You are on page 1of 4

Enslaved No More

Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit

Doug Floyd
May 21, 2010

So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has
entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. -
Hebrews 4:9-10

What happens to Sabbath in the New Testament? Paul only mentions

Sabbath directly one time, and in that case, he is suggesting that we not
worry about being judged in regard to Sabbath. In the Gospels, Jesus seems
to be violating or challenging Sabbath customs at almost every turn. He
eventually declares that He is “Lord of the Sabbath.” Yet, Hebrews points to a
“Sabbath rest for the people of God.” So what is the Sabbath rest? Saturday?

Hebrews seems to argue that Jesus Himself is Sabbath Rest. While Paul
doesn’t mention Sabbath, his letters could be seen in a similar light
(especially in light of His focusing other aspects of Torah fulfilled in Jesus. I
think Sabbath rest is literally the rest of grace and transforming power of the
finished work of Christ revealed by Spirit and experienced in relationship with
the Father and His people.

1. Each person is created as a unique image of God.

We are shaped by relating in time and space to other persons. Our unique
encounters form memories that are rooted in the five senses, in our physical
body, and even in our language (to name a few things). These memories
form a set of patterns or symbols that impact the way we perceive and
engage our world.

In His manifold wisdom, the Father has created a world of persons who all
reflect His glory in unique and glorious ways. Yet, the Scripture reveals (see
John 17, Ephesians 3) that God intends a glorious unveiling of unique persons
united in Christ.

Each of us will express our uniqueness in specific creative ways such as

writing, singing, painting and so on. But our greatest creative endeavor will
always involve participating in the shaping of other persons.

2. Ungodliness inverts man back upon himself, leading to a

corrupting corruption.

Enslaved No More, Doug Floyd, May 21, 2010

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
(Romans 1:18)

A. Ungodliness is to turn from worship.

Ungodliness comes from the Greek word “asebeia.” This is derived from the
word “sébomai” which means to worship and fear God. Asebeia is turning
away from worship of the true God.

In Rom. 1:18–32, Paul’s principal indictment against human “ungodliness

and wickedness” is that it began in, and continues to involve, idolatry (1:19–
23), from which all other sin is depicted as flowing; here Paul echoes Jewish
texts such as Wis. 12–15. In 1 Cor. 8 and 10, Paul consistently uses “idols”
and “idolatry” to refer to other gods and the reverence given to them in the
Roman-era culture; and he insists that Christians must shun the worship of
other deities as completely incompatible with their participation in Christ
(10:14–22). In Revelation, however, we have the most militant expressions in
the NT. The author rails against the widespread idolatry of his time (9:20–
21), and in particular warns sternly against worship of “the beast” (14:9–11),
urging all to worship solely the true God (14:6–7; 19:10; 21:8–9).
(Vanhoozer, K. J., Bartholomew, C. G., Treier, D. J., & Wright, N. T. (2005).
Dictionary for theological interpretation of the Bible (520). London; Grand
Rapids, MI.: SPCK; Baker Academic.)

B. False worship turns us back in upon ourselves.

Idolatry is hope inverted--eschatology in reverse that can lead only back to

nihil, to the nothingness God abolished in speaking creation into being. -
Telford Work (Deuteronomy Commentary, Brazos Press, 2009)

C. The judgment of false worship is sin.

Sin perverts our uniqueness, destroys our relationships, and limits our
perception of the world (inward, outward, backward, forward).

Eugen Rosenstock Huessy’s “Cross of Reality” shows four self-contained

world that trapped the pre-Christian world.


Backward Forward

Enslaved No More, Doug Floyd, May 21, 2010

D. The Father calls Abraham out from a “past oriented world” into the
freedom of trusting a God not bound by human understanding. He promises
to bless Abraham and through Him bless all nations.

E. The Father calls Moses (Abraham’s descendent) out from the “outward
oriented world” of Egypt to a journey toward a land that is only found by
grace. Through the Children of Israel, the Father reveals Himself (glory,
character, holiness) to the world. At the same time, through the Children of
Israel, the Father reveals the true condition of “god-hating” mankind. Israel
bears the calling to reveal both God and man to the world. In the cross, these
collide. As Israel cries out, “Crucify Him!” the true god-hatred of humanity is
revealed. As Jesus says, “Father forgive them,” the faithful Father reveals his
redeeming love.
F. In His death, Jesus buries a dead humanity. In His resurrection, Jesus raise
humanity. In His ascension, Jesus leads humanity into the throne of God. Now
old self contained worlds have passed away (2 Corinthians).

3. Jesus Christ is our Sabbath.

A. Humanity is lead out from our entrapments, our jails, our slavery into the
boundless freedom of relation with God. In Jesus, our Sabbath, we rest from
our works
B. Sabbath in Jesus is both resting and remembering.

Reading Philippians 3:4-14 in light of Jesus as our Sabbath.

Rest Remembering
no work rehearsing, resounding, retelling,
Tomb of Holy Saturday Resurrection
Renunciation Restoration
Tomb Womb
Freedom from constraint of Freedom to expression of particularity

Think of Peter. He is constantly passing through conflict, renunciation and

ever-increasing freedom in Christ. This renunciation and restoration happens
in the context of relationship with and in Christ and with Christ’s people.

Highlights of Peter’s life through the lens of confrontation that leads to

opening new worlds or greater freedom in Christ.

Peter vs Andrew
Peter vs Jesus (Fisher of Men, Mother in Law, Walking on Water, Parables, Son
of God, Get Behind Me Satan, Transfiguration, Taxes, Forgiveness, Fishing,
Deny Christ?, Sleeping while Jesus Prays, Empty Tomb, Do You Love Me?)
Peter vs Guards (who come to arrest Jesus)

Enslaved No More, Doug Floyd, May 21, 2010

Peter vs Crowds during Trial of Jesus
Peter vs Lame Man
Peter vs Rulers of Jerusalem
Peter vs High Priests
Peter vs Cornelius
Peter vs Prison
Peter vs Apostles
Peter vs Paul (in Galatia)

We never see Peter’s death. Based in his story, we can only expect that he
was being confronted and led to greater and greater freedom up until his

Enslaved No More, Doug Floyd, May 21, 2010