Diligent Faith | The Institute for Creation Research
Diligent Faith

“Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:11).

At first glance, this verse seems to command opposite actions simultaneously. On the one hand, “we which have believed do enter into rest” (Hebrews 4:3), and on the other, we are to “labor,” implying work. Some Greek words translated as “labor” do, indeed, have the connotation of toiling, or weariness, as in Matthew 11:28: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” However, the Greek word for “labor” in our text verse is only translated thus in this one particular instance. It is more commonly translated “diligence,” or “diligent,” and means to use speed, to make an effort, to be prompt, or earnest. Hebrews 3:7,8 (quoting Psalm 95) further explains: “To day [denoting readiness or promptness] if ye will hear His voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness.”

We are enjoined to “be not slothful” (Hebrews 6:12) or “dull of hearing” (5:11), “for unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them [the children of Israel]: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Hebrews 4:2). We are to be “followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12).

Although we who believe and have entered into His rest have “ceased from [our] own works, as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:10), our diligent faith produces “good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). “Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity” (II Peter 1:5–7). CJH

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