Work At Not Working

Hebrews 4:9-11 KJV

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.


One could view this passage as a kind of play on words. We are to “work at not working.”


This entire chapter is taken up with the doctrine of a spiritual rest that be longs to those who believe. This rest was rejected by the first people to hear it, those Jews in the wilderness, – carrying forth to those Jews who, looking the rest of God in the face in the person of Jesus Christ, crucified him rather than give up their religious traditions. It was once again offered to Gentiles of whom the Bible says, they would hear.


Apostle Paul writes to those believers here and warns them of “seeming to come short of it”. It is not that they could come short, for a believer can never come short of salvation, but that they might seem to come short of it by not enjoying the fullness of rest in Christ.


John Gill writes, “….is here meant, that rest which believers now enter into, and is at this present time for them, and though true believers are entered into it, yet their rest, peace, and joy in Christ, is not full; they enter by degrees into it, and by believing enjoy more of it: and this is to be laboured for by prayer, hearing the word, and attendance on ordinances…”


It would serve us well to see also that the remainder of Hebrews four offers at least four helps for entering into this full rest:

The Word of God

Which is able to cut deeply into our hearts and souls to remove unbelief and replace it with faith.

The watchful eye of God

Who sees our faith as well as our lack thereof. He knows we believe, if we are believers. He also knows we do not yet believe perfectly.

Our High Priest, Christ

Whose function it is, to minister towards our weakness. He serves as our advocate whenever we miss the mark of faith. When the weakness of our faith becomes apparent it is then that we best hold tightly to our profession of faith in Christ. He is the overcomer of our unbelief.

The throne of grace

To which we are invited to come boldly. When we lack faith, when our rest is less than full, when we struggle between our two natures of belief and unbelief, we are invited, urged even, to come without hesitation to the throne where we may obtain mercy cover our lack of faith and grace to help us strengthen our faith.


For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

Hebrews 4:9-11Rest with God

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Author: marvinmck

Marvin McKenzie was born in the Pacific Northwest and became a Christian at the age of eighteen. He has been in the Baptist ministry for thirty years and has planted and pastored churches in Washington and Oregon. Besides his pastoral ministry, Marvin has been actively involved in training men for the Baptist ministry. He has conducted local church Bible Institutes in those churches he has pastored, from which a number of men have entered the ministry. Marvin also served as: Vice President of the Western States Baptist Bible Fellowship, The Board of Directors of Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, CA, Dean of men at Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, Executive Vice President of Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, CA and Executive Vice President of Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City, OK. Marvin is married to Anita. They have two sons, Bohannan and Caleb. Both are Baptist pastors in Washington State. Marvin enjoys camping, fishing and horses.

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