Last Sunday evening, Tenth intern Rev. Deryck Barson preached "Enter into God's Rest" based on Hebrews 4:1-14.
Deryck points out that with this passage we find ourselves right in the heart of the book of Hebrews, and therefore it’s important for us to understand what has gone before. The structure of Hebrews is carefully crafted in the form of a sermon. It is a word of exhortation. Hebrews 1 begins with, “Long ago God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days God has spoken to us in his Son.” The author of Hebrews is overviewing for us all of redemptive history. He is showing us the direction in which God is fulfilling history.
Now Hebrews is a fascinating book, and it has a number of distinct features, one of which is that the faith that is spoken about in Hebrews 11 is not directly addressing Paul’s particular focus on faith being the means by which a believer is justified before God. Rather, the faith here is a persevering faith.
Another distinct feature of the book of Hebrews is that of the heavenly high priesthood of Jesus. We look not only to Christ as our crucified and resurrected Lord, but we look to him as our ascended Christ, our merciful and faithful high priest who intercedes for us.
Another feature that is unique to the book of Hebrews is that it alternates exposition and exhortation. One can feel the real pastoral heart and purpose of the author who urges and encourages these believers to hold fast to their confession and to strive to enter into God’s promised rest.
This text calls for us to look at three things:
- The promise of entering God’s rest still stands.
- This promise is anchored in the person of the Son Jesus Christ our High Priest.
- This pastorally motivated exhortation by the author extends to you and me.
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