On the Sabbath Day of God’s Rest

If because of the Sabbath (that Day of our salvation in which we lay down the works of our hands and enter into the rest of the Lord, which is the finished work of Christ upon the cross), you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day (which is Today, the day of our salvation), and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and shall honor it, (here is how we honor this Holy Day of our salvation which is the Lord’s Sabbath:) desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure, and speaking your own word, then you will take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father (which is to receive an inheritance in the land of promise which is the kingdom of God), for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Isaiah 58:13-14

 This passage speaks of the true nature of the Sabbath and its importance for us today.  For the Sabbath day is the holy day of the Lord, a day when we desist from our own fleshly ways, from seeking our own pleasure and speaking our own word.  Indeed, it is the day of our salvation, the day when we lay down all the works of our own hands and trust in Christ for deliverance from our sins, dying to the old man so we can be raised with Him to a newness of life–His life, for on that Sabbath day of our salvation it is no longer ourselves who live but Christ who lives in us.  Thus, in temporal terms, the Sabbath day is not just one particular day in a week, but, again, it is the day of our salvation when we desist from our own ways and enter into the rest of the Lord.  Indeed when we enter into Christ by dying to the old man we also die to the law (Rom 7:4,6 Gal 2:19), all of the law, including the ten commandments (Rom 7:6-7, 2 Cor 3:6-18), so that we are no longer under the law of commandments contained in ordinances but are free to serve God in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter (Rom 7:6).

 Now Moses (the giver of the law) was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later (namely, the truths of the gospel); but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house, whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.  Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as when they provoked me, as in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, and saw My works for forty years.  Therefore I was angry with this generation, and said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known My ways’.  So I declared on oath in My anger, ‘They shall never enter My rest (the land of promise which represents the kingdom of God, righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, cf. Rom 14:17).'”

Take care, brethren (who believe that you are saved), lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God.  But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.  For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end.  As has just been said, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.”  For who provoked Him when they had heard?  Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses (i.e., those who were saved from the bondage of Egypt which is a type of our salvation from the bondage to sin)?  And with whom was He angry for forty years?  Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?  And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest (which typifies our salvation into the kingdom of God), but to those who were disobedient?  And so we see that they were not able to enter (God’s rest) because of unbelief.  (Notice that disobedience is equivalent to unbelief.)

          Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you (who believe you are saved) should seem to have come short of it.  For indeed we have had the good news (of the gospel) preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith (the faith of Abraham that is obedient to God’s law, cf. Gen 26:3-5.  According to the NIV textnote many manuscripts read “because they did not share in the faith of those who obeyed”.)  For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.  For He has thus said somewhere concerning the seventh day, “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this passage, “They shall not enter My rest.”

          Since therefore it remains for some to enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them failed to enter (into the rest of the Lord) because of disobedience, He again fixes a certain day, “Today” (the day of our salvation!), saying through David, after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”  For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that.  There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God.  For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.  Let us therefore be diligent to enter that (Sabbath) rest, lest anyone fall (away) through following the same example of disobedience.
Hebrews 3:5-4:11

 Again, let us see from this passage that the Sabbath day of our rest is not just one fixed day in the week on which we honor God.  For again, that Sabbath day of physical rest passes away along with all the rest of the law of the old covenant when we die to the law by taking up our cross and laying down our lives so as to die to the old man of sin (cf. Rom 7:1-8, 2 Cor 3:7-11).  And that physical day of rest was only a type of the far greater spiritual Day of rest into which we enter by laying down all the works of our hands to trust in Christ’s finished work for our salvation.  In this light, it is therefore not surprising that Jesus was very frequently found healing on the physical Sabbath day (cf. Mt 12:9-15, Mk 6:1-6, Lk 4:31-41, 13:10-17, 14:1-5, Jn 5:1-9, 9:13-14) as a type of the rest and deliverance that is found on the spiritual Sabbath day.

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