What did the book of Hebrews mean in 4:11:

Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest...KJV


1 Answer 1


Scripture links rest to Sabbath. The term Sabbath is linked to the giving of the Law. Before then, it was a blessed and sanctified day as God rested from His work (Gen 2:2-3) but there was no requirement yet laid on mankind to rest.

The Sabbath given to God's people from the giving of the Law to Christ's death was a rest on the 7th day, namely Friday evening through to Saturday evening. This was a "shadow" or "type", a taste if you will of the real rest in the heavenly. But until Christ said "it is finished" the Father was still working. “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” John 5:17

When Christ completed His work He fulfilled the requirements of the Law including that of the Sabbath. The believer then who trusts in Him has a Sabbath rest available at all times; "For we who have believed enter that rest" Hebrews 4:3. Believers are seated with Him in heavenly places. God has ceased from His work of salvation. "For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His." Hebrews 4:10

The greek word used is spoudázō which means to make haste, to give diligence. It is rendered "labour", "diligence", "give effort", etc in English translations. We can accept either diligence or labour as both imply effort.

Our example of entering rest is that of Joshua and Israel entering their Canaan rest, another type and shadow. As they did, so we will come up against the enemy within and the enemy without. For Joshua this represented the inhabitants of the land: Canaanites, Amorites, etc and foreign attackers such as Midian, Edom, Moab, Aram, etc. For us this means the old man, sinful actions, habits, strongholds, etc. as well as our adversary the devil.

Our labour is to put to death the old man and send the enemy to flight through seeking God, taking up our cross, renewing our mind with the word of God, following Christ, being led by the Holy Spirit, spiritual warfare, etc. These exercises are how we are diligent, earnest or labour.

By so labouring we then enter into our rest. Every day we should come into our Father's presence in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord. This pattern is according to the heavenly as God is at rest having completed His work. It is therefore no longer just one day in the week. For that is the pattern of the old. Jesus' new Sabbath is a permanent rest where we are to walk in the fullness of Christ all the time.

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