Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
heb 4:2But the word which they heard did not profit them - So far from it, that it increased their damnation. It is then only when it is mixed with faith, that it exerts its saving power.
heb 4:3For we only that have believed enter into the rest - The proposition is, There remains a rest for us. This is proved, Heb 4:3-11, thus: That psalm mentions a rest: yet it does not mean, God's rest from creating; for this was long before the time of Moses. Therefore in his time another rest was expected, of which they who then heard fell short Nor is it, The rest which Israel obtained through Joshua; for the Psalmist wrote after him. Therefore it is, The eternal rest in heaven. As he said - Clearly showing that there is a farther rest than that which followed the finishing of the creation. Though the works were finished - Before: whence it is plain, God did not speak of resting from them.
heb 4:4For, long after he had rested from his works, he speaks again. Gen 2:2.
heb 4:5In this psalm, of a rest yet to come.
heb 4:7After so long a time - It was above four hundred years from the time of Moses and Joshua to David. As it was said before - St. Paul here refers to the text he had just cited.
heb 4:8The rest - All the rest which God had promised.
heb 4:9Therefore - Since he still speaks of another day, there must remain a farther, even an eternal, rest for the people of God.
heb 4:10For they do not yet so rest. Therefore a fuller rest remains for them.
heb 4:11Lest any one should fall - Into perdition.
heb 4:12For the word of God - Preached, Heb 4:2, and armed with threatenings, Heb 4:3. Is living and powerful - Attended with the power of the living God, and conveying either life or death to the hearers. Sharper than any two - edged sword - Penetrating the heart more than this does the body. Piercing - Quite through, and laying open. The soul and spirit, joints and marrow - The inmost recesses of the mind, which the apostle beautifully and strongly expresses by this heap of figurative words. And is a discerner - Not only of the thoughts, but also of the intentions.
heb 4:13In his sight - It is God whose word is thus "powerful:" it is God in whose sight every creature is manifest; and of this his word, working on the conscience, gives the fullest conviction. But all things are naked and opened - Plainly alluding to the sacrifices under the law which were first flayed, and then (as the Greek word literally means) cleft asunder through the neck and backbone; so that everything both without and within was exposed to open view.
heb 4:14Having therefore a great high priest - Great indeed, being the eternal Son of God, that is passed through the heavens - As the Jewish high priest passed through the veil into the holy of holies, carrying with him the blood of the sacrifices, on the yearly day of atonement; so our great high priest went once for all through the visible heavens, with the virtue of his own blood, into the immediate presence God.
heb 4:15He sympathizes with us even in our innocent infirmities, wants, weaknesses, miseries, dangers. Yet without sin - And, therefore, is indisputably able to preserve us from it in all our temptations.
heb 4:16Let us therefore come boldly - Without any doubt or fear. Unto the throne of God, our reconciled Father, even his throne of grace - Grace erected it, and reigns there, and dispenses all blessings in a way of mere, unmerited favour.