God’s Promised Rest
4 Therefore we must be wary 1 that, while the promise of entering his rest remains open, none of you may seem to have come short of it. 2 For we had good news proclaimed to us just as they did. But the message they heard did them no good, since they did not join in 2 with those who heard it in faith. 3 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my anger, ‘They will never enter my rest!’” 4 And yet God’s works 5 were accomplished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has spoken somewhere about the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works,” 6 5 but to repeat the text cited earlier: 7 “They will never enter my rest!” 6 Therefore it remains for some to enter it, yet those to whom it was previously proclaimed did not enter because of disobedience. 7 So God 8 again ordains a certain day, “Today,” speaking through David 9 after so long a time, as in the words quoted before, 10 “O, that today you would listen as he speaks! 11 Do not harden your hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God 12 would not have spoken afterward about another day. 9 Consequently a Sabbath rest remains for the people of God. 10 For the one who enters God’s 13 rest has also rested from his works, just as God did from his own works. 11 Thus we must make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by following the same pattern of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from God, 14 but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.
Jesus Our Compassionate High Priest
14 Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help. 15
5 For every high priest is taken from among the people 1 and appointed 2 to represent them before God, 3 to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal compassionately with those who are ignorant and erring, since he also is subject to weakness, 3 and for this reason he is obligated to make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people. 4 And no one assumes this honor 4 on his own initiative, 5 but only when called to it by God, 6 as in fact Aaron was. 5 So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming high priest, but the one who glorified him was God, 7 who said to him, “You are my Son! Today I have fathered you,” 8 6 as also in another place God 9 says, “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” 10 7 During his earthly life 11 Christ 12 offered 13 both requests and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death and he was heard because of his devotion. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through the things he suffered. 14 9 And by being perfected in this way, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 and he was designated 15 by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek. 16
The Need to Move on to Maturity
11 On this topic we have much to say 17 and it is difficult to explain, since you have become sluggish 18 in hearing. 12 For though you should in fact be teachers by this time, 19 you need someone to teach you the beginning elements of God’s utterances. 20 You have gone back to needing 21 milk, not 22 solid food. 13 For everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced in the message of righteousness, because he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, whose perceptions are trained by practice to discern both good and evil.
6 Therefore we must progress beyond 1 the elementary 2 instructions about Christ 3 and move on 4 to maturity, not laying this foundation again: repentance from dead works and faith in God, 2 teaching about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this is what we intend to do, 5 if God permits. 4 For it is impossible in the case of those who have once been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 tasted the good word of God and the miracles of the coming age, 6 and then have committed apostasy, 6 to renew them again to repentance, since 7 they are crucifying the Son of God for themselves all over again 8 and holding him up to contempt. 7 For the ground that has soaked up the rain that frequently falls on 9 it and yields useful vegetation for those who tend it receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is useless and about to be cursed; 10 its fate is to be burned. 9 But in your case, dear friends, even though we speak like this, we are convinced of better things relating to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name, in having served and continuing to serve the saints. 11 But we passionately want each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of your hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, 11 but imitators of those who through faith and perseverance inherit the promises.
13 Now when God made his promise to Abraham, since he could swear by no one greater, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you greatly and multiply your descendants abundantly.” 12 15 And so by persevering, Abraham 13 inherited the promise. 16 For people 14 swear by something greater than themselves, 15 and the oath serves as a confirmation to end all dispute. 16 17 In the same way 17 God wanted to demonstrate more clearly to the heirs of the promise that his purpose was unchangeable, 18 and so he intervened with an oath, 18 so that we who have found refuge in him 19 may find strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us through two unchangeable things, since it is impossible for God to lie. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast, which reaches inside behind the curtain, 20 20 where Jesus our forerunner entered on our behalf, since he became a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. 21