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4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

4:4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.

4:5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.

4:6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: 4:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Hebrews
Book: Hebrews
Chapter: 4

Humble, cautious fear is urged, lest any should come short of
the promised Rest, through unbelief. (1-10) Arguments and
motives to Faith and Hope in our approaches to God. (11-16)

1-10 The privileges we have under the Gospel, are greater than
any had under the Law of Moses, though the same Gospel for
substance was preached under both Testaments. There have been in
all ages many unprofitable hearers; and unbelief is at the root
of all unfruitfulness under the Word. Faith in the hearer is the
Life of the Word. But it is a painful consequence of partial
neglect, and of a loose and wavering profession, that they often
cause men to seem to come short. Let us then give diligence,
that we may have a clear entrance into the Kingdom of God. As
God finished his work, and then rested from it, So he will cause
those who believe, to finish their work, and then to enjoy their
Rest. It is evident, that there is a more spiritual and
excellent Sabbath remaining for the people of God, than that of
the seventh Day, or that into which Joshua led the Jews. This
Rest is, a Rest of Grace, and comfort, and Holiness, in the
Gospel state. And a Rest in Glory, where the people of God shall
enjoy the End of their Faith, and the object of all their
desires. The Rest, or sabbatism, which is the subject of the
Apostle's reasoning, and as to which he concludes that it
remains to be enjoyed, is undoubtedly the heavenly Rest, which
remains to the people of God, and is opposed to a state of
labour and trouble in this world. It is the Rest they shall
obtain when the Lord Jesus shall appear from Heaven. But those
who do not believe, shall never enter into this spiritual Rest,
either of Grace here or Glory hereafter. God has always declared
Man's Rest to be in him, and his Love to be the only real
happiness of the soul; and Faith in his promises, through his
Son, to be the only way of entering that Rest.

11-16 Observe the End proposed: Rest spiritual and eternal; the
Rest of Grace here, and Glory hereafter; in Christ On Earth,
with Christ in Heaven. After due and diligent labour, sweet and
satisfying Rest shall follow; and labour now, will make that
Rest more pleasant when it comes. Let us labour, and quicken
each other to be diligent in duty. The Holy Scriptures are the
Word of God. When God sets it home By his Spirit, it convinces
powerfully, converts powerfully, and comforts powerfully. It
makes a soul that has long been proud, to be humble; and a
perverse Spirit, to be meek and obedient. Sinful habits, that
are become as it were natural to the soul, and rooted deeply in
it, are separated and cut off By this Sword. It will discover to
men their thoughts and purposes, the vileness of many, the bad
principles they are moved By, the sinful ends they act to. The
Word will show the sinner all that is in his Heart. Let us Hold
Fast the doctrines of Christian Faith in our heads, its
enlivening principles in our hearts, the open profession of it
in our lips, and be subject to it in our lives. Christ executed
one part of his priesthood On Earth, in dying for us; the other
he executes in Heaven, pleading the cause, and presenting the
offerings of his people. In the sight of Infinite Wisdom, it was
needful that the Saviour of men should be one who has the
fellow-feeling which No being but a fellow-Creature could
possibly have; and therefore it was necessary he should have actual
experience of all the effects of Sin that could be separated
from its actual guilt. God sent his own Son in the likeness of
sinful Flesh, Ro 8:3; but the more holy and pure he was, the
more he must have been unwilling in his nature to Sin, and must
have had deeper impression of its evil; consequently the more
must he be concerned to deliver his people from its guilt and
power. We should encourage ourselves By the excellence of our
High Priest, to come boldly to the Throne of Grace. Mercy and
Grace are the things we want; Mercy to Pardon all our sins, and
Grace to purify our souls. Besides our daily dependence upon God
for present supplies, there are Seasons for which we should
provide in our prayers; times of Temptation, either By adversity
or prosperity, and especially our dying time. We are to come
with reverence and godly fear, yet not as if dragged to the seat
of Justice, but as kindly invited to the Mercy-seat, where Grace
reigns. We have boldness to enter into the holiest only By the
Blood of Jesus; he is our Advocate, and has purchased all our
souls want or can desire.

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