My answer is no. That is really not what everyone believes. In fact, while most of evangelical doctrine states the above…it is obvious by actions and attitudes that most do not believe that grace alone is what keeps the saint. This is even true of those who claim to believe in the perseverance of the saints…i.e., that once a person is truly saved, that they will be kept saved, by the grace of God. Why do I say this? Because of the attitude that is reflected in Calvin’s statement….”faith alone saves but, faith that saves is never alone.” This idea renders salvation to be only evidenced by the reformed obedient life and, it puts the saint on a working contract with God.
The Sabbath Rest on the other hand, when properly understood and believed, becomes the catalyst for the reformed life and in some folks, especially those with addictive personalities it takes more patience than in others. Unfortunately, when the saint finds that they can easily conform to the behavioral standards set up by evangelical doctrine and dogma they are cheated of really understanding God’s grace. This quite frankly makes them judgmental and leads to sin…instead of loving their brother/sister, they become a judge condemning them. They are robbed of joy as they remain always concerned that their behavior is not good enough to really please God. This opens the door for the accuser of the brethren, Satan (Rev 12:10), to bring condemnation forcing them to work still harder. The reason for this is that like our first parents (Gen 3:8-10) we naturally hide our nakedness from God…our spiritual nakedness.
Heb 4:3 ESV 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. …..and…..Heb 4:9-10 ESV 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. I suggest that you carefully read the entire passage from Hebrews 3:7 thru 4:11 realizing that in 4:12 thru 4:16 the Word of God as used in the passage is Jesus and not the scriptures. The passage ends with the concept of going boldly to the throne of grace to find grace and mercy whenever it is needed.
The dynamic of the Sabbath Rest is that grace alone is driving the train taking one to discipleship. It is the engine, if you will allow the metaphor that ultimately over time produces the transformation. Paul said in Romans three that one should realize that it is grace that leads to the repentant life. The Sabbath Rest is resting in Jesus period.
For those of you who follow the blog regularly, I will be blogging three to four times each week and not everyday from now on. I will certainly blog everyday if the need arises but, right now it seems to me that three or four posts a week will cover the material in a year….after that, we’ll see what direction the blog takes then.