Journal – January 2, 2022
2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: so, I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest, although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: And God rested on the Seventh day from all His works. 5 And again in this place: they shall not enter My rest. 6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience.
THE PROMISE OF REST (PART 2)
Vs. 2 The gospel was preached unto them in the wilderness; the promise made to Abraham did contain the substance of the gospel. All the typical institutions of the law had no other end but to instruct the people in the meaning, nature, and manner of the accomplishment of the promise. With the spiritual part of the promise made to Abraham, there was annexed to it a promise of the land of Cannan, the fulfillment of which was to be a pledge of the love, power and faithfulness of God, in accomplishing the spiritual and invisible part of the promise, that is the gospel, in sending and the blessed Seed to save and deliver from sin and death, and to give rest to the souls of them that do believe. Observe:
- It is a signal privilege. To have the gospel preached unto us—to be evangelized.
- Barely to be evangelized—to have the gospel preached—is a privilege of dubious issue and event. If herein we fail, that which should have been for our good will be for our snare.
- The gospel is no new doctrine, no new law; it was preached to the people of old. In the preaching of the gospel by the Lord Jesus Himself and His apostles, it was new in respect of the manner of the administration with sundry circumstances of light, evidence, and power, with which it was accompanied; but as to the substance of it, the gospel is that which was from the beginning (1 John 1:1).
The promise of Christ was given from the foundation of the world. The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head; this is the sum and substance of the gospel. From all which it appears, this from first to last, the gospel is and ever was the only way of coming to God, and to think of it any under way or means for that end is both highly vain and exceedingly derogatory to the glory of God’s wisdom, faithfulness, and holiness.
But the word that they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those that heard it. The KJV was translated the word preached which is the word of hearing, which is the word so managed by God that we may hear it, otherwise there would be no advantage to it. But the word heard that did not profit them was the promise of entering into the rest of God, the land of Cannan, they did not enter in. It was so far from benefiting them that it became their ruin. It is as if the Apostle had said, consider what happened to them, how they died in the wilderness under the indignation of God, and such will be end of all that shall neglect the word in like manner
The cause of their ruin was that the word was not mixed with faith in them that heard it. The total meaning of these words is that spiritual truths, to be savingly believed must be united with that faith which receives them so that they become incorporated into the principles of that new nature by which we live unto God. Observe:
- God has graciously ordered that the word of this gospel shall be preached to men, where on depends their welfare or ruin; this is the constant testimony of the Scriptures.
- The sole cause of the gospel being ineffectual unto salvation in and towards them to whom it is preached is in themselves and in their own unbelief. This the Apostle expressly asserts. The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith. God has not appointed to save men whether they will or will not believe in the promise. If men believe not, it is no wonder, they perish in their sins.
- The great mystery of useful and profitable believing consists in the mixing or incorporating of faith and truth in the words or minds of believers.
The promise of the gospel is peculiar, divine, supernatural; therefore, for the receiving it God requires in us, and bestows upon us a peculiar, divine, supernatural habit by which or minds may be enabled to receive it. This is faith –not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, not absolutely and physically, but morally and in respect of use. It brings the things into, makes them present with, and gives a substance as to their use, efficacy, and comfort in the soul. For instance, the death of Christ, or Christ crucified, is proposed unto our faith in the gospel. The genuine, proper effect hereof is to destroy and crucify sin in us.
By faith we receive the ingrafted word, and the effect of receiving that word is to cast out the filth and superfluity of evil within us, and to cast us into the mold, type, and image of the word. Hence the word of Christ is said to dwell within us. Without the inhabitation of the word, it may have various effects upon us, but it comes to no abiding; it comes and departs like lightning, which rather amazes than guides. Constant fixing the mind by spiritual meditation on its proper object—the word of God—will be a principal means whereby mixes it with itself. This faith sets love at work upon the objects proposed to be believed. There is in the gospel and its promises and its promises not only the truth to be considered, but also the goodness, excellency, desirableness of the things themselves which are comprised therein.
Vs. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: so, I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest, although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
For we who have believed do enter that rest, the promised rest. This rest is principally that spiritual rest of God which believers obtain an entrance into by Jesus Christ, in the faith and the worship of the gospel, as has already been shown. It is by faith we have an actual personal interest in this rest, with all the privileges attended there to, but it is only an entrance into rest; look at what is past, what we are delivered and secured from, and it is a glorious rest. But look at what is to come, and it is but a passage into a more glorious rest. So, that we may say that the state of believers now under the gospel is a state of blessed rest, it is God’s rest and theirs. This rest consists of peace with God, satisfaction, and acquiescence with God, and means of communication with God. All these were lost by the entrance of sin; in the restoration of these, and that in a better and more secure way, does the gospel rest consist. This spiritual inward rest in and with God is not inconsistent with outward temporal trouble in the world. No outward thing, no possible opposition shall prevail to cast us out of that rest which we have obtained an entrance into or impede our future entrance into eternal rest with God.
As He has said: so, I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest For proving that those who believe under the gospel do enter into rest , from these words of the Psalmist, if they shall enter into My rest, it was incumbent on him to manifest that the rest intended in these words had respect unto the rest of the gospel, which were preached, and entered into by all that believed. He proceeds to consider the various rests that are on various accounts, in the Scriptures, called the rest of God, and he concludes that after all the other rests formerly enjoyed by the people of
God were past, there yet remained a rest for them under the Messiah, which was the rest principally intended by David’s prophetic words. This is the design of the ensuing discourse which he introduces somewhat abruptly.
Although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. In these words, the Apostle begins his answer unto such objections as his former assertion concerning the entrance of believers into God’s rest under the gospel, sems to be liable unto. And this he does by showing that God rested from all His works which were finished from the foundation of the world, and therefore, this cannot be the rest to which He refers as My rest in David’s Psalm and concerning which rest, He says, there remains a rest. That rest must be future.
Vs, 4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: And God rested on the Seventh day from all His works.
What is here set forth is that from the foundation of the world there was a work of God, and a rest following thereon, and an entrance proposed unto men into that rest, and a day of rest given as a pledge thereof, which yet is not the rest intended by the Psalmist, as we shall see as we proceed.
Vs. 5 And again in this place: they shall not enter My rest.
So, there there was another rest of God, besides that upon the creation of all, as is evident from this place, which he further confirms in the next verse.
Vs. 6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience.
Since therefore, it remains that some must enter it, the substance of this verse is that besides the rest of God from the foundation of the world, and the institution of the seventh day—Sabbath—as a pledge thereof there was another rest for men to enter into, namely the rest of God and His worship in the land of Cannan. This being proposed to the people of old, they entered not into it because of their unbelief.