Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Free Grace Media

Of Princeton, New Jersey


AuthorClay Curtis
TitleGod's Holy Rest For Us
Bible TextExodus 31:12-17
Synopsis God sanctified his Son—chose him and set him apart and gave him to his people to be our rest through faith in him. Listen
Series Exodus 2016
Article Type Sermon Notes
PDF Format pdf
Word Format doc
Audio HI-FI Listen: God's Holy Rest For Us (32 kbps)
Audio CD Quality Listen: God's Holy Rest For Us (128 kbps)
Length 44 min.
Series: Exodus 
Title:  God’s Holy Rest for Us 
Text: Ex 31: 12-17 
Date: Aug 30, 2010 
Place: SGBC, NJ 
Before we begin I have a request.  In a classroom every student must use the same book by the same publisher.  If each uses a book by a different publisher then each have different words and they cannot follow along.  So if you do not have a King James Bible please use one in the pew so we are all using the same book with the same words. 
Exodus 31: 12: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 13: Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. 
Sinners come into this world under the heavy weight of bondage: under the curse of the law, under the weight of sin, in bondage to our sin nature, weighted by the traditions and commandments of men, burdened by the troubles of this world. 
Proposition: God sanctified his Son—chose hm and set him apart and gave him to his people to be our rest through faith in him. 
Christ Jesus is: God’s Holy Rest for Us 
Exodus 31: 12: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 13: Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. 
Notice this was God’s word to the children of Israel only—v13: Speak thou also unto the children of Israel.  This word was for none but the children of Israel.  It was not for Gentiles—heathen nations.  It was for the children of Israel only.  Israel is a type of God’s spiritual Israel the elect of God—made up of Jew and Gentiles chosen by God’s grace—the true children of Abraham.
Psalm 22:30: A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. 
1 Peter 2:9  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 
Some in political Israel were God’s elect but not all—God has elect among us Gentiles—but God’s Israel, spiritual Israel, are chosen children produced entirely by God according to his promise. 
Romans 9: 6: Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8: That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.  9: For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. 10: And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11: (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12: It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13: As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14: What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15: For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16: So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy 
At God’s appointed time, God regenerates his elect to life, gifts us with faith in Christ and makes us know we are children of God’s promise.  Speaking to believers, Paul said, 
Galatians 3:26: For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  27: For as many of you as have been baptized [unto] Christ have put on Christ. 28: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.29: And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. 
Galatians 4:28  Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 
God provided rest only for the nation Israel.  He provides Christ our Rest only for his chosen, spiritual Israel. 
Exodus 31: 13: Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. 
The purpose of the sabbaths were to be a sign to keep them remembering that God alone sanctified them.  Sabbath means rest—weekly it was Saturday and it never changed.  God gave them rest to be a sign—a distinguishing mark, a token, a pledge, a beacon, a reminder—for as long as they were a nation.  It was NOT TO MAKE THEM FOCUS ON THE DAY OR ON EACH OTHER.  It was to remind them the LORD had sanctified them. 
Their rest typified Christ our Rest.  God chose to make Israel a nation and set Israel apart for himself simply because he would—they remembered that as they rested.  God created his spiritual Israel—he sanctified his elect by choosing us in Christ before the world was made simply because he would—by his grace—resting in Christ by faith we are reminded of that. 
God sanctified Israel by sending his word through Moses—as they rested they remembered that.  God sanctifies his child through the gospel of Christ—as we rest in Christ we are reminded God sanctified us by sending us the gospel. 
God sanctified Israel by delivering them out of Egyptian bondage through the blood of the Passover lamb—they remembered that as they rested.  Resting in Christ God’s saints are reminded that God our Father delivered us out of bondage through the blood of Christ our Passover who redeemed us from the curse of the law.  He delivered us from the bondage of our sin-nature into his marvelous rest. 
God made with Israel a covenant of works that if they kept his law then he would fulfill all his promises to them—they remembered that as they rested.  Resting in Christ we remember that God has made with us a covenant of grace ordered in all things and sure and this is all our salvation—there remains no work for us to do—Christ did it all.  We are not under legal restraints or the scrutiny of legalists—we serve God from a willing heart trusting one another to God to build us up by the word of his grace—it is called walking in newness of spirit, not oldness of the letter. 
God gave Israel rest from all their works as a sign—to remind them God sanctified them.  As we rest in Christ from all our works we are reminded we are sanctified by God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit—the fulness of the Godhead is the person of his Son, Christ Jesus—he cried, “It is finished!” 

Exodus 31: It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. 
The reason God gave them rest was because when God finished all his works, he rested—"for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.”   Resting in Christ we remember that Christ is resting.  When he finished all his works of redemption, he rested from all his works. 
Hebrews 1: 3…when he had by himself purged out sins HE SAT DOWN on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 
Under old covenant law, the high priest never sat down in the holiest of holies because the blood of lambs never put away sin 
Hebrews 10: 11: And every priest STANDETH DAILY ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, SAT DOWN on the right hand of God; 13: From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14: For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
So God gave a day of rest to point them to Christ because when God has finished all his works he rests. 
Legalists use Hebrews 3 & 4 in attempt to prove we are still to observe a sabbath day.  But the writer is turning them from legal sabbaths to Christ our Rest.  That is the whole purpose of the letter to the Hebrews.  He is teaching them to continue in works of the law is unbelief.  We enter into rest by believing on Christ. 
Hebrews 3: 6: But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. 7: Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8: Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:… 
God used Canaan as a type of Christ our Rest and reminds them they cannot enter Christ except by faith in him, resting from all our works.  He points back to the unbelief of the children of Israel in the wilderness when they did not believe God and enter Canaan. 
Hebrews 3: 18: And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19: So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. 
Hebrews 4: 1: Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, [Christ is God’s Rest] any of you should seem to come short of it. 2: For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3: For we which have believed do enter into rest,… 
The law is not of faith.” (Gal 3: 12).   We cannot enter into Christ our Rest, except by believing on him.  But to insist it is necessary to keep a day or to make any other work a necessity for righteousness or holiness is unbelief because the law is not of faith.  If we bring ourselves or others under law then we are not entering into Christ our Rest because of unbelief.  He uses David and Joshua to declare those were types of Christ our Rest but they did not give anyone true rest.  He is teaching them to stop observing those former types of rest—true rest is Christ.  He is our Sabbath.  He is the rest that remains to the people of God—to his elect alone through faith alone. 
Hebrews 4: 9: There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10: For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 
When Christ finished the works he entered his rest and ceased from his works like God did in creation; when a believer enters into Christ’ our Rest we cease from our works. 
Hebrews 4:  11: Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. 
This is humor.  He says for you who keep wanting to work, for you who make a work out of rest, then labor to enter into Christ’s Rest by faith.  If we enter not into Christ our Rest but insist on observing a day, we fall after the same example of unbelief.  That tells us he cannot be speaking of a day because the law is not of faith.  He is talking about not observing a day because to do so is to fall in unbelief rather than believing Christ is our true Rest.  So he says, 
Hebrews 4: 14: Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God—[who is resting because his works are finished]—let us hold fast our profession. 
Holding fast our profession is resting in Christ by faith rather than going back to the law and to days in unbelief.  He goes on speaking of Christ then shows he was speaking of turning from works of law in unbelief to rest in Christ by faith. 
Hebrews 6: 1: Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS, AND OF FAITH TOWARD GOD… 
Unbelief and hardened hearts always use scripture for the opposite purpose for which it was given.  It is ironic that men make a work out of resting when the sabbaths were given to typify rest in Christ through faith and the law is not of faith.  If we rest in Christ by faith we cease from our works as Christ has ceased from his.  we serve in newness of spirit, not the oldness of the letter.  We are constrained by love which gives us a willing heart to honor Christ while we mourn our sin.  We are not made obedient, restored, or helped in any way by a legal mercenary spirit using the letter of the law—that is not faith or love. 
Exodus 31: 14: Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you:…15:…holy to the LORD. 
God declared the rest he set apart for them was holy to them.  And God declared his rest was holy to the LORD.  That rest was set apart by God for them: they were to show their regard for God’s gift by resting and doing no works. 
Christ is the believers Rest that God has set apart especially for his people.  Christ is Holy to his people and Christ is Holy to God.  
Religious folks say the law is holy and that is why they insist believers are yet under the law.  Well, the law is holy.  Every true sanctified child of God knows the law is holy.  Therefore, we do not tell sinners they can keep the law.   We do not bring the law down to men’s level to give them the impression they can actually keep it.  The law is holy—it is separate from us, too holy for us to keep.  Therefore, if we regard the law as holy we will declare that Christ alone has fulfilled the law.  And Christ did it for his people so that we are no longer under the law but under grace.  We are under Christ’s rule in our hearts.  Christ directs us and guides us and constrains us by love, not law. 
Therefore, believers regard Christ as God the Father’s gift of rest to us.  The way we manifest   it is by resting in Christ by faith, doing no works for righteousness or holiness or to add anything to Christ’s work—not making anything but Christ a necessity for salvation.  When scripture says, Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth” it includes everything we need for acceptance with God.  Christ is made unto us Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification and Redemption.  Thereby we cease glorifying in our works and we glorify God for separating Christ and giving Christ alone to be our rest.  The only way we show this is by continuing believing on Christ resting in his finished work for us 
Colossians 2: 8: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11  In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13: And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14: Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 16: Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. 18: Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19  And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20  Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, [if you truly regard Christ as God’s holy rest from all those laws then] why, as though living in the world [as though your life is in your works], are ye subject to ordinances, 21  (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22  Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 
Colossians 3: 4: If ye then be risen with Christ,… 
If you really believe Christ is our Rest, that you arose and sat down and ceased from all your works in him then 
Colossians 5: 4…seek those things which are above, where Christ SITTETH on the right hand of God. 2: Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3: For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 
Those who require works of the law or sabbath day observance only show that they think their life is in those things; Christ is not their life.  Christ is not holy to them. Paul said Christ is only the end of the law for righteousness to them that believe.  Those that insist works are essential, necessary, do not regard Christ as our Holy Rest provided by God. 
Exodus 31: 14…every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15: Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 
God declared that if they worked they would be put to death.  Men and women who insist Sunday is the new sabbath do not keep a Sunday sabbath.  They break the true sabbath because it was Saturday.  But they do not even keep a sabbath on Sunday.  In order to do so they must kill anybody who breaks it in order to honor it.  The law must be honored in obedience and in justice upon those who disobey.  That is why Christ died on the cross.  He satisfied justice toward his people who had broken the sabbath, along with every other law.  Doing so, he fulfilled the active obedience of the law loving God his Father and his people as himself.  Therefore, any who claim to rest in Christ yet require works are necessary declare Christ is not All.  They shall surely die. 
Hear Christ, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”  Rest in Christ is knowing we are complete in him.  In Christ believers are righteous—it means we have kept the whole law of God and have no sin, no condemnation.  In Christ believers are holy—it means we are perfect and pure in Christ. 
God has not called us to fear.  Those who whip and terrify create a superficial, outward obedience by fear.  God has called us to be sons and daughters.  Instead of fearing, we cry, Abba, Father when we need help.  That is why the Hebrew writer went from declaring Christ our Rest to saying come to him to his throne of grace and find help in time of need.  God’s people who rest in Christ are not afraid and do not make each other have a legal fear because God never makes us afraid with a legal fear.  We come to Christ and he gives us grace to help in time of need.  Would you find true rest?
Proverbs 16:3: Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
Then God gives rest to his child who is complete in Christ, saying, 
Ecclesiastes 9:7  Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.