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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS - Chapter 4 - Verse 16
Verse 16. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace. "The throne of grace!" What a beautiful expression! A throne is the seat of a sovereign; a throne of grace is designed to represent a sovereign seated to dispense mercy and pardon. The illustration or comparison here may have been derived from the temple service. In that service God is represented as seated in the most holy place on the mercy-seat. The high priest approaches that seat or throne of the Divine Majesty with the blood of the atonement, to make intercession for the people, and to plead for pardon. See Barnes "Heb 9:7,
See Barnes "9:8".
That scene was emblematic of heaven. God is seated on a throne of mercy. The great High Priest of the Christian calling, having shed his own blood to make expiation, is represented as approaching God, and pleading for the pardon of men. To a God willing to show mercy he comes with the merits of a sacrifice sufficient for all, and pleads for their salvation. We may, therefore, come with boldness, and look for pardon. We come not depending on our own merits, but we come where a sufficient sacrifice has been offered for human guilt, and where we are assured that God is merciful. We may, therefore, come without hesitancy, or trembling, and ask for all the mercy that we need.
That we may obtain mercy. This is what we want first. We need pardon—as the first thing when we come to God. We are guilty and self-condemned—and our first cry should be for mercy— mercy. A man who comes to God, not feeling his need of mercy, must fail of obtaining the Divine favour; and he will be best prepared to obtain that favour who has the deepest sense of his need of forgiveness.
And find grace. Favour—strength, help, counsel, direction, support, for the various duties and trials of life. This is what we next need—we all need—we always need. Even when pardoned, we need grace to keep us from sin, to aid us in duty, to preserve us in the day of temptation. And feeling our need of this, we may come and ask of God all that we want for this purpose. Such is the assurance given us; and to this bold approach to the throne of grace all are freely invited. In view of it, let us:
(1) rejoice that there is a throne of grace. What a World would this be if God sat on a throne of justice only, and if no mercy were ever to be shown to men! Who is there who would not be overwhelmed with despair? But it is not so. He is on A THRONE OF GRACE. By day and by night; from year to year; from generation to generation, he is on such a throne. In every land he may be approached, and in as many different languages as men speak may they plead for mercy. In all times of our trial and temptation we may be assured that he is seated on that throne, and, wherever we are, we may approach him with acceptance.
(2) We need the privilege of coming before such a throne. We are sinful, and need mercy; we are feeble, and need grace to help us. There is not a day of Our lives in which we do not need pardon; not an hour in which we do not need grace.
(3) How obvious are the propriety and necessity of prayer! Every man is a sinner, and should pray for pardon; every man is weak, feeble, dependent, and should pray for grace. Not till a man can prove that he has never done any sin should he maintain that he has no need of pardon; not till he can show that he is able alone to meet the storms and temptations of life should he feel that he has no need to ask for grace. Yet who can feel this? And how strange it is that all men do not pray!
(4) It is easy to be forgiven. All that needs to be done is to plead the merits of our great High Priest, and God is ready to pardon. Who would not be glad to be able to pay a debt in a manner so easy? Yet how few there are who are willing to pay the debt to justice thus!
(5.) It is easy to obtain all the grace that we need. We have only to ask for it—and it is done. How easy then to meet temptation, if we would! How strange that any should rely on their own strength, when they may lean on the arm of God!
(6.) If men are not pardoned, and if they fall into sin and ruin, they alone are to blame. There Is A THRONE OF GRACE. It is always accessible. There is A GOD. He is always ready to pardon. There Is A REDEEMER. He is the great High Priest of men. He is always interceding, His merits may always be pleaded as the ground of our salvation. Why then, oh why, should any remain unforgiven, and perish? On them alone the blame must lie. In their own bosoms is the reason why they are not saved.
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