|Hebrews 4:1,11 |
1 Therefore, since a promise of entering into his rest still stands, let us fear, lest any of you should come short of it.1 [The rest is where you cease from you own dead works to labor under God's direction; following the promptings of God, energized by God. Thus your then true Lord and master controls and energizes you by his power, and your words and deeds are performed according to his will and to his pleasure. This is thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven: doing the will of God as you have ceased your own dead works done by your own will, ceased your own plans, ceased your own decisions — at rest in Christ, with God's will and power in control — with the mind of Christ. In the rest you are serving the living God.]
11 Therefore let us diligently labor with every effort to enter into that rest, lest any man fall from the same kind of unbelief (resulting in disobedience), [The Jews didn't believe they could conquer the giants in the promise land; and the promise of the Christian rest is so fantastic that people are prone to doubt it is even possible to conquer sin, especially those in tribulation and trials. Paul is pleading for everyone to continue with every effort, and in the next verses he describes the power that works in a man to bring him to the rest; which power is the Word of God, Jesus, the power of God and our high priest and mediator, who sees and knows all, feels our infirmities, and is the source of grace and mercy to us. Steven Crisp has an excellent letter: Destroying the Arguments that Sin Cannot Be Conquered in This Life. From the Word of the Lord within: "I must warn you — you must make every effort to add to your faith and enter the rest."]
1 Therefore, since a promise of entering into his rest still stands, let us fear, lest any of you should come short of it. This chapter and the previous one is the warning to all who name themselves Christians: to avoid losing your soul and being banned from heaven, as the Jews, (over twenty years of age), were sentenced to die in the desert and banned from entering the promise land, you must zealously labor in faith to attain the promise, which is union with God and entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven, within you and around you. This results in your entering the rest, where you cease from you own dead works* to labor under God's direction; following the promptings of God, energized by God. Thus your then true Lord and master controls and energizes you by his power, and your words and deeds are performed according to his will and to his pleasure. This is thy will be done you have ceased your own dead works done by your own will, ceased your own plans, ceased your own decisions — at rest in Christ, with God's will and power in control — with the mind of Christ. In the rest you are serving the living God.
*Dead works are from your own will, your own decisions, your own carnal mind, which is enmity with God. Works in your own will, deciding what to do and when to do it, are called dead works because they are done by men who are dead to the life of God, having lost that life when Adam fell in the garden and was banished from the tree of life; Adam and his descendants lost the spiritual image of God and instead took on the spiritual image of Satan, to then walk according to Satan's ways.
Then your life is practicing righteousness as Jesus performed righteousness because in the full rest you are yielding yourself and your members, (hands, feet, tongue, mind, heart, eyes), for instruments to be used for righteousness by God, Rom 6:13, truly doing His will on earth as it is done in heaven; which honors God, brings glory to God, and exalts God.
And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, [Jesus] which shall stand for an ensign and standard of the people;
the Gentiles shall seek it, and His rest shall be glorious. Isa 11:10
This rest is what Jesus promised: Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Mat 11:29. This is the rest with which you cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. Isa 28:12.
We sit down in Christ to enter the rest, to enter the rest from fighting our enemies, like Israel entered the rest from fighting and purging their land of the surrounding heathen peoples; only our enemies are spiritual: lust, rage, pride, selfishness, envy, greed, covetousness, jealousy, lying, cheating, stealing, sexual immorality, profane language, and evil thoughts, etc. Salvation is to be delivered from sin and be sanctified. But you who would be a Christian, to be freed from sin you must believe and hope in God's promise to set the captives free, to become free of sin; otherwise, you too will perish in the spiritual wilderness without ever entering the promise land — heaven. Don't be like the Jews who said they could not conquer the giants and refused to cross the Jordan to do battle, even with God fighting for them; don't say sin can't be conquered, even with God's promised help; don't say who can war with the beast? Because victory over sin, our enemies within our heart, is the promised salvation.
That he would grant unto us,
that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. Luke 1:74-5.
Therefore, since a promise of entering into his rest still stands, let us fear, lest any of you should come short of it; let us diligently labor with every effort to enter into that rest, Heb 4:11, so that we do not fall short of the glory of God.
Protection from sin and permanent perfection occur in the second stage of perfection, which occurs after the first stage that includes entering paradise. Therefore, when you enter paradise, double your watchfulness against temptations that will come your way to test your foundation, so that you can advance to be protected from sin forever, enjoying full the rights of an heir to God.