Coachlight Bible Study – Hebrews Chapter 3

Enter His Rest By Trusting In God’s Word Stedfast unto the End

The economy of the Jews was looked upon by the Hebrews as having two main components: Moses and the high priest.  The apostle Paul shows Christ’s superiority over both of these in chapter three. While both Moses and Christ were faithful, it is Who Christ is that makes Him superior, not just His faithfulness.

In the last part of chapter three and the first part of chapter four, we have the second exhortation in the book of Hebrews.  The readers are to stay away from doubting God’s Word like their ancestors did, and to enter into God’s rest.  This rest has a condition. The condition on the people of God is that, “We hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.” 

This section of Hebrews shows us in the first six verses of chapter 3, that the household in which Moses did his work did not bring rest to the people of God.  Similarly, in the first thirteen verses of chapter four, we find no rest for God’s people, in the land which Joshua led God’s people.  Christ, however, the Apostle and High Priest as the builder of the house and the Sabbath, has placed His people in the house of God and has given eternal rest for His people.


Psalm 95:1 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Psalm 95:2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

Psalm 95:3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

Psalm 95:4 In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.

Psalm 95:5 The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.

Psalm 95:6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

Psalm 95:7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,

Psalm 95:8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

Psalm 95:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.

Psalm 95:10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is

a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:


I. Christ – Superior To Moses

A. Both Moses and Christ were faithful in the “house”


Hebrews 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

Hebrews 3:2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.


1. Notice Paul calls his readers “holy brethren”

a. Holy because they are separated or sanctified unto God

b. Brethren – Demonstrates that  Jews & Gentiles are in the same family

2. Notice Paul calls Christ “Apostle”

a. This is the only time in the Bible this term used for Christ

b. The word “apostle” means one that is sent – God sent Christ

3. Notice Paul calls Christ “High Priest”

a. Everything the high priest did pointed forward to Christ’s work

b. Christ did the work that no man could do


B. Christ is superior – not just because of His faithfulness, but by His position


Hebrews 3:3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.

Hebrews 3:4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.

Hebrews 3:5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

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.


1. God built all things

2. Every house on earth is built by some man

a. Moses was faithful in God’s house as a servant

b. Christ is faithful in His own house as a Son over His own house

3. The Hebrews are God’s house if they hold fast their hope to the end


C. A quote from Psalms 95


Hebrews 3:7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,

Hebrews 3:8  Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

Hebrews 3:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

Hebrews 3:10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

Hebrews 3:11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)


1. Paul calls the Psalm the voice of  the Holy Spirit

2. The Israelites tempted God, proved God and saw His works 40 years

3. Within a month of deliverance, the Israelites saw God performing His Word

a. The last of the plagues – Exodus 12

b. God leading by pillars of cloud and fire – Exodus 13

c. The Red Sea divided – Exodus 14

d. Bitter water purified at Marah – Exodus 15

e. God’s provision of quail and manna – Exodus 16

f. The miracle of water supplied – Exodus 17:1-7

1.  Became symbolic of Israel’s temptation of God – (Massah)

2. Became symbolic of Israel’s contention – (Meribah)

3. Immediately the people chided with Moses and tempted God

Exodus 17:7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?


II. The Second Exhortation In The Book Of Hebrews


A. Exhortation to believe God’s Word


Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing<868> from the living God.

Hebrews 3:13  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 3:14  For we are made<1096> partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;


1. The word “depart” – aphistemi – Is where we get our word apostasy – A deliberate departure from God’s full revelation


868 afisthmi aphistemi af-is’-tay-mee

from 575 and 2476; TDNT-1:512,88; v AV-depart 10, draw away 1, fall away 1, refrain 1, withdraw self 1, depart from 1; 15

1) to make stand off, cause to withdraw, to remove

1a) to excite to revolt

2) to stand off, to stand aloof

2a) to go away, to depart from anyone - 2b) to desert, withdraw from one

2c) to fall away, become faithless - 2d) to shun, flee from

2e) to cease to vex one - 2f) to withdraw one’s self from, to fall away

2g) to keep one’s self from, absent one’s self from


2. The Israelites were tempted by an evil heart of unbelief of God’s revelation

3. The Hebrews were tempted by an evil heart of unbelief of God’s revelation

a. They were tempted to go back to Judaism

b. Judaism is only the partial revelation from God – Denying the full Gospel

B. The Hebrews are instructed to exhort each other with the Word

1. God’s Part - “we are made” - the perfect tense – “we have become”


a. Strongs - 1096. ginomai ginomai ghin’-om-ahee; a prolongation and middle voice form of a primary verb; to cause to be ("gen"-erate), i.e. (reflexively) to become (come into being), used with great latitude (literal, figurative, intensive, etc.):— arise, be assembled, be(-come, -fall, -have self), be brought (to pass), (be) come (to pass), continue, be divided, draw, be ended, fall, be finished, follow, be found, be fulfilled, + God forbid, grow, happen, have, be kept, be made, be married, be ordained to be, partake, pass, be performed, be published, require, seem, be showed, X soon as it was, sound, be taken, be turned, use, wax, will, would, be wrought.

 b. Robertson’s word pictures - For we are become partakers of Christ (metocoi gar tou cristou gegonamen). Second perfect active of ginomai, "we have become," not the equivalent of esmen (are). For metocoi see #1:9; 3:1; 6:4. We have become partners with Christ and hence (gar, for) should not be tricked into apostasy.


2. Our part - if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;


Hebrews 3:15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

Hebrews 3:16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

Hebrews 3:17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?

Hebrews 3:18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?

Hebrews 3:19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.


B. The Hebrews are exhorted to enter into God’s rest – Faith Mixed with God’s Word


1. The Lord Spoke to Moses


Numbers 13:2 Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them.


2. The spies gave their report


Numbers 13:27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.

Numbers 13:28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.

Numbers 13:29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.


3. Caleb interpreted the spies report correctly


Numbers 13:30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.

4. Some of the spies although doubted and gave an evil report


Numbers 13:31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.

Numbers 13:32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.

Numbers 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.


5. The Israelites again did not put their trust in God – Their trust was in Egypt


Numbers 14:1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.

Numbers 14:2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!

Numbers 14:3 And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?

Numbers 14:4 And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.


6. Moses intercedes


Numbers 14:17 And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying,

Numbers 14:18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

Numbers 14:19 Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.


7. The Lord answers


Numbers 14:20 And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word:

Numbers 14:21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.

Numbers 14:22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;

Numbers 14:23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:

8. The Lord then instructed


Numbers 14:28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:

Numbers 14:29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,

Numbers 14:30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.

Numbers 14:31 But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.

Numbers 14:32 But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness.

Numbers 14:33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.

Numbers 14:34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.

Numbers 14:35 I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.


9. The Spies with the evil report dies


Numbers 14:36 And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land,

Numbers 14:37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.

Numbers 14:38 But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still.


C. Three Questions of chapter 3

1. Who was it that provoked God in the wilderness?

2. With whom was God grieved for 40 Years?

3. Who was it that God said would not enter into His rest?


The answer to all three questions is:

Those who put their trust in circumstances instead of God’s Word


Hebrews 14:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.


We should put our trust in God’s Word stedfast unto the end,

And enter into His rest