Entering His Rest: Hebrews 3:19-4:3
“19) And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. 1) 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. 2) 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. 3) For we who have believed enter that rest, just 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.” Hebrews‬ ‭4:1-3‬
We now have clarification of the doctrine of justification by faith. It is not blind adherence to religion that brings salvation, it is personal faith in God. To be more specific, after the work of Jesus Christ and the giving of the gospel, it is saving faith in Jesus Christ that brings salvation. (Look at conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3:1-21)
What does it mean to enter His rest? It is the point at which we stop striving to earn our own salvation and place simple faith in the work of Jesus Christ as the basis of our salvation. This is the point when the new believer is born-again and filled with the Holy Spirit. He then begins to bear witness with our spirit that we are children of God. (See Romans 8:15-17) Those who are born-again through faith in Jesus Christ, not only have this inner witness of the Spirit, but they also have peace with God. (Romans 5:1)
Striving to gain acceptance with God by religious efforts, rituals and ceremonies comes to an end. Instead, inner saving faith in Jesus Christ ushers us into Sonship. An inner peace, blessed assurance or rest accompanies true salvation.
But according to Hebrews 4:1, we should fear that merely religious people miss the simplicity of the gospel. It is possible to be religious but lost. Much evangelism is needed within churches today just as Jesus was sent to the lost sheep among the Jewish people.
Keep in mind, it was the Jewish religious leaders that led the charge to crucify Jesus and persecute the early believers. They thought they were being faithful to their religious system, but in reality they were totally blind and disobedient to God.
The same has been true throughout human history. The same is true today. Satan works to blind people to the gospel. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) One of his primary strategies is using religion to intoxicate and blind people to the simplicity of the gospel.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global