Sabbath Rest and Sabbath Day

The article addresses the question of Jesus as sabbath rest in contrast to the Sabbath Day. It deals with physical rest and spiritual rest.

Some say that Hebrews 4 teaches that the believer has entered the rest of Christ. Indeed it does that consistent with Matthew 11:28-30. Yet it does more than that in my view.

Hebrews 4 speaks of Jesus being our rest at some level but not all levels yet.

Hebrews 4:1, 6, 9-11 speak of entering the permanent rest of God one day in Heaven while in the meantime laboring (1 Cor 15:58; 2 Cor 5:9) in obedience and taking the sabbath day rest.

Note that in Hebrews 4:9 sabbatismo (Greek G4520) is translated rest whereas everywhere else in Hebrews 4 the word translated rest is the Greek word katapauo (G2664).

So for me Hebrews 4:9 at least partly in its use of sabbatismo is declaring that Christians are to yet keep the Sabbath day in spirit though not in letter (Col 2:16; 2 Cor 3:6; Romans 7:6) for we have not yet obtained (remaineth) full rest (spiritual, mental, physical, emotional, etc.) or rest on every level.

And the sabbath day has always been about rest for the human body by taking some time to focus on God in a special way and away from the ordinary thorns and thistles of life (Gen 3).

But for those who hold the view that Hebrews 4 does not exhort us to take a sabbath day I suggest to you it is still good to take a day of rest weekly and to ensure your household takes one and if you are an employer to give your employees one (Exodus 20:10).

Now let us consider Exodus 20:8-11 and Hebrews 3:7 thru Hebrews 4:16.

So I will offer some comments and invite comments to deepen my understanding of the relationship between those two books/chapters as it pertains to the principle of Sabbath.

The Sabbath has always been about rest from work. There is physical work and spiritual work.

Notice who God gives the command to in Exodus 20:8-11. He gives it to the boss, the one in charge, the head of the household or whatever entity one heads.

Exodus 20 is about physical rest not spiritual rest. It is about you not making yourself work all the time. It is about your employer not making you work all the time. So God says at least one day a week bossman give your people a day off to rest even if that bossman is yourself as being self-employed. Whatever day you need the Sabbath (day of rest) to be for you is your Sabbath as it is not about a calendar day. If employed, whatever day you work out with your employer is your Sabbath (day of rest). Six days of work then one day of rest says nothing about a specific calendar day.

That is why Christ says the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath. Just like salvation is a gift for the spirit man, the sabbath is a gift for the physical man.

Yes, the physical is a pointer to or type for the spiritual; but; the physical is not the spiritual. So then there is another kind of rest which is not physical but spiritual.

Hebrews 4 is about that spiritual rest. In my view now it is partial to be completed upon Christ return. It is partial in that in Christ we have a clear conscience (Hebrews 10:20-22) that when we fail as we seek and strive to obey the New Covenant commandments, in Christ we have redemption the forgiveness of sin according to the riches of his grace (Ephesians 1:7).

Yet, we still have to strive against sin (Hebrews 12:3-4) which certainly can be spiritually and physically burdensome at times.

So we have not completely entered into the rest of Christ; yet, Christ has rested from his suffering work on earth and is an example of what we can look forward to.

We still must work to continue in Christ words to be truly his disciples (John 8:31-32) working out our own salvation (Phil 2:12) with fear and trembling. For though we have the Holy Spirit within, the Holy Spirit will not make us do anything; we still must put forth some effort and be accountable to God. As James says faith without works is no faith at all. This means we work not to get saved; we work because we are saved (Matthew 5:16).

So yes Hebrews 3/4 is about Christ being our Sabbath (rest); yet, shucks we still need at least that one day off don’t we. Praise God for that God set standard (Exodus 20) of at least one day which hopefully we abide in except under emergency conditions of which Christ spoke. Shucks

in America why do you think Saturday and Sunday was once traditionally called the weekend; it is because work ended. But in modern times with the 24×7 oh well that concept is long gone it seems.

In fact in Hebrews we find:

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

Hebrews 4:9 is the only place in Hebrews 4 where the Greek word (G4552, sabbatismo) translated rest is related to the Sabbath; all other Greek words translated rest (e. g, G2663, katapausis) in Hebrews 4 is a word not related to the Sabbath.

Yes, it is still true that the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath!

So God says let no man judge you as to Sabbath day (Colossians 2:16). Christ nor Colossians 2:16 says the Sabbath is done away with under Christ but does demonstrate we are not to judge one another (Matthew 12:1-8; 2 Cor 3:6; Rom 7:6) so as to take away their liberty in Christ to do whatever is good and right for them to do according to the law of Christ. For Christ is the Lord not man and Christ is the Lord of the Sabbath not man.

The old law of Moses and the new law of Christ are shadows (Hebrew 10:1; Colossians 2:17).

With respect to the Sabbath, the old foreshadows restful liberty in Christ (Hebrews 4:3) and the new that new heaven and earth where every moment will be a moment of restful worship (Hebrews 4:9).

Again, for those who hold the view that Hebrews 4 does not exhort us to take a sabbath day I suggest to you it is still good to take a day of rest weekly and to ensure your household takes one and if you are an employer to give your employees one (Exodus 20:10).

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