE SPIRIT, WHEN HE TOO SHALL HAVE FINISHED HIS LABOUR, and ceased from His works, and entered into His rest. The rest of the Spirit is yet to come. Nor can it dawn until the new creation, with all its glory, shall be finished, until the remaining power of sin in the elect creatures of God shall be destroyed, and until the Church of Christ, gathered out of every people, shall be complete in its members and perfect in their holiness, and so made ready to be presented unto God " a glorious Church," &c. And have the people of the election no share in this third and final rest of the Godhead, which shall sum up and include every other? Assuredly yes; for " there remaineth" still "a rest for the people of God." The unfallen creature of God was at the creation called upon to join in the Creator's rest; and there, even amid the gladness of Paradise, he found his chief happiness and joy. The redeemed sinner was at the redemption invited to share his Redeemer's rest; and there he found for his guilty soul pardon and peace. And the believer, at the dawn of the last and eternal Sabbath, shall be invited to share in the rest of the Spirit; and then he shall find himself made perfect both in holiness and happiness. Heaven is now gathering within its ample arms all the good and true upon earth — the lights of this world, of whom the world was not worthy, the prophets, the righteous men and the witnesses for God — all those that have been born of the Spirit. And earth, too, is ripening its fruit in expectation of the coming day of the manifestation of the sons of God. And those that have been quickened from above, the children of God here, are growing in grace and holiness, and preparing for the rest on high. And when that harvest shall be all gathered, the Spirit shall cease from His work, even as the Father and the Son ceased from Theirs before; and with Him the saints, whom He has called, and chosen, and perfected, shall enter upon the last and the highest rest of God.

(J. Bannerman, D. D.)

What, then, is the rest of God? The "rest which Genesis speaks about was, of course, not repose that recruited exhausted strength, but the cessation of work because the work was complete, the repose of satisfaction in what we should call an accomplished ideal. And, further, in that august conception of the rest of God is included, not only the completion of all His purpose, and the full correspondence of effect with cause, but likewise the indisturbance and inward harmony of that infinite nature whereof all the parts co-operant to an end move in a motion which is rest. And, further, the rest of God is incompatible with, and, indeed, but another form of, unceasing activity. "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work," said the Master; though the works were, in one sense, finished from the foundation of the world. Now can we dare to dream that in any fashion that solemn, Divine repose and tranquillity of perfection can be reproduced in us? Yes! The dewdrop is a sphere, as truly as the sun; the rainbow in the smallest drop of rain has all the prismatic colours blended in the same harmony as when the great iris strides across the sky. And if man be made in the image of God, man perfected shall be deiform, even in the matter of his apparently incommunicable repose. For they who are exalted to that final future participation in His life will have to look back, too, upon work which, stained as it has been in the doing, yet, in its being accepted upon the altar on which it was humbly laid, has been sanctified and greatened, and will be an element in their joy in the days that are to come. "They rest from their labours, and their works do follow them" — not for accusation, nor to read to them bitter memories of incompleteness, but rather that they may contribute to the deep repose and rest of the heavens. In a modified form, but yet in reality, the rest of God may be possessed even by the imperfect workers here upon earth. And, in like manner, that other aspect of the Divine repose, in the tranquillity of a perfectly harmonious nature, is altogether, and without restriction, capable of being reproduced, and certain in the future to be reproduced in all them that love and trust Him, when the whole being shall be settled and centred upon Him, and will, and desires, and duty, and conscience shall no more conflict. "Unite my heart to fear Thy name," is a prayer even for earth. It shall be fully answered in Heaven, and the souls made one through all their parts shall rest in God, and shall rest like God. And further, the human participation in that Divine repose will have, like its pattern, the blending without disturbance of rest with motion. The highest activity is the intensest repose. Just as a light, whirled with sufficient rapidity, will seem to make a still circle; just as the faster a wheel moves the more moveless it seems to stand; just as the rapidity of the earth's flight through space, and the universality with which all the parts of it participate in the flight, produce the sensation of absolute immobility. It is not motion, but effort and friction, that break repose; and when there is neither the one nor the other, there will be no contrariety between activity and rest; but we shall enjoy at once the delights of both without the wear and tear and disturbance of the one or the languor of the other.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Maurice speaks of learning to keep Sabbath days in the midst of the world's din.

An architect who has built a majestic cathedral, a painter who has finished a glorious picture, a sculptor who has carved a noble statue, rests-not because his genius has been exhausted; it may even have been developed and exalted by his labour, — but because he rejoices when his idea has assumed a permanent form of grandeur or beauty. And so God rested-found delight in His material and spiritual creation.

(R. W. Dale, LL. D.)

Rev. T. Collins said to a man whom he visited, "Here, read this." "Round thee and beneath are spread the everlasting arms." "Whose arms?" "God's." "Where spread?" "Around my soul and underneath." "Why man, say you so? Sink down upon them, then, and rest." "I will try." " James, James! there you are again, trying instead of trusting. Suppose you placed your child in the cradle and said, ' Now, dear one, rest'; would you expect the little one to set itself shaking the cradle and to say, ' I am trying '? Would he rest so?" "No, sir, he must be still to rest." "And so must you, James. Tell God,' Thou art mine and I am Thine'; cast thyself on His fidelity; sink down upon Him, and on an arm firmer than rock, tenderer than a mother's thou shalt rest."

(S. Coley.)

The nearer a thing is to its centre, the less is the motion experienced. You do not feel the pitching and rolling of a steamer or a sailing vessel midships as you do elsewhere. Pin a bit of paper to the rim of a carriage wheel, and how swiftly it is whirled round when the vehicle moves. Fasten it on the axle and it revolves very slowly. God is the centre of the universe, especially the centre of all created beings. Live near Him, and you will feel less the shocks of trouble and the vibrations of sin.

(T. R. Stevenson.)

Those whose hearts are not at perfect rest resemble a bottle but partly filled with water, which is agitated by the least motion; those whose hearts are at ease are like the same bottle filled to the brim which cannot be disturbed.

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