Salvation as rest: pt 1 or an introduction to the idea that salvation means we stop trying so hard to make ourselves better

Evergreen, Sundays Lately, my thoughts have drawn towards the end.  Realities of death have recently come close to home, and I’m reminded none of us get out of here alive. Yet,  death is not the end.  As christians,  we believe in life everlasting and a world eternal; because Jesus is resurrection is coming.

We hope…  but for what? We say we are saved,  but what does that mean if we are all doomed to die?  Is Christianity a viable hope for this life or is it just for some vague time still to come?

In short,  what can Jesus offer to a poor soul like mine?

I think finding the answers are wrapped up in the idea of rest.  All throughout the bible,  salvation is tied to rest. I would go as far as saying rest is the overarching biblical motif of salvation. From creation to the apocalypse and every promise in between, God is trying to get humanity into his rest.

I know some people might push back, saying salvation is about being saved from sin, from the wrath of God, from our own brokenness, from this evil up world, or even that we are saved so that we might do the works of God. Let me put forth that the idea of salvation as rest encompasses all of these topics and more. I think part of the problem is that we don’t understand what the bible means by rest. Sure, we could grab the dictionary and give a scientific definition, but remember that  here we are talking about one kind of rest: the rest of God. The rest of what it means to rest is embiggened and clarified by that caveat. To be inside the rest of God, his Sabbath if you will, is what we mean when we say biblical rest.

I want to start at creation and end at Revelation, a walk through the story of scripture with attention to the detail of rest. I want to learn how to rest. I want to learn what it means to rest. I want to find hope in God’s rest. I need this.

So, what does rest mean to you? 

  • http://thewholedangthing.wordpress.com Ben Emerson

    I am very intrigued to read this series. “The Rest of God.” What is that? I am curious. My guess is that it is when all things are as they should be. 

    • http://culturalsavage.com/ Aaron Smith (CulturalSavage)

      I think that is part of the rest of God. However, there is a component to it that has to include life before the grave, other wise Hebrews makes no sense. I think understanding rest as the Sabbath is key to widening our ideas about salvation.

  • http://www.jasonvana.com Jason Vana

    I love this idea, Aaron, and I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts.

    I have never done an indepth study of scriptures on this idea of rest, but I’ve always seen it as more of a state of being than simply not working. Obviously, rest incorporates this aspect of not working, but it’s more of the state of being that you trust God is in control and you know that you are a human being, not a human doing – in other words, you don’t find your sense of self in what you do, but in who’s you are.

    • http://culturalsavage.com/ Aaron Smith (CulturalSavage)

      Rest is *so* much more than not working! In fact, I would say that correctly working is actually part of the rest of God (more in the next post about that). Trust; man I think that is a big part of how we enter/remain in God’s rest. Letting him be god goes along way in teaching us not to strive.

  • Jeaux

    It strikes me that “rest” suggests surrender, security, even a kind of helplessness, that is intimately tied with faith.

  • http://culturalsavage.com Aaron

    Great point. There is a sense of giving up tied with rest for sure. We have to unlearn our striving and our self justification.