Updated 1 Apr 2019
- Parable of the Lost Sheep
- Parable of the Banquet
- Parable of the Sower
- Parable of the Builders
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The writer has been encouraging God’s people to have soft hearts regarding His ways and His works. An important part of the Law of God was that, on the Sabbath day, the people had a change and enjoyed rest. The issue of resting in God remains a challenge, which this chapter begins to address. The second main theme is to illustrate the power of God’s word and the third is to consider the priestly role of Jesus and its enormous benefit for us!
It is a wonderful thing that we are able to completely rest in the finished work of Christ. It is so easy to become legalistic and to fail to receive the grace of God freely offered to us as sinners. When we attempt by our own efforts to please God or to do His work, we will fail and will not have peace. Peace and rest come by fully trusting that God has done everything for our Salvation. The rest that God took Himself, having created the world, is a great illustration to us that, when the task was done, God took rest. God opened up the way for His people to possess the land that He had promised them but they needed to find the balance between working hard to do His will, while always finding their rest in His character and goodness.
The Word of God
Verses 12-13 give one of the most powerful descriptions of God’s word. God’s word is living - it is not just history and God is still speaking today. God’s word is not passive but is very active, working in the lives of those who will listen. God’s word is like a sword. It is sharp and is able to cut through external and superficial parts of us and is able to strike at the very core of our being. God’s word has the ability to bring to light anything that is hidden. It is intrusive and thorough. God’s word is able to examine our motives and deepest inner feelings. Nothing is hidden from God. Everything is an open book to be read by Him and we are accountable to Him for our lives.
Jesus, Our Great High Priest
Jesus came in the flesh. He lived a sinless life and, having died on the cross, he returned to heaven to sit triumphantly at the right hand of God. Jesus is God the Son. He is our High Priest. He represents us. He has taken our sins upon himself but, of course, he personally was without sin. Jesus identifies with us in our humanity. He understands our weaknesses and he knows all about temptation but, in the flesh, he faced all of these things and overcame them!
The Throne of Grace
We are encouraged to come with boldness and confidence to Jesus, who wants to show mercy and extend grace to us in our needy condition. If we come with repentant hearts, he will meet our needs!
Points to Consider:
- How seriously do we take the need for rest and, particularly, to avoid striving and pressuring ourselves instead on relying on the grace of God?
- Are we people of faith and obedience or is there still much unbelief that needs to be dispelled?
- Are we responding to the promptings of the powerful word of God or are we ignoring what God is saying to us?
- Are we handling well the powerful tool of God’s word, which is like a sword in our hands?
- Are we approaching God’s throne with confidence and are we discovering the grace that He wants to give us?
God bless you!
Bible Study: Hebrews 4
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