Thursday, November 18, 2010

"His Rest" Part 4

    The writer of Hebrews proclaims that entering into God's rest is a matter of belief and the ceasing from our own works.
    "He that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief" (Hebrews 4:10-11).
    The Christian life begins with the understanding that human efforts to attain to godliness, righteousness, and morality are futile.  The standard is simply too high because the Lord Jesus Christ alone is humanity as God designed us to be.  "Walk, even as He walked" (I John 2:6).  We must therefore be just like Him, or His perfect righteousness must be appropriated to us as a free gift, to be received by grace through faith.  The former is impossible.  The latter is the Gospel.
    "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us" (Titus 3:5).
   In similar manner, the living of the Christian life requires the same dynamic of grace through faith.  "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him" (Colossians 2:6).  That is, whatever happened in the first moment of our redeeming relationship with God must continue to happen thereafter.  We must acknowledge His working to provide the Lord Jesus as the vibrant Life of our lives.  And we must acknowledge that, according to God's definition, we have no life apart from our Savior.  "I am the life... to live is Christ" (John 14:6; Philippians 1:21).  We therefore cease from our own labors by acknowledging our utter dependence on God's labors on our behalf.  "He worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).  Upon this basis, we then "work the works of God," or as the Lord Jesus declared of His own earthly experience, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (John 6:28; 5:17).
    We must believe.  We must believe the Word of God.  We must believe that our Father "worketh hitherto" - in us - and upon this basis of confidence in a living, active Lord, we walk the path He lays out before us.  We work from rest, the rest of faith in Christ, and the rest of renouncing trust in ourselves.  This is truth, this is peace, and this is the basis upon which we live lives of sincere desire and authentic expression of love for God and man.
"We are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh."
(Philippians 3:3)

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