"Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of
God, let us hold fast our profession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one who was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without
sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Heb 4:14-16
God promises that those who put their faith in Him will enter into His rest. He is not speaking of eternal rest in this case, but more in the sense of resting in His arms, like a baby resting
peacefully, secure in it's mother's arms. With faith, that is how we can enter into God's rest.
It does take faith,however. We read of the children of Israel who were unable to enter God's
rest, because of the hardness of their hearts and their unbelief. What is unbelief, but the opposite of faith. And we know that the Bible says, "But without faith it is impossible to please
God: for all that come to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Heb. 11:6)
So, we must have faith in the Sovereign Almighty God. We must believe that He is who He says He is; we must believe that He will in truth reward those who earnestly seek Him. Then,
there are two things we are specifically told to do, in order to enter fully into His rest.
First, we must "hold fast our profession". (vs. 14) What profession? What does it mean to "hold
fast our profession"? This can be very confusing to many people.
The word "profession" in the original text is "homologia" a Greek word meaning, "to acknowledge".
It is closely akin to the Greek word "homologeo". Either of these words can also be translated as either "profession" or "confession". They both come from the same two root words: "homou",
meaning at the same place, (or in agreement), and "logos", meaning thoughts and reasoning, or logic. Thus, to hold fast our profession (or confession) means to be in agreement with God, in
our thoughts, reasoning, logic, words, and deeds.
A profession, or a confession, simply means to acknowledge, in agreement with the pure and Holy
God, "Yes, I am a sinner. My ways are wrong, and lead to many unnecessary problems now, as well as eternal death and damnation. Your ways are right, and lead to abundant life now and eternal
life, through Jesus Christ." A profession or (confession) of faith simply means that we agree with God about our own sinfulness and His righteousness.
We see the same root words in I John 1:9: "homologeo", this time translated as "confess": "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness." Once again, it simply means to be in agreement with God. Not making excuses for our sins, or rationalizing them as not really being sins, or being just "little sins", but
being in total agreement with God. If we do this, the Bible promises us: That if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)
There is a subtle difference between the two words, however, and it is important to understand
this difference.In our language today, the prefixes "pro" and "con" indicates opposites; "pro" means for, while "con" means against. The subtle difference between "profession" and "confession"
is this: We can go around "professing" God, acknowledging that He is the Almighty, Sovereign God, without ever "confessing" our sinfulness. In other words, we can be "for" God, yet still not be
"against" our own sin.
And yet the Bible is clear that it is by "confession" that we are saved. It is not enough to merely believe in God. The Bible says that even the demons believe in God. (see James 2:19) No,
we must believe, and confess, or agree with God about our sinfulness. This action leads to true repentance and salvation. We must be both "for" God, and "against" our own sin.
The second thing we are told to do in order to enter into God's rest is to "come boldly before the throne of grace." Like a good reporter, we need to ask some basic questions: who, what, when,
where, how, and why?
1. Who? Every person who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ. Many people struggle with this
concept. They think, "Oh, I'm not worthy to come before the throne of grace." News flash: No one is worthy! Not one of us is righteous enough to come
before the throne OF GRACE! But don't you see, that's where the grace comes in! It is by God's grace that we are made righteous, through Jesus Christ. It is only by His grace that we are worthy.
In fact, we often use the acronym:
That's what grace is. And it's ours, if we have placed our faith and trust in Christ Jesus!
2. What? "Come". This is an action word; it requires action on our part. We aren't going to enter into God's rest without doing something to ensure that we get there. Faith doesn't
just fall on us, we have to activate it.
3. When? In time of need. Any time, any need. Whenever the cares and worries of this life start to burden your mind, come boldly before the throne of grace to enter into God's rest. We have a choice:
we can struggle daily with all of life's problems and aggravations, or we can take God at His word, and enter into His rest. It's pretty much a no-brainer, isn't it?
4. Where? To the throne of grace. God's grace. We have an advocate there who is always interceeding in our behalf. I John 2:1 assures us of that. In fact, it assures us that He is there, interceeding
5. How? Boldly. Not fearful and unsure of our welcome, but boldly, with the assurance that we are His precious, greatly beloved children. Hebrews 2:11 tells us: "For both He that
sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one, and for this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers." Boldness is not arrogance, it is total trust. Boldness
believes that God is who He says He is, and that He will do what He says He'll do.
6. Why? To obtain mercy. God's marvelous, matchless mercy! Mercy is forgiveness and forgeting of
our sin; mercy is not getting what our sins actually deserve. Mercy is receiving God's grace instead of His wrath. And along with mercy, He gives us grace. Grace is God giving us what we so
desperately need, instead of what we deserve.
Two things we are told to do, to enter fully into God's rest. When we do these two things, no
cirumstance in life can get the best of us. The problem ahead of us is never greater than the Power behind us! No difficulty we will ever face is greater than God's love, grace and mercy. Let us hold fast our profession. Let us come boldly unto the
throne of grace. If we do our part, God is always faithful and just to do His part! We have His Word on it!