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Waggoner on Romans

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    Chapter 16

    Our Rest

    September 10, 1896

    Our Rest. -“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” Hebrews 4:9.WOR 221.1

    The Lord’s Rest. -This rest, as we learn from the connection, is the Lord’s rest. The promise is left us of entering into his rest. Verse 1.WOR 221.2

    Present Rest. -That rest is not something to which we are to look forward, but it is to be enjoyed in the present. It is a rest that “remaineth.” It has existed since the days of old, and has not been withdrawn.WOR 221.3

    Resting Now. -Evidence of the truth of this is found in the fact that the rest that remains is the Lord’s rest. The Lord is not looking forward to a time when he can rest, but is resting now. He calls us to share his rest with him, saying, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.WOR 221.4

    From the Beginning. -Since what time has this rest been ready for man? The answer is: “The works were finished from the foundation of the world.” Hebrews 4:3. A finished work means rest; and so we read in the next verse that “God did rest the seventh day from all his works.” The Sabbath day-God’s rest-is the sign or seal of creation complete and perfect. “God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31. And then he rested from his work. From that time-from the close of the sixth day-God’s rest has been ready for man.WOR 221.5

    Edenic Rest. -And at that time man-the new man whom God had created-entered upon that rest. “The Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” Genesis 2:15. “Eden” means “pleasure” or “delight.” A very literal rendering of the Hebrew would be that the Lord took the man and “caused him to rest in the garden of delight.” Work was given him, but it was work without weariness.WOR 221.6

    The Rest Lost. -But the man did not continue in that rest. He disobeyed the word of God, and thus lost the rest that was in it. God said, “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground.”WOR 221.7

    The Seal of the Rest. -Nevertheless God’s rest remained. The Sabbath-the perfect rest of the new earth-still was left to man as an evidence that God had not cast him away and as a pledge of the rest in the earth again made new. This perfect Sabbath rest, the seal of a new creation, is found in Christ. In him were all things created.” Colossians 1:16. R. V. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. Since man lost his rest only by sin, he recovers it only by the righteousness of God in Christ.WOR 222.1

    Rest in Labor. -God’s rest, however, does not mean long idleness. Altho God entered into his rest at the creation, Jesus said, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” John 5:17. He works by means of his word, on the strength of which he rested. If that word works in us, we also shall find rest from labor. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” Ephesians 2:10. Just as when God made man and set him to work, yet gave him rest, so when he makes the man new, he makes him new in order that he may work, yet it is restful work.WOR 222.2

    Rest in Christ. -And that is what the Saviour’s call teaches us. When he invites the weary to come to him for rest, he immediately adds, “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me.” Working yoked up with him, we work with him, and he works in us. His works were all done by the word of God. If we, like him give heed to every word of God, we shall do the works, and find the rest. Who will accept his gracious invitation? WOR 222.3

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