Home > Bible Study, Hebrews, S. Lewis Johnson > The Sabbath Rest: S. Lewis Johnson on Hebrews 4

The Sabbath Rest: S. Lewis Johnson on Hebrews 4


From my study through the book of Hebrews with S. Lewis Johnson, I now look at chapter 4 and the idea of “rest.”

The Bible tells of three types of rest:

  • Salvation Rest
  • Sanctification Rest
  • The Sabbath rest  (Hebrews 4:1-13)

All Christians enter the salvation rest, that rest found in Jesus’ familiar words, “Come unto me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  We all come to that point of resting from our own works, our own effforts to earn God’s favor, and “rest” in faith in the finished work of Christ on Calvary.

Then as we continue in our walk, we experience the sanctification rest, the struggles of fighting against indwelling sin (Romans 7) and coming to rest in God’s grace and strength (Romans 8), the strength He gives us to get through our struggles.  A word from S. Lewis Johnson here:

That’s what life “in the holiest” really means, when the experiences of life come from a sovereign God who controls our circumstances, and in the midst of them we turn to the Lord and say, “Lord, you have brought this into my life.  Now, give me the strength to rely upon you in this experience?”  We call that the “present rest” of holiness, sanctification.  Holiness in the sense, not of sanctimoniousness, but holiness in the sense of separation to the Lord God.

Hebrews 4 talks about a third kind of rest:  the Sabbath rest.  It is a future rest, the hope of all that we look forward to:  the kingdom of God.  Here S. Lewis Johnson observes:

This is the rest that man is to enjoy forever.  It is the rest that we anticipate with the coming of the kingdom of God upon the earth.  That rest, that Sabbath rest, as we shall see, the kingdom of God upon the earth, when the promises of God have reached their fruition and God rules and reigns over all of this earth.  It may be called the Millennium, for the first thousand years of it form a millennium, but it is a kingdom that extends, also, into the indefinite future, the eternal future.

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