Hebrews 4 Study Notes


4:1-16 The author now drew the readers into examining their own personal faith as the Word of God shines its penetrating light upon the heart. Faithfulness begins with a proper internal disposition. The living and effective Word of God probes into the deepest part of a person like a surgeon’s knife to discern his innermost thoughts and intentions. God’s Word reveals to him both his ingrained wickedness and the saving way of faith. At that critical point, when the divine judge reveals himself through his Word, the hearer must make every effort to enter the divine rest by believing.

If the result of unbelief and disobedience to God is exclusion from divine rest, then the result of true faith and faithfulness to God is entrance into everlasting divine rest. Such a rest was not available through the ministry of Joshua in the OT since it was reserved for the ministry of the NT “Joshua.” The name Jesus is a Greek derivative of the Hebrew name Joshua, which means “the Lord is salvation.” The ministry of Joshua did not bring people Sabbath rest. Only through the superior ministry of Jesus the Son of God may a person enter divine rest. Only through the great high priest, who has come from heaven and identified with human beings in their weakness, may we approach the throne of grace with boldness.