Resting in Christ’s Sufficiency

What does it mean to rest in God’s grace? How Christians Can Experience Deeper Rest? Jesus said, “Come unto Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. You shall find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:28,29). Rest is not found in increased religious dedication and commitment to perform for God. Rest is found in God’s grace. by recognizing that “it is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20), by appreciating that our “good works” are only those which “God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).

God’s rest is not a rest from the circumstances and trials of life, but a rest in the midst of the problems of a life. It is resting in His sufficiency, for “we are not adequate to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is of God” (II Cor. 3:5).

When the Spirit of Christ dwells and abides in Christians, the place of God’s “rest” is within us. The writer of Hebrews in chapter 4 powerfully illustrates “Resting in Christ sufficiency.” Yet many a Christian have failed to enter into and experience the rest of Christ that is available to them.

Verse one reads… “Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest any one of you should seem to have come short of it.” The context of this verse in Hebrews is significant. The Israelites had been delivered from the bondage of Egyptian taskmasters who had oppressed them. God had already given them the land of Canaan as their inheritance. It was already theirs for THE TAKING. Instead of possessing the land that was theirs, they wandered for 40 years in the wilderness. Most died in the wilderness, having NEVER ENTERED INTO THE CANNAAN REST that was their inheritance in God. What was to have been a 13-day journey took 40 years. The rest was already available, God had already provided, yet the Israelites came short of entering in.

Why did they not enter? Scripture tells us in Heb. 3:19, “they were not able to enter because of unbelief?” Unbelief is the opposite of walking by faith, taking God at His word. Application: We should ask ourselves, “Are we operating in unbelief? Are we like the children of God wandering in the wilderness of fleshly living? or have we truly entered into the rest of God in Christian living? Only you can answer that question. You know doubt know deep in your heart where you are.

You may have felt that you could never enter in. That God’s rest is elusive, and you have tried but failed. God says, however, that you can and must FOR THERE IS A REST THAT REMAINS FOR YOU! Notice verse 9: “there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.” This verse seems to imply that “rest” is for an exclusive group of people. Some Christian would thus suggest that is why they have not been able to “enter” or experience God’s rest. I would agree that the “rest” that is available is for an exclusive group of people. The people of God. We must have first received the “person of rest,” Jesus Christ to experience His rest in our lives. Unbelievers have no rest because they have not received Christ. This passage of scripture is written to Christians who have received Christ (who is rest) but have not entered into a “restful experience” of His life. It is also important to observe that verse 9 defines a very specific kind of rest, a Sabbath rest.

What is the significance of a Sabbath rest? Isn’t the Sabbath the seventh day? What does this illustrate? The Sabbath day was the seventh day of the week. Paul is referencing Genesis 2:2, 3 “And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all his work which God had created and made.”

A Sabbath day rest is a rest WHERE YOU REST FROM YOUR WORKS. God rested on the seventh day, and this is the point, we are to rest, to cease from all our work. The only true work of God is God at work. You were never created to imitate God or attempt to do His work.

Only God is independent, autonomous, self-sufficient. Any attempt to “be like God” is to believe the lie and a work of the flesh. Any work not derived from God is a work of the flesh. A working definition of the flesh is, “how I have learned to manage and operate my life APART FROM GOD under the deception of Satan acting out his character of sin.

We must learn to rest in Christ, content to be dependent, deriving all character (work) from God obediently walking by faith. Hebrews 4:10 summarizes for us, “For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.”

Paul gives us a strong warning in Hebrews 4:11. “Let us therefore be diligent TO ENTER THAT REST. Lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience.” The children of God in Genesis are prime examples of disobedience. They wandered 40 years in the wilderness—never entering the rest that was theirs in Christ. They were directionless—that’s what wandering is! When we find ourselves wandering in unbelief, we are easy targets for Satan. Like the children of God in a wilderness experience they were deceived and looking back to the flesh pots of Egypt! (Ex. 16:3). They murmur and complain as they looked back to a life of fleshly DESIRE which they experienced during their captivity. Paul warning is a warning of love, that we don’t make the same mistake as our forefathers. He admonishes us to be diligent to depend on God’s sufficiency and grace to walk in the obedience of faith.

We are to learn by the mistakes of others not making the same mistakes and yet many are not living in “rest.” What is the secret of entering into God’s rest? Hebrews 4:12 tells us. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Jesus Christ by the Spirit is that “word of God, “which is living and active and is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Man’s freedom of choice does allow man to be self-determinative, but not in the humanistic sense of being able to accomplish self-fulfillment or self-achievement by producing right behavior. The free choices of man are response-choices, rather than creative-ability to produce something by our choices.

Human beings have a responsibility, a response-ability, to freely choose, decide, and determine to be receptive to and derive from a spiritual source. Man’s choices are faith-choices of receptivity and derivation.

There is a differentiation of spiritual function and psychological function within the Christian, which is clearly seen in Hebrews 4:12: Jesus Christ, as the “Word of God” (cf. Jn. 1:1,14) is divinely operative in causing the Christian individual to differentiate between psychological motivations and spiritual motivation. Too often Christians have not allowed the Spirit of Christ to distinguish motives. Instead of allowing humanistic patterned thoughts and self-oriented desires to “be all one can be” for God, thinking that one can please Him through such self-generated commitment and dedication, clearly Paul makes a distinction between your spirit and your soul. This verse tells us that The Living Active Word of God (Jesus Christ) will divide between soul and spirit, the two inner parts of us.

The Soul is referred to as JOINT and the human spirit is referred to as MARROW. The joint in the body gives expression to the life of the body. Joints move and they may move in one of two directions. A joint maybe receptive or it may resist. The Christian may choose to be receptive to the work of Christ or may reject God’s work in unbelief. This decision-making process takes place in the soul.

The human spirit is referred to as marrow. Marrow in the body is in the bone. You have heard of bone marrow. Marrow produces the blood, and the life of the body is in the blood. In Paul’s analogy he is illustrating that the life of the Christian is in the human spirit, the vary life of Christ. Your spirit of the place of “rest” because it is where Christ lives. You are to live from your spiritual union in Christ.

Paul also talks about thoughts and intentions in verse 12, what is being illustrated? The soul is the place of THOUGHTS, and the human spirit is the place of INTENTIONS. The soul has a mixture of thoughts. Both fleshly sinful thoughts and Spirit derived thoughts pass through the soul. The Spirit of Christ wants us to be aware of and recognize “the mind of Christ” and walk willingly dependent by God’s grace. The human spirit is the place of union in Christ. God gives you the desires of your heart, His intentions, His purpose, His will. The human spirit is the place of “rest.” Christ is our Rest, and we are to live from Him. The deepest desire of your heart is love and serve Him. Your true heart intentions are fixed in Christ, but you must act in obedience.

The trials and temptations of life do not exclude us from entering Christ’s rest. Exclusion from God’s rest only comes by the attitude of unbelief. God will let us choose to live in unrest until we are willing to avail ourselves to the promise that remains, “the better rest of God in Jesus Christ.” “Let us be diligent, therefore, to enter that rest” (4:11).

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

Living the Victorious Life

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