The Throne of Grace
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Intro: Several key words I want to look at before we get into verse 16.
A. The Touch – “…touched with the feeling of our infirmities…”
- 38 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.
- 39 For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
B. The Temptations – “…was in all points tempted like as we are…” (SEE Matthew 4)
- Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
All points – meaning:
- 1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Every sin in the world falls into one of these two categories.
Jesus faced all points of temptation in Matthew 4.
C. The Throne – “…the throne of grace…”
This phrase – the throne of grace – has been on my mind all day.
Why use this word in this verse?
There is no authority or power in a throne but in who or what sits on the throne.
The book of Hebrews refers to the throne of Jesus Christ multiple times.
- Hebrews 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
- Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
- Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
However, in chapter 4:16 we find the only place in the Bible where “the throne of grace” is mentioned.
And it happens to be my favorite verse in the Bible on the subject of prayer.
And it never mentions prayer. Prayer is understood. Prayer is implied.
But why call it “a throne of grace?”
Let’s dissect this verse:
I. The Access to the Throne of Grace “Let us therefore COME…”
The picture that is painted in these verses is of the office of the High Priest.
In the Old Testament, the High Priest would go behind the veil and access the Holy of Holies.
He would enter in and sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat – the lid of the Ark of the Covenant.
The presence of God would dwell there.
- 22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
The restrictions to this Holy of Holies were so rigid that death was imminent if they were not met.
- 33 And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about:
- 34 A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about.
- 35 And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not.
We now have access to the presence of God.
Our High Priest is passed into the heavens.
The veil in the temple was rent.
- Mark 15:38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
We can now enter into the Holy of Holies anytime, anywhere – through the process of prayer.
II. The Approach to the Throne of Grace – “Let us therefore come BOLDLY…”
The access is based on the “therefore” in the previous verses.
This word boldly does not mean with arrogance or without reverence.
But rather speaks to the freedom we have to speak honestly and truthfully.
The word BOLDLY in verse 16 is the Greek word parrhesia (par-rhay-see’-ah) meaning freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech, openly, frankly, i.e without concealment
God is not impressed with flowering words or religious phrases.
He wants honesty.
- Psalms 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
III. The Assurance of the Throne of Grace – “…that we may obtain; …and find…”
We do not have to fear being turned away.
It doesn’t say we might obtain, or that we will look for it but not find it.
It says we “…may obtain…we will find…”
I’m grateful that my Father doesn’t turn me away.
He didn’t turn me away at the time of my Salvation.
- John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
He doesn’t turn me away at the time of my Supplication.
- 9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
- 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
IV. The Assumption of the Throne of Grace – “…that we may obtain MERCY…”
The unspoken assumption for the believer at the throne of grace is the importance of mercy.
Just as the Old Testament designated place for the sprinkling of blood was the MERCY SEAT.
The believer today is in constant need of the mercy of God.
MERCY: Greek: eleos el’-eh-os – mercy: kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them
- 22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
- 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
- 1 Peter 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
V. The Awareness at the Throne of Grace – “…to help in time of NEED.”
The awareness of every believer in serious, honest prayer is universal.
If we didn’t know it before, we do once we enter in.
You can’t approach the throne of grace without one very distinct awareness – we have a need.
We have needs. Those needs are never more evident than when we are praying.
There’s not a time when I don’t have a need for God’s grace.
You can’t enter into the throne of grace but what the realization of your needs are clear.
ILLUSTRATION: The church of Laodicea “had need of nothing” which tells me they weren’t praying.
- 1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
- 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
- 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
- 4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
- 5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.