Rev. James Preus, pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ottumwa, IA, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Hebrews 4:1-13.
The author of Hebrews continues to preach on Psalm 95 in this part of his sermon. He calls his congregation to a right fear of God, lest any fail to reach God’s promised rest. The rest that Joshua gave to Israel when they entered the Promised Land was incomplete. We enter into God’s rest only through faith in Christ. He is the one who speaks to us through the Word of God, which is a living, active, and sharp two-edged sword that brings us before the One to whom we must give account.
“The New Covenant in Christ” is a series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Hebrews. The book of Hebrews is best understood as a sermon preached to those who have gathered for the Divine Service, exhorting them to continued faithfulness to Jesus. As the Son of God and our Brother, Jesus is both our exalted King and faithful High Priest who is truly present with us so that we might fix our eyes on Him.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
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4 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.[a] 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,
“As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest,’”
although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this passage he said,
“They shall not enter my rest.”
6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God[b] would not have spoken of another day later on. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org