Faith Chapel

The Call To Rest And Abide

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Gordon Arruda


Series Code: FC

Program Code: FC000284

00:31 Thank you once again for coming to "Faith Chapel."
00:34 I'm Gordon Arruda,
00:36 head elder of the Roseville Seventh-day Adventist Church
00:38 in Sacramento, California.
00:40 I'm so glad you decided to come and study with us.
00:43 Today's topic is a topic that is so important that
00:46 it has revolutionized my walk and my Christian experience.
00:51 It has been the source of healing
00:53 of deep hurts and wounds and has lifted my spirit
00:56 and my soul to truly rejoice in my Lord Jesus Christ
01:01 as my Lord and Savior.
01:03 And I hope this message, too,
01:05 will be the beginning of a deeper walk with your Lord,
01:09 and I pray that the Holy Spirit will be active here and now
01:13 as we dig into the word of God.
01:16 The topic for today is "the call to rest and abide."
01:21 I'd like to pray before we do this
01:22 because I always need the Holy Spirit on this subject.
01:25 Let's bow our heads.
01:27 Heavenly Father, Your word is always true.
01:31 We thank you for the living word
01:33 who opens our hearts that we may receive it in power.
01:36 And so I ask You once again, Jesus,
01:38 to come down in the power of Your spirit
01:40 and bless the listeners.
01:43 Bless our reading and bless our study.
01:46 Only in You can the Kingdom of God advance
01:50 and so our trust is in thee.
01:52 In Your name we pray, amen.
01:55 I'd like to begin the study
01:57 by going to the Gospel of Matthew.
02:01 Matthew, the 11th Chapter.
02:04 Reading there in verse 27 and 28.
02:08 Jesus says, "All things have been delivered
02:11 to Me by My Father,
02:14 and no one knows the Son except the Father.
02:17 Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son,
02:21 and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
02:25 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden,
02:30 and I will give you rest."
02:34 Notice who the invitation is for.
02:38 Those who labor and are heavy laden.
02:42 I don't think Jesus was talking to people
02:45 and concerned about those who were working overtime.
02:48 Those who involved in very heavy physical labor.
02:52 The labor and the heavy burdens
02:54 He's talking about here is the concern
02:57 with their spiritual and religious life.
03:00 We know that the system of Judaism
03:03 at that time was heavily engulfed in rituals
03:08 and the traditions of their elders.
03:11 Scripture was becoming more and more obscure
03:14 as the traditions of men
03:15 became more and more abundant.
03:18 Christ offers the solution of alleviating
03:21 the burden of trying to work under human tradition
03:26 or even manmade religions by inviting us to come to Him,
03:31 so that we can experience rest.
03:34 Rest obliviously,
03:35 is the antithesis of legalistic religion.
03:38 Legalistic religion always entails upon the worshipper
03:44 to work harder and more precise at being good.
03:48 It tells us that God will only approve of you
03:51 if you rise up to a measure of holiness
03:54 that is acceptable to Him.
03:57 And even though those words may not be explicitly stated,
04:01 the culture and the environment definitely
04:03 leads people to those conclusions deep in their heart.
04:07 We become image conscious.
04:09 Do we look good, are we behaving properly,
04:12 are we showing people a good front?
04:14 Legalistic religion is truly a prison.
04:18 There is no joy in it.
04:20 There is no spontaneous excitement
04:23 or zeal for God and His character
04:25 or for His cause.
04:27 And yet, so many labor under its prison,
04:30 under its indictments.
04:32 Jesus' antithesis to this kind of religion
04:35 is entering into rest.
04:38 And so He gives the invitation,
04:39 "Come unto Me, ye who labor
04:41 and are heavy laden and I will give you rest."
04:45 What is interesting is that many people
04:47 do not connect the verse where He offers rest
04:52 to those who come with the previous verse
04:54 that talks about what He is willing to do.
04:58 And that is to give us a true knowledge of the Father.
05:02 "For I will reveal the Father to who ever I choose."
05:07 Rest is the way we behold the truth of God.
05:11 Rest is the way we gaze
05:13 and believe in the goodness
05:15 and how profound His love is for us
05:17 and allows the soul to enjoy
05:20 and to be refreshed by the fact that
05:22 God has come to live within you
05:25 and has chosen to be your righteousness
05:27 and holiness and goodness.
05:29 This gives assurance and strength
05:32 and refreshes the soul as nothing else can.
05:35 Rest allows us to wait upon God.
05:39 It teaches us to be still to the still small voice.
05:43 It teaches us to be silent inwardly,
05:45 so that the power of scripture maybe
05:48 permeated deep within us
05:50 so the Holy Spirit can work that power within.
05:55 Rest also allows us to give up the works of the flesh.
06:01 To let go of all self-satisfying religion as it were.
06:06 To give up the preconceptions of what we think
06:09 God wants and expects from us
06:11 and allow us to be nurtured by the gospel,
06:14 so that we know everything
06:16 that we needed to be is already provided
06:19 for us in Jesus Christ.
06:21 This is what rest gives us.
06:24 And this is why rest refreshes a worshiper.
06:27 Without rest, practicing religion
06:30 becomes a spiritual burnout.
06:32 We get tired of doing the God thing.
06:35 We get churched out.
06:37 We get whatever, but when we continuously
06:40 make a practiced effort to enter into God's rest,
06:44 we learn what it means to be refreshed
06:47 by the Holy Spirit.
06:48 For the soul to come alive again
06:50 and to remember the reason
06:52 why we were called into holiness.
06:54 This is a beautiful way,
06:56 the only way to truly practice our faith
06:58 and our Christianity.
07:00 Those who do not enter into rest,
07:03 never learn or experience the joys of
07:06 fellowship with Jesus Christ.
07:09 I'd like to turn again to the Book of Hebrews
07:12 that tells us something very profound about
07:15 what rest does.
07:16 Hebrews 4:10.
07:23 "For he who has entered His rest has himself
07:26 also ceased from his works as God did from His."
07:35 Now the resting of works is very much misunderstood.
07:41 Resting in Christ does not mean participating
07:44 in a do-nothing religion.
07:47 It does not encourage laziness
07:49 and it doesn't encourage slothfulness
07:51 or not taking upon oneself responsibility.
07:55 That's not it at all.
07:57 Rest is the response of the gospel
08:01 that the Holy Spirit leads us into
08:03 as we continually believe in Jesus Christ.
08:06 Rest is the antithesis of legalism
08:09 and all other manmade religion.
08:12 It actually distinguishes between the true worshippers
08:16 and those who worship God in the flesh.
08:18 The flesh nature is always trying to provoke us
08:22 to try to be good for God,
08:24 to try to produce a righteousness
08:26 that we can be comfortable with.
08:28 To even set up our own standards
08:30 and even to believe in a false God,
08:33 that truly is not the true living God.
08:36 And so when the scripture here in Hebrews
08:38 tells us that those who have entered
08:41 into rest have also rested from their works,
08:45 the works that they're talking about
08:47 is the works of legalism.
08:50 The works that try to promote self
08:54 and only inflame pride and self righteousness.
08:58 As we enter into rest in a real way as faith clings
09:02 to the revelation of Christ,
09:04 as we believe that Jesus is who He is for us,
09:08 the soul then is led away from the works of the flesh,
09:13 away from the activity of our carnal mind,
09:16 separating ourselves from anything to do with--
09:18 what does not have anything to do with God,
09:22 and reposing the soul into stillness
09:24 and quietness before God,
09:26 allowing the Holy Spirit to refresh us
09:29 with the presence of Jesus Christ.
09:31 And oh, how refreshing that presence is.
09:34 We will not see a finger being pointed at us
09:37 or harsh voice telling us where we have failed
09:39 and what we need to come up on.
09:41 We will hear the gentleness of Jesus Christ.
09:45 We will see Him bow down before us,
09:49 offering Himself to us and asking us,
09:52 "What do you need me to do?"
09:54 This is the thing that has broken
09:56 my heart time and again.
09:58 When I have been involved in a struggle with a sin
10:00 or a personal issue in my life,
10:04 and my natural reaction is to martial my spiritual forces
10:09 and force myself to try to get past it.
10:12 I can have a lot of love-- knowledge in scripture,
10:15 so I try to repeat scripture to get over
10:17 with the struggle I'm going through.
10:19 All that is the effort of the flesh in dealing
10:22 with things that can only be handled by Christ Himself.
10:26 And when I learned to let go of that
10:29 and to draw my soul through the promptings
10:31 of the Holy Spirit into the arms of Christ
10:34 and learn to be still and submissive before Him,
10:38 He never fails to enlighten me with the glory of His heart,
10:42 with the truth of His humility,
10:44 and the offering of Himself once again to me.
10:49 This is what captures my soul and wins my heart.
10:52 This is the way of true holiness.
10:55 This is the way that one finds true surrender
10:58 in the presence of God.
11:00 The inward surrender that will bear fruit
11:03 in the outward life.
11:07 Let's turn again to John.
11:09 The Gospel of John, Chapter 15.
11:14 John 15:4, 5.
11:18 A scripture that we have all read,
11:21 at least most of us from time to time,
11:23 but a scripture that has profound consequences
11:27 when we truly understand what it's saying.
11:30 Jesus says, "Abide in Me, and I in you.
11:34 As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
11:37 unless it abides in the vine, neither can you,
11:40 unless you abide in Me.
11:43 I am the vine, you are the branches.
11:46 He who abides in Me, and I in him,
11:50 bears much fruit,
11:52 for without Me you can do nothing."
11:59 Abiding in Christ and resting in Christ are synonymous.
12:03 In scripture, it means the same thing.
12:06 It is the natural out working of genuine faith
12:11 and it is the time in which we learn once again
12:14 the importance of our connection to Jesus Christ.
12:18 As we learn to abide in Jesus Christ
12:20 by entering into rest,
12:22 He becomes the means by which we are strengthened.
12:26 We let go of the flesh's effort to try to nourish ourselves,
12:31 by stuffing ourselves with truths
12:33 and gospel maxims of Bible verses
12:36 and trying to hypnotically recount them like,
12:40 repetitious-- vain repetition.
12:43 Scripture was not meant to be repeated,
12:46 repeated, repeated like a mantra,
12:47 as though the words themselves
12:49 were going to have a magical influence or power over us.
12:52 The word of God was meant to go deep
12:55 in our hearts and reveal the truth of our hearts
12:58 and also to reveal the truth of God.
13:01 Once that happens,
13:03 the heart is ready to let go of self
13:05 and to embrace the truth as it is in Jesus Christ.
13:09 This happens as we find our rest in Him.
13:12 By connecting ourselves to Christ,
13:14 we then feed from Jesus Christ and Him alone.
13:18 The very activity of looking to Him alone
13:22 and in stillness, opening the heart
13:24 and letting Him just nurture the soul
13:26 with the essence of His presence is enough
13:29 to strengthen the heart for any obstacle
13:32 that we face in life.
13:34 It also is a powerful bulwark against
13:36 the inroads of sin trying to permeate
13:38 our minds at all times.
13:41 It is there that the believer
13:42 and the worshipper is secure in the love of God.
13:45 When we rest and abide in Christ,
13:48 we connect ourselves to Him
13:50 and we confess our total need of Him.
13:53 The soul many times needs to be taught
13:56 by the Holy Spirit that apart
13:58 from Jesus as it says in John 15,
14:01 we can do nothing.
14:04 And so consequently, many times God will let us
14:06 go on in our own works and in our own way,
14:10 thinking we're doing a wonderful thing for God
14:12 and we're really walking the Christian life.
14:15 And then we will see that it has no power
14:18 to resist temptation,
14:20 it has no power to be loving unconditionally
14:24 and then we begin to see,
14:26 without Christ we can do nothing.
14:29 Self cannot promote the attributes of Christ.
14:32 Self cannot muster enough energy
14:35 or power to truly duplicate
14:37 where his heart is coming from,
14:39 that can only be done by the inward working
14:41 of the Holy Spirit.
14:43 Resting and abiding in Christ is the way
14:45 we give permission of the Holy Spirit
14:47 to do the work promised to us under the new covenant.
14:51 "I will write the law in your heart
14:53 and I will give you a new spirit
14:55 and I will cause you to walk in the ways
14:58 in which you need to go."
14:59 Well, brothers and sisters, rest is the way
15:03 the true worshiper truly is vitalized
15:05 and receives the attributes
15:07 and the nurturing of Jesus Christ.
15:09 There is no other way.
15:11 And so Christ obviously always invites us to come--to come,
15:17 not to be told what to do, not to be scolded,
15:21 not to be given new things that we must do
15:24 in order to improve ourselves,
15:26 but in order to find our rest in Him.
15:29 There is where true sanctification takes place.
15:34 I'd like to turn further along this thought
15:37 and go to the Gospel of John, stay there.
15:40 Gospel of John, Chapter 6.
15:44 Reading from verse 56,
15:47 the Lord says something very profound here.
15:51 He says, "He who eats My flesh
15:53 and drinks My blood abides in Me,
15:57 and I in him."
16:01 Here, Jesus is describing the activity of what
16:04 it means to abide in Christ.
16:07 It is literally feeding of the blood and the body
16:11 or the flesh of our Lord.
16:13 Of course, this is not a literal eating,
16:16 this is spiritual in nature,
16:18 but what does the flesh of Christ tell us
16:21 and what does the blood tell us?
16:23 Is not the flesh of Christ the place
16:26 where our sin was crucified?
16:28 Because it says that He condemned sin
16:31 in the flesh when He gave Himself up for crucifixion?
16:35 As we eat the flesh of Christ,
16:37 we eat of a flesh that has conquered sin.
16:41 We eat of a flesh that has overcome the humanity
16:44 and all the fallowness of our humanity.
16:47 He is the only one that has done it.
16:49 And as we partake of the flesh of Christ,
16:52 we are partaking of the essence of who He is.
16:55 This is what nurtures us.
16:57 This is what guides us and leads us
16:59 into a deeper dependence upon Him.
17:02 This is what leads ultimately to a life of blessedness.
17:05 And drinking the blood,
17:07 again we only do this as we abide in Christ
17:10 as we are connected.
17:12 We can't abide or feed off of Christ
17:14 when we're off trying to be a good Christian on our own.
17:17 We need the time to set our souls
17:20 and stand it in Christ Jesus in Him alone.
17:25 And in this place of rest, we feed,
17:28 we nourish and are nurtured.
17:30 The blood of Christ speaks of a sacrifice
17:33 that has answered for our sins.
17:35 As Hebrews says, it cleanses our consciousness
17:37 from condemnation and guilt.
17:39 It releases the soul then without condemnation
17:43 to flurry to the throne of God in great expectation
17:46 that our loving Father is waiting for us
17:48 with open arms to bless us, to strengthen us
17:52 and to impart to us more of Himself.
17:55 Oh, I love to rest in Jesus Christ.
17:58 And the Holy Spirit does this one other thing
18:00 that I need to mention here,
18:02 it actually-- He actually increases
18:05 our desire to rest and abide in Christ
18:08 and to abandon self.
18:10 This is a miracle that only God can do,
18:13 but it happens when we take
18:15 the invitation of come and find rest in Him.
18:20 Abiding in Christ is the connection
18:23 that is the out-working of everything
18:25 that is truly Christian.
18:27 It becomes the foundation of our walk with Christ
18:30 and it becomes the way
18:32 in which we will always want to serve Him
18:36 and to be surrendered to Him.
18:38 There is no other way to practice this faith.
18:41 The faith of Jesus Christ is the faith that rest
18:44 and abides in Him.
18:46 This is where true sanctification comes from.
18:50 This leads us to our scripture in Ezekiel.
18:54 Ezekiel Chapter 20.
18:59 Let's read it and really see what Ezekiel's saying here.
19:03 "Moreover, I also gave them My Sabbaths,
19:07 to be a sign between them and Me,
19:10 that they might know
19:12 that I am the Lord who sanctifies them."
19:18 It's not enough that God sanctifies us.
19:22 He wants to make it very clear to our minds
19:25 that He is the one that does it
19:28 and that He is the only one that can do it.
19:32 It's interesting that He relates the Sabbath observance,
19:36 the Seventh-day Sabbath
19:38 to the activity of sanctification.
19:43 Isn't it also interesting that the way
19:45 we keep the Sabbath or celebrate it
19:48 is by resting on the seventh day?
19:51 This is why sanctification is connected
19:54 so intimately with the process
19:57 over the activity of resting.
20:00 The Sabbath is the day that God provided
20:04 to find rest by letting go of the external,
20:08 temporal responsibilities that we have to do
20:11 the other six days of the week,
20:13 and allocating some time to recognize once again
20:17 that God and Him alone
20:18 is our creator and our redeemer.
20:21 The way we come to know this
20:23 and this is the traditions of the Jews,
20:25 especially of the Old Testament
20:27 was to let go of our works,
20:30 our temporal works in the world and to rest,
20:33 so that we can remember who God is.
20:37 Here God's saying that He gives the Sabbaths
20:40 so that they can know that He is the Lord God
20:42 that sanctifies us.
20:44 So Sabbath becomes more than just
20:46 a memorial to creation, His creatorship.
20:50 It's also the memorial to His active redemption.
20:54 It's also the reminder that only Christ,
20:58 and Him alone can sanctify the heart.
21:01 In Revelation, it talks about those
21:03 who do not respond to the three angels' message.
21:07 It talks about the consequences
21:08 of rejecting the everlasting gospel
21:10 that is going out to the whole world.
21:13 It says that they will find no rest.
21:16 No rest.
21:18 The only way and reason why they never found
21:21 any rest is because they never came to Jesus.
21:25 Coming to Jesus is where we are offered the rest.
21:30 Coming to Jesus is where we experience
21:32 the true essence of what the Sabbath is all about
21:36 and that is bringing us to a total dependence
21:39 on God Himself.
21:41 It is in this relationship of knowing our dependence
21:45 and resting on His power that we experience
21:48 the transformation that He has promised
21:51 under the new covenant.
21:52 And so the Sabbath becomes the sign and seal
21:56 of God's true work of restoration.
21:59 It becomes the sign and seal of people
22:02 who are true worshippers of Him
22:05 because in finding their rest from God,
22:07 they are functioning and operating only
22:10 under the power of the Holy Spirit.
22:13 Those who do not enter into rest
22:15 and experience the Sabbath experience
22:18 never learn that lesson.
22:20 They always are trying to do for themselves
22:24 what they think God wants them to do
22:26 or requires them to do.
22:28 And never give a thought of the first work
22:30 of a believer, and that is to enter into rest.
22:34 The Seventh-day Sabbath is to commemorate
22:38 and to celebrate the rest
22:40 that we enjoy inwardly
22:42 throughout the whole week with Jesus Christ.
22:45 It is not either-or.
22:48 It's not the situation where,
22:49 "Well, gee, I rest in Christ every day,
22:52 so I don't have to keep the seventh day."
22:54 No, God gave us a day and a whole day
22:58 to do nothing but celebrate the rest that He offers.
23:01 And what better way than to let go
23:04 of the external pressures of the world,
23:06 its responsibilities and its cares and burdens
23:10 and to devote that day to remember
23:13 the God of your salvation.
23:15 It is a time for celebration.
23:18 It is a time for remembering. It is a time for refreshing.
23:22 It is a time for fellowship with others
23:25 who likewise are experiencing the fruits
23:28 of being abiding and being attached to Jesus Christ.
23:32 No longer do we need to think the Sabbath
23:34 as something legalistic, a requirement,
23:37 but rather it becomes our witness to the world
23:41 that Christ and Him alone is not only the Creator
23:44 who created all things
23:45 and therefore worthy of all worship,
23:47 but He alone is the one that can uplift,
23:51 transform and restore the human race back
23:54 before its following condition.
23:56 That is the witness of the Sabbath
23:59 and the experience of the Sabbath is that
24:01 every day abiding in Jesus Christ,
24:04 Him and Him alone is the one
24:07 that can accomplish this
24:08 and in rest is the way we experience this.
24:13 As we move on in our resting and abiding experience,
24:17 self and what self wants becomes less and less important.
24:22 Jesus Christ starts to develop and grow within us.
24:26 Pretty soon, everything we do in our life
24:29 has something to do with Him.
24:32 Pretty soon, nothing becomes insignificant,
24:35 no little work of charity,
24:38 no just pausing and giving attention to somebody
24:42 with a concern or with a problem,
24:45 nothing becomes insignificant.
24:47 All of life becomes meaningful.
24:49 Everything you do has meaning and purpose.
24:54 How does this happen?
24:55 When the soul finds its rest in Jesus Christ.
24:59 I cannot begin to explain to you the blessings
25:03 to be had and to be experienced
25:06 from doing this simple thing.
25:08 In our prayer life as we come before God,
25:12 our mind is full of activities, our mind is full of thoughts,
25:16 full of all kind of distractions
25:19 and yet as we start to get more and more centered
25:23 and focused on the attributes of Christ,
25:26 faith in Him begins to draw us into a place
25:30 deep within us that is a place of silence.
25:34 In that silence there is peace
25:37 and there is nobody but you and Jesus.
25:40 The world is locked out for ever to be--
25:45 should not intervene in the intercourse going on
25:47 between you and the Lord.
25:49 And as our soul stands silent, receptive to God,
25:54 Christ brings us into that rest, that deep rest.
25:57 Oh, brothers and sisters, there we are refreshed,
26:00 there we learn the beauty of Jesus Christ,
26:04 there we learn the power
26:05 of the word of God's scripture.
26:07 Christ often speaks to us from the word of God.
26:11 And now because we are receiving
26:13 from Him that word is put into our heart
26:16 by the power of the Holy Spirit
26:18 and is made to germinate and bear fruit in our lives.
26:22 This is how the Holy Spirit implants
26:24 the scripture deep within our minds
26:26 and even in our sub-conscience.
26:29 Well, and this happens when the word of God
26:31 is put unto the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
26:34 I'm talking about the written word.
26:36 As we abide in Christ and let the scripture speak
26:39 to our hearts,
26:40 the Holy Spirit puts it deep within there
26:43 and there it germinates for fruit.
26:46 This is even when I'm sleeping, many times,
26:49 I see scripture floating in my head,
26:52 ministering to me even when I'm asleep.
26:55 This is what is the possibility of those
26:58 who find their rest and abide in Jesus Christ.
27:01 This is the kind of relationship
27:03 that God wants to have with all of us.
27:05 This indeed is the relationship He invites us too,
27:09 to come unto Him so that we could find our rest in Him.
27:14 I also want to say
27:15 that this life has been the difference--
27:20 has made my life still different.
27:21 Everything has changed.
27:23 It has given meaning for everything I do.
27:26 It has made nothing insignificant
27:28 of anything in my life.
27:30 Jesus is every part of it
27:32 and He is there in every moment of it
27:35 and I praise Him for that.
27:36 And I pray that He will be that for you
27:39 and that you will respond to His invitation to come
27:43 and find your rest in Him.
27:45 Praise His name and praise His word.
27:49 Thank you so much. May the message bless you.


Revised 2014-12-17