The Throne of Grace
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”—Hebrews 4:14-16
This Scripture brings us into the throne room of Grace in which are the crown jewels which we may not only view but possess. They are seven in number and each one of us may have them all.
Access to God’s Power.
A throne means power. Back of it stand the army and navy, the wealth and prestige of the realm, the life of every patriotic citizen and all the alliances with friendly powers. The throne of grace means that God is now ruling in the power of His love and we have access to that power. Righteousness, justice, holiness all combine in Christ to support the claim of grace.
Steadfastness of Confession.
“Let us hold fast our confession.” The lamp was lighted, but under a bushel. The flag was in camp, but not in the breeze. We may be doing business, but the sign over the door has fallen down and we have neglected to replace it. The tree was alive, but without leaves. Through the living Christ we hold fast our confession. There is a legend that the Apostle Peter was fleeing from persecution in Rome, when Christ met him and said, “Peter, I am going back into the city to die again.” Whereupon Peter turned round and went back with Him. There is doubtless no truth in the legend, but there is a great truth suggested by it. When Peter was called upon to die and requested that he might be crucified with his head downward, since he was not worthy to die like his Lord, it was Christ in him helping him to hold fast his confession. In the picture “Christ or Diana?” you see the beautiful young woman to whom friends are appealing and begging her to offer incense to the heathen goddess, but you can see from the firm yet peaceful expression of her face that the living Christ is with her making it possible for her to hold fast her confession.
Sympathy with Weakness.
Jesus is touched with a feeling of our infirmities and His grace enables us to be touched with a feeling of each other’s infirmities. Note the difference between infirmity and sin. Infirmity is the weakness of a good thing like weak faith, weak love, weak hope, a weak body. Sin is always an evil, not to sympathize with but to destroy. Christ is not touched with a feeling of our sins. He bore them in His own body on the tree and they broke His heart with their crushing weight of guilt and pollution. Against all sin and sinful tendencies He bears the drawn sword. There is no truce in the battle between darkness and light, disease and health, sin and holiness, death and life.
Christ “was tempted in all points as we are yet without sin.” He died that we might live, and He conquered, that we might conquer. If evil assails me, I turn to Christ not to help me in the battle but to fight it for me. Ancient wars were decided by duels as in the case of David and Goliath. So all my battles are to be duels between my enemies and Christ. Not only Satan but every enemy of my soul is a conquered foe. Christ was “tempted in all points as we are” and the fact that He remained without sin proves that He conquered in all points. He holds today the right of conquest over every enemy that attacks my soul. Conquered foes are weak-hearted.
Courage Toward God.
“Let us come boldly,” more literally “with liberty of speech.” When we lose our liberty of speech to men we have lost our testimony. When we lose our liberty of speech toward God, our prayer life has declined. We need great boldness toward God in asking all He promised. “Whatsoever ye desire when ye pray believe that ye receive it and ye shall have it.” “If ye shall ask anything in my name I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” Do you desire health or wealth that you may with it glorify God? Ask for it. “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Willingness to Receive Mercy.
“That we may obtain mercy.” A learned man who had received honorary titles wrote after his own name “S.S.” which he said meant “Sinner Saved.” We are quite ready to receive honors but the proud heart shrinks from the confession of sin which receiving mercy implies. A king visited a prison and told the jailer that he wished to signalize his visit by giving one person at least his liberty. So he went round to all the cells and asked each prisoner why he was in jail. They all asserted their innocence of crime and blamed others for their misfortunes. Finally he came to a poor down-cast fellow who said “I am guilty of the crime for which I was convicted and I am getting my just desserts.” “That is the man” said the king “I wish to liberate. He will do to trust with liberty.” All the rest were willing to receive a favor from the king, but only this one was in an attitude of mind to receive his mercy. “Only a sinner saved by grace” is all there is of Christian experience, but it is the foundation on which everything else is built.
“That we may find grace to help in the time of need.” The literal translation is “That we may find grace unto seasonable help.” We need grace not only enough but at the right time and administered in the right way. In walking with God we need grace for one little step at a time. The body needs only one breath at a time. For food we need only one meal at a time. For living we need just one heart-beat at a time. The living Christ sees to it that we have all the grace we need at the time we need it and administered in the way we need it.