Hebrews 4:1-16 NIV
A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God
1Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.2For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.a 3Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“So I declared on oath in My anger,
‘They shall never enter My rest.’ ”b
And yet His works have been finished since the creation of the world. 4For somewhere He has spoken about the seventh day in these words:
“On the seventh day God rested from all His works.”c
5And again in the passage above He says,
“They shall never enter my rest.”
6Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, 7God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This He did when a long time later He spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:
“Today, if you hear His voice,
do not harden your hearts.”d
8For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,e just as God did from His. 11Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
12 For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the Eyes of Him to Whom we must give account.
Jesus the Great High Priest
14 Therefore, since we have a Great High Priest Who has ascended into heaven,f Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have One Who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin. 16Let us then approach God’s Throne of Grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
From the punishment inflicted on the unbelieving Hebrews, who died in the wilderness, and entered not into the land of rest made mention of in the preceding chapter, the apostle proceeds to caution the present Hebrews of his time, and who professed faith in Christ, lest seeing there was a rest, and a promise of entering into it, they should seem to come short of it, Hebrews 4:1, and the rather, since they that fell in the wilderness had the Gospel preached to them as well as they; and the reason why it did not profit was, because it was not received by faith, Hebrews 4:2 as also seeing it is by faith that believers now enter into rest, Hebrews 4:3 which rest is not the rest of the seventh day, on which God rested; nor, the rest of the land of Canaan, which Joshua led the Israelites into; for if he had entered them into the rest the apostle means, David, so many hundred years after him, would not have made mention of another rest, Hebrews 4:4wherefore it follows that there is another rest for the people of God, which he that enters into ceases from his own works, as God did from His, Hebrews 4:9 and this is the rest that everyone that professes faith in Christ, should be concerned and diligent to enter into, lest he should fall short of it through unbelief; as the unbelieving Israelites did of their rest, Hebrews 4:11 and the arguments engaging to such a concern are taken from the properties and perfections of Christ, the essential Word of God; particularly from His omnipotence and His omniscience, Hebrews 4:12. And seeing He is by nature the Son of God, and by office a Great High Priest that is entered into heaven for His people, the encouragement is great to hold fast the profession of faith in Him they have made, Hebrews 4:14 and the rather since He is a sympathizing high priest, since He has been tempted, afflicted, and has suffered every way as His people, and is in all respects like them, excepting that He has no sin, Hebrews 4:15 and this consideration should engage believers to come to the Throne of Grace with all boldness, and in expectation of having grace and mercy bestowed on them for the supply of their daily needs, Hebrews 4:16.