Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 14, 2022

“For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.” – “But God, … seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”

Today’s devotion comes from Exodus 35:1-3.

“Then Moses assembled all the congregation of the sons of Israel, and said to them, “These are the things that the LORD has commanded you to do:

2 “For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy day, a sabbath of complete rest to the LORD;  whoever does any work on it shall be put to death.  3 You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the sabbath day.”  Exodus 35:1-3.


This particular Scripture on the Sabbath shocks us with the punishment for violation in verse 2 and the extent of what was needed for obedience in verse 3.


The punishment of death leads us to consider that if we do not rest in the work of God for our salvation then we will experience spiritual death.

“Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.  For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also;  but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.   …

For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.  Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.”  Hebrews 4:1-2 and 10-11. 

The extent of what was needed for obedience, namely that not even the “kindling” of a fire in our dwelling on the Sabbath was allowed, leads us to consider that if we trust as little as our will to be saved, or, to use the language of today’s Scripture, if we think that we get some credit for our salvation, by “kindling” our faith by our will, then we do not rest in the work of God for our salvation.

“For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.”  So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.  …  So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.”  Romans 9:15-16 and 18.

The saved are only those “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”  John 1:13.

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;  but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.”  1 Corinthians 1:26-29. 

But, that is unfair!  That is not the god I worship!!“:  many think.  They reject God’s sovereignty over salvation.

“Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!” Psalm 2:3.

But, what is God’s response?

“4 He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
5 Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.’” Psalm 2:4-9.

“The LORD has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.” Psalm 103:19.

But, there is hope!

Reformed Doctrine accurately summarizes Scripture and teaches that salvation is a work of God alone, by grace alone, and that God handles all the points of salvation from beginning to end:  from the beginning of “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” to the end of “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  This true doctrine of salvation is more fully taught in the Reformed Confession called Canons of Dordt.

In a nutshell, we rest in God’s sovereignty and God’s work for our salvation.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:4-9.

Since God “seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus“, we have “entered His rest” in the language of Hebrews 4:10 above.

“But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”  Luke 19:27.


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