The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe...
The writer of Hebrews calls born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to a fascinating aspect of fellowship with God.
"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it... For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it… For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His" (Hebrews 4:1-2; 10).
Our Lord ended His works after six days of making the physical creation because He was finished with the project (and also, Exodus 31:17 tells us, to be "refreshed," a fascinating subject we have addressed in the past, and will perhaps soon consider again). Hebrews calls us to join our Lord in ceasing from our own works because through the Lord Jesus Christ, God has yet again finished everything necessary for the new spiritual creation of the Blood-washed and Spirit-enlivened church.
"But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God, from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool. For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" (Hebrews 10:12-14).
The old creation began with God doing everything necessary to make and sustain the wondrous universe He purposed to exist. He then stopped working because no further actions were necessary. The new creation began when the Lord Jesus did everything necessary to save those who come to Him by faith, renouncing their own futile attempts to redeem or improve ourselves, and ceasing from their own works in lieu of trusting in His finished work of redemption. As the beloved old hymn sublimely sings, "Nothing in my hand I bring, only to Thy cross I cling!" Wondrously, we join our God in "His rest," affirming with Him that Christ has done all to secure salvation for those who come with empty hands and a receiving heart. "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).
As if such news were not already glorious enough, the New Testament also proclaims the works of the Christian to be the fruit of Christ's finished work on our behalf. "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which He hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). We therefore rest yet again regarding our Heavenly Father's will for this day and this lifetime in the light of His promised working in us. We trust Him to fulfill His promise of grace to work in us "both to will and do of His good pleasure." From this haven of rest, we then "work out" the salvation God has worked within us (Philippians 2:12-13). We view the Lord Jesus as does our Heavenly Father, that is, as "the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). Thereby we enter into God's rest of a Christ-completed work for His glory, our new birth, and the life we live from salvation rather than for it.
The ramifications of such truth are eternally and infinitely immense. Allow us to conclude our consideration, however, with reference to this day. If we have trusted the Lord Jesus for salvation, we can trust Him to empower the fruits of salvation in this, the only day we have to live for His glory. We can submit ourselves to God in confidence that a finished work will result in faithful works as we "rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh." Little wonder the writer of Hebrews who so beautifully inspires and informs this consideration refers to our Lord's redeeming work as "so great salvation" (Hebrews 2:3). It is, and this day offers opportunity to join our Father in His rest, which will result in a heart of peace, and in a life that bears "the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:11).
"Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."
"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen."
"Weekly Memory Verse
Sanctify them through Thy truth. Thy word is truth."