Hebrews 4:12-16


The “Rests” covered in Chapter 3 and 4:

1)     God’s Sabbath rest (4:4)

2)     The Rest offered in Canaan (3:7-19)

3)     The Rest of Salvation in Jesus (4:1, 3, 8, 9)

4)     The Rest in Heaven (4:10, 11)

5)     The Application of the Rest in our daily lives (application)

a.      Psalm 37:7

b.      Isaiah 41:10

c.      Philippians 4:7

d.      2 Peter 1:4

e.      1 Peter 5:7

If you are a believer in Jesus then you are a member of the royal family of God. (1 Peter 2:9)

You share with Christ:

a)     everything he is

b)     everything he has. (Ephesians 1:3)



The pursuit of happiness, fulfillment and satisfaction lead away from the Rest.

This is an inner peace, a confidence in the soul, a place of strength that is both:

a)     Caused by faith

b)     Produces attitudes and acts of faith

This rest is based on an understanding and trust in the Word of God.

This is a moment by moment rest. 

It is experienced or lost each moment of your life.

It is something that is always available.

The loss of focus can cause the believer to momentarily lose the experience of this rest.

This rest is the place a believer can operate in faith.

This rest is a place of blessing and strength in the midst of life’s adversities.


Ephesians 1:3 and 18 –

If Jesus has provided the big thing (salvation) he is also able and willing and actively providing for the little things (details of life).


John 16:33 -
We will have problems.  In the midst of life’s tribulations Jesus has overcome the world.


Proverbs 3:5-6



“For” continues the thought of the believers to consider their spiritual condition or Rest.

“For” follows “make every effort to enter that rest” which means that what comes next is motivation to not “fall by following their example of disobedience.”


“Word of God” refers to the revealed and written scripture.

It was the “Word of God” that fell on deaf ears in the wilderness.

Specifically here it refers the scripture that has been our text in chapters 3 and 4 which is Psalm 95.  More precisely it refers to the theme verses Psalm 95:7, 8:

            Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

The theme has been that in every age (Today) God is calling people or believers to enter his rest. 

They either choose to:

1)     Obey and enter the rest

2)     Disobey and rebel

a.      First in their attitude

b.      Next in their actions


“Living” picks up on the theme of “Today”.  Today God’s word is active.


ζων      γαρ     ο    λογος     του      θεου      και       ενεργης      και        τομωτερος           υπερ

Living   For    the    word     of         God     and     operative      and         sharper            beyond


πασαν        μαχαιραν        διστομον       και        διικνουμενος           αχρι           μερισμου      

every            sword          two-mouthed    and     passing through     as far as       division


 ψυχης        τε       και          πνευματος        αρμων       τε        και        μυελων        και     

of soul                  and            of spirit,         of joints    both     and       of marrows    and


 κριτικος                ενθυμησεων        και          εννοιων           καρδιας

able to  judge        of thoughts          and         intentions       of a heart


“Living” ζων or “zwn” from “zao” is present active and means “to be alive, living”.  Without the article it is referring to the quality of the “Word of God.  Notice “living” is in the emphatic position to begin the sentence.


“Active” means “energetic, active, productive”.  It is a word used to refer to activities that produce results.  Often it is used used of divine activities that produce results.


“Sword” is used in judgment and destruction. 

The sword is very effective in accomplishing judgment and destruction.

God’s word is said to be:

1)     “Beyond” any sword

2)     “Sharper” than any sword

3)     “Two-mouthed” or “double edged” meaning it does twice the work twice as fast.  (It is not a mere knife with one sharp blade.  It cuts both ways.)


Where does the “sword” of the “word of God” judge?

It judges way past mere actions or the words from men’s mouths.

The Word of God can even judge the difference between mere knowledge in a man’s mind (soul) and the very faith that man has in his heart (spirit).

It divides the mind from the heart (soul from the spirit) in a man’s inner being as precisely as a natural sword can divide where the muscle and bone meet in a man’s physical body.


What does the “sword” of the “word of God” judge?

It judges the:

  1. Thoughts” – ενθυμησεων
    1. means “thought, reflection, feelings, idea. 
    2. The word refers to the action of the affections
    3. This word is related to the will of man.
  2. Intentions” - εννοιων
    1. Means “thought, intent”
    2. The word refers to the action of reason.


1 Corinthians 4:5 – “Wait until the Lord comes.  He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.”


Isaiah 55:11 – “So is my word that goes out from my mouth:  It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”



The person of God replaces the “word of God here.


και          ουκ       εστιν       κτισις        αφανης        ενωπιον        αυτου        παντα         δε   

and       there     is no       creature     unmanifest    before           him            but all things


γυμνα       και            τετραχηλισμενα           τοις             οφθαλμοις             αυτου

naked        and       having been laid open      to the               eyes                    of him


προς          ον             ημιν        ο          λογος

with        whom        to us       the      word (account – see Romans 14:12)


nakedγυμνα means


laid bareτετραχηλισμενα “ tetrachelismena” is a word used only once in the NT. 

1)      It is related to the word  “trachelos” which means “neck” or “throat”. 

2)      The word’s meaning here is to be open or exposed.

3)      The word may be building on two images:

a.      The wrestler having defeated his opponent and has grasps him by the throat.

b.      The animal sacrifice having its head pulled back and its neck exposed to the blade of the knife for the sacrificial slaughter.


”Logos” means “word” but also is used as it is here of “giving account by the spoken word.”




Therefore” begins a verse that is saying:

-          since this is our position and

-          considering the fact we have a great high priest in Jesus to assist us

-          we should not give up our relationship with Jesus



Jesus, though he is God, understands what it is like to be in our position.

Jesus understands but did not fall into sin so he is still able to help us.



Go to God in Christ and receive mercy and grace in this “naked and exposed” position we are in before the sharp, doubled edged sword of God’s judging word.