This Mystery

reflections on theology and life

Tag: ECF

Entering God’s rest

My ser­mon from Sun­day, Feb­ru­ary 12, “Enter­ing God’s Rest,” from is posted at the Evan­gel­i­cal Church of Fair­port web­site. It was deliv­ered on the occa­sion of see­ing our preaching/teaching pas­tor, Reid Fer­gu­son, off on his sab­bat­i­cal. Dur­ing his absence, I will share preach­ing duties with my fel­low elders and will serve as the church’s interim pas­tor on site dur­ing the week.

Enter­ing God’s Rest: lis­ten here

There­fore, as the Holy Spirit says,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebel­lion,
on the day of test­ing in the wilder­ness,
where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
10 There­fore I was pro­voked with that gen­er­a­tion,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’
11 As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

12 Take care, broth­ers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbe­liev­ing heart, lead­ing you to fall away from the liv­ing God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hard­ened by the deceit­ful­ness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our orig­i­nal con­fi­dence firm to the end. 15 As it is said,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he pro­voked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bod­ies fell in the wilder­ness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were dis­obe­di­ent? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

4:1 There­fore, while the promise of enter­ing his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the mes­sage they heard did not ben­e­fit them, because they were not united by faith with those who lis­tened. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,

“As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest,’”

although his works were fin­ished from the foun­da­tion of the world. For he has some­where spo­ken of the sev­enth day in this way: “And God rested on the sev­enth day from all his works.” And again in this pas­sage he said,

“They shall not enter my rest.”

Since there­fore it remains for some to enter it, and those who for­merly received the good news failed to enter because of dis­obe­di­ence, again he appoints a cer­tain day, “Today,” say­ing through David so long after­ward, in the words already quoted,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spo­ken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sab­bath rest for the peo­ple of God, 10 for who­ever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

11 Let us there­fore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of dis­obe­di­ence. (ESV)

Porterbrook ROC brings Porterbrook Network to Rochester, N.Y.

We’re very excited at Evan­gel­i­cal Church of Fair­port to be the 11th Learn­ing Site in the U.S. for the Porter­brook Net­work.

Our first fall term begins Oct. 3.

Update: we’re post­pon­ing the launch until Jan­u­ary 2 so that we can get the largest pos­si­ble participation.

More about the Porter­brook Net­work may be found on our local site’s web­site,

Porter­brook Net­work is a two-year church-based the­o­log­i­cal train­ing pro­gram with a sup­ported self-study struc­ture with oth­ers who are train­ing in a sim­i­lar field, church or geo­graphic affiliation.

Steve Tim­mis and Tim Chester, co-authors of Total Church and founders of The Crowded House, cre­ated The Porter­brook Net­work in the U.K. in 2006 in response to a con­vic­tion for churches to become more Gospel-Centered and for new Gospel-Centered churches to be planted.

The vision of Porter­brook is to equip indi­vid­u­als and churches to redis­cover mis­sion as their DNA, to become bet­ter lovers of God and lovers of oth­ers, and to pro­claim the Gospel through word and action for the Glory of God. Porter­brook is being used in the U.K., U.S., Canada, Italy, Ukraine, India, South Africa, and Aus­tralia, and Porter­brook Learn­ing mate­r­ial is cur­rently being trans­lated into Chi­nese, Russ­ian, and Italian.

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