A Short Study of Hebrews 4:9
“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.”
There remaineth yet a Sabbath to the people of God; but this Sabbath is spiritual, known and enjoyed only by those who live in and after the Spirit. A Sabbath signifies a rest, and believers in Christ enter into this rest; the rest of the Jewish Sabbath, and of all the Jewish Sabbaths of the land of Canaan, &c., were typical, and presented us with the spiritual rest of the Gospel; therefore the Apostle, after he had mentioned both the rest of the Sabbath, and the land of Canaan, he concludes, “there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9); and, “we which have believed do enter into rest.” (Hebrews 4:3)
As God finished His work in six days, and rested the seventh, and so ceased from His work; namely, of creation; so when a soul comes to believe, he enters into spiritual rest, and so keepeth Sabbath with the LORD, resting from His own work, and this is the Christian’s Sabbath and Holy Days, a day of delight and spiritual solace to the soul, who lives in it; a day of spiritual liberty, and not of bondage; a day in which the soul enjoys all good in the Fountain; this is that land of rest, even the land of Canaan, that promised good land, “flowing with milk and honey,” a land of oil, olives and butter. Oh, this glorious, spiritual land; were it more known, it would be more sought after; this is the substance of all those types in the Old Testament; this is Israel’s land in the Spirit; this is that land God hath promised to gather His people into, in these latter (gospel) days, and David their King shall reign over them, and be their Prince forever. My dear brethren, did your souls but see into the glorious rest of this spiritual Sabbath, into the riches of this glorious land, the abundance of all spiritual delights, and soul satisfying excellencies, the high honour of the inhabitants of this Kingdom, all kings and priests in the Spirit to the LORD, and shall reign forever; oh, you could not be so taken up in, and possessed with the glories of any external excellency, or thing without you; it would make you trample under feet all fleshly honours and dignities, all resting in anything short of this rest in Christ; in a word, it would make you slight the delights and glories of any kingdom, of any Canaan short of spiritual Canaan, this land of spiritual rest, and soul satisfying delight; if you saw Jesus Christ to be the substance, the body of those shadows, from your being gathered up into, and so living in this substance, this body, it would soon end all controversies in your spirits about things below and short of this heavenly rest.
T. Collier – 1651