"Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace"; Hebrews 4:16
December 1, 2011

C. R. Oliver

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December 1, 2011

"Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace"
Hebrews 4:16

Some Thoughts Concerning Grace:

(Chad Stendal, Columbia)
          God's power, God doing for you what you acknowledge you are unable to do for yourself.

(Cal Werner, Canada)
          God working in and on you and empowering you (giving you the ability) to obey Him.

          The admonition to "come boldly to the throne of Grace" assumes some things. It assumes many grace engendered aspects have already occurred in the life of the respondent. (One such assumption is that Grace has done its work in the heart of the "approacher," in the form of redemption and gifting through the Holy Spirit.) The invitation to "come boldly" is given to enable a person to come to the source of Grace and find even more.

          The Throne of Grace has an open door. Acknowledging the fact that without grace, nothing good or Godly can take place in the life of the believer is a basic truth surrounding this "open door" policy. If one characterizes God as Love, just as easily one could say, "God is Grace personified." (Out of the throne comes the resource of heaven (Grace) that gives man the right and the demand-power to seize upon salvation and every other spiritual portent needed to supply every spiritual and physical need.) Just as true, the recipient of Grace is covered over with the realization that he would not be permitted into this place of glory without God's Grace permeating every fiber of his being. Every true follower of Jesus Christ is then to be characterized as the "personification of Grace." Thus, the Grace Giver beckons the Grace Receiver to come, without hesitation, into the place where Grace is the common denominator for their interaction. (This truth is what Newton wrote about in the song, Amazing Grace.)

           The writer of Hebrews qualifies his audience along the lines of being Grace-filled. He defines the invitation by saying it is given to those who fit the following description:
Hebrews 3:1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling,
          Later on, he will state that without holiness, no one will see the Lord, a factor affecting most of the universal appeals that are given by modern Christendom (most modern churches stand mute before Hebrews.3:1).

          Deep in the hearts of those who will "come boldly" is the realization that every step of their venture was paved in the blood of Jesus and the body of Him who is High Priest over their confession.

          The foundation of the Hebrews 4:16 invitation is a Divine exchange between the "Giver and the Given." Such flow of power toward the powerless and its responding gratitude flowing back is built into this exchange. In light of this, all other Biblical invitations come to life, (for example) "Ask and it shall be given you, seek and you will find, knock and it shall be opened to you"... "Whatsoever you ask in my Name, it shall be done unto you." These all find their roots in the interaction promised in "come boldly before the Throne." The Divine Exchange found at the Throne of Grace affects the core of the Christian walk. Prayers are no longer hurled toward some far flung Unknown in a vast universe; they are directed to the Grace-Throne. These prayers are kept within the vials surrounding that Throne and nurtured in the heart of the Ones seated upon it. "Ask what you will and it will be done unto you" now takes on a different tone. The "adopted son" ceases to pray, "God bless this or that" and begins to seek those "things above" where the Spirit of Grace defines the petition.

          Let it herein be known that the vilest of sinners who receives by faith the Grace of God has the right and privilege to come "boldly before the Throne." Let it also be known that from the first response a saint makes to this invitation, he embarks on a lifelong continuum of encounters in that room. Herein is the secret place of the Most High; herein is the refuge in time of need, the rock from which all things spring, the ultimate source of every blessing and the true place of fellowship with the Lord.

          Grace is what is given by a father to his son. Grace enables the recipient to be what he could never be without it. Grace is the robe, the ring, the fatted calf that rejoices in the return of the prodigal. Grace is the lifting up of heavy hands, the embrace of the crest fallen, the strength to occupy the place thought impossible. Grace looks beyond the present into the future of what one "shall be through Him." IT IS THE HOPE OF HIS CALLING (Eph 1:18). Grace delivers the inheritance to the saints and opens their understanding to know His inheritance in them. Grace empowers, so Paul could write, "that we may know the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the mighty power which He worked in Christ" and declares "to the praise of the glory of His grace."

          One must first understand Grace in order to comprehend the Throne of Grace and to comprehend the offices of the God-head in Grace (The Spirit making intercession, the Son [as High Priest of their confession] and the Father are the ultimate givers of Grace.) When one approaches boldly the throne of Grace, the person is met by these facilitators of Grace and helped in his or her petition. This is not a judgment seat; these are not authoritarians looking down on a wretched example---these are elder Brother, creative Father and helping Paraclete. Stammering tongues or praising lips receive the same welcome.
          The whole first chapters of Hebrews lead the believer to one conclusion---what was finished at Calvary opened the door to the Grace-Throne!
Hebrew 4:14-16
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
          The "therefore" of this passage is foundered on one pinion...WE HAVE a Great HIGH PRIEST...Come to Him. Radiant is the knowledge of what We Have in Him He is friend, lover, brother and Savior. These are descriptors of the "approachable One." None of these attributes exude anything less than intimacy and personal caring.

          Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace!

           Those seeking "care-giving" at the Throne of Grace are told to "obtain" mercy. To obtain Mercy means to have it dispensed, but it also means to own or possess it. "To find grace" is to discover the fountain head of it at the Throne and to be apprehended by it. Grace is never inert. Grace encounters a need and cannot avoid it. Grace will never ignore a need. Grace sees a need and with all its power will fill that need and go beyond the need to the place Grace alone can take one. "My grace is sufficient" came to Paul as an assurance and not a rebuke. When the Grace Giver declares a sufficiency, there is no room for lack in it. There is no venue by which lack can surface!

           The author of Hebrews, however, does not mention Grace again until Chapter 10:29. The reason? In the interim, he clarifies, defines and enumerates the great propensities of the cross and the Savior. He declares that one man gave it all and opened up venues to the human spirit that would have been impossible without Him. He points to every Old Testament witness and declares Jesus to fulfill them. THEN He, in fever pitched power, declares the ultimate blasphemy against the Spirit...the trampling of this great sacrifice and all it stands for-treating it as common and ordinary.
Hebrews 10:29-30
29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
          Grace is the reason for Bethlehem, Calvary and the resurrection---without these three events, the Throne Room would have been inaccessible to mortals and man would have been cut off from fellowship with the Grace-Giver.

           Ah! the reason for access into the Throne Room is because it is a two way street...it is Jacob blessing and Ephraim receiving, It is Samuel anointing and David receiving. It is the commissioning of the twelve and the twelve moving in that commissioning. It is the upper room fire. It is God giving to man His Godly things.
Rom 12:6
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them
          Reciprocity is the norm at the Grace Throne. Coming to the Throne of Grace is not a one time event for the saint; it is open venue. He can call and we respond; we can enter without a raised scepter or a coded door pass. This is not the Mount of Moses where fire and thunderous words caused the hearers to seek a way of escape; this throne is approachable, and those who surround it are care givers not law givers.
Heb 12:22-24 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
          The book of Hebrews warns, however, that saints must be sensitive to God. They must not sin and fall "short" of grace.
Heb 12:15
5 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God;
          The "Grace-Walk" honors the Grace Giver. (Recently Charles Crismier wrote that the church and society in the 1960's redefined the Christian life, dismissing the "fear of the Lord." [www.saveus.org])
Hebrews 12:28-29
8 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
          The Grace Throne is the equipper for the Grace Life and includes the ability to "minister to Him."
Hebrews 13:9
For it is good that the heart be established by grace
          "Established by Grace" is like sufficiency from Grace; it is inclusive. Established hearts are not those of James who are double minded and unstable. No self-centered man is thus established. Grace does a work. Grace fills in the areas of insufficiency to make a solid saint. Grace reaches into the receiver's life and quantifies every fear, lack and misanthropy. Grace cancels them and their effect. "Let Grace do its work" is what the Spirit whispers. Paul knew this work first hand, for God took Saul, a "religionist" and made him something he could never be on his own...Paul! Coming Boldly to the Throne of Grace is not just for petitions or prayers, it is for transformation and restructuring.

(Note: return to the opening definitions of Grace and see how they match this concept.)

           The Grace Throne is occupied by The Son, the Great High Priest who is attuned to our weaknesses and has the most necessary ingredient for success---Grace!

          Grace is not dispensed from any quadrant on earth; it is administered only from this Throne.
Hebrews 4:15-16
15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
          Mercy cancels debt, and grace restores the power to move ahead! Mercy does not hear the judge's sentence but declares it void; grace releases the chains and opens the door to freedom. Mercy hears not the plea of the accused but looks into the future and declares him to be what faith determines. "That we may obtain mercy and find grace" is reason enough to come to Him and stand in the place provided for us in Him.

          Two passages, one from Peter and one from Paul, jump to prominence at this point.
1 Peter 5:12
I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.

Romans 5:1-2
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
          Peter, who denied the Lord and was so Jewish he separated himself from the Gentiles, was qualified along with Paul to testify of God's insurmountable Grace. Once, Peter's standing was upon his own wisdom and related to his strict adherence to Judaism. Now, he stands upon one pinion, "the grace of God." All other considerations fade as Grace surrounds and saturates the recipient. There is room for nothing more. Peter, filled with the Spirit of Grace, established a footing as solid as the "rock" he was called to be. Paul, similarly, set aside all credentialism and stood solely on the Grace of God.

          O' Church, where do you stand today?

          Grace stabilizes and substantiates! Grace is the strata upon which the Throne sits. Grace is the primary attribute of every true believer and the one common thread that runs through the history of the church. It is the key biographical element in the rèsumè of every believer. Grace was the missing ingredient in Jesus' parable of the unworthy steward. Grace was absent in the confrontation with rock throwers ready to slay an adulterous woman. Grace was not present in the boast of the young man who had kept the Law from His youth up.

          Grace entered Jesus' scene with every miracle. It was grace that healed and helped. It was Grace that forgave Zacchaeus and transformed him from a greedy authoritarian to a gracious contributor.

          One may stand on his doctrine, another on his benevolences, another on his tenacity, but let me stand on Grace! Grace will overcome; it is the root of love and the substance of Faith. If faith is the substance of things hoped for, then Grace is the termination.
1 Peter 1:13-14
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children.
          Simon, like Paul, understood the magnificence of Grace. He wrote:
1 Peter 1:10
10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you

1 Peter 1:12
They were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven - things which angels desire to look into.
          There it is! Prophets of old ministered it without handling it; Angels could not grasp it, although they wanted to; BUT, the saints cannot only experience it, they can examine the manifold nature of Grace and know that it excels in glory and belongs to them.
1 Peter 4:10-11
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
          Manifold means "diverse" or various in character. Grace explodes in meaning with this verse. It is many faceted and brilliant in all of them. We are to be "stewards" of THAT KIND OF GRACE. Like the wheel in the middle of the wheel, full of eyes---THAT KIND OF GRACE. Grace which propels in many directions and rises up with the Spirit is the kind of grace that has come down to us! It is THAT kind of Grace that we can handle and carry in our bosoms. It is THAT kind of grace that we are trusted to distribute among the saints and sinners.
1 Peter 4:8-11
8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins." 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
          It is Grace that operates in the five fold ministry and gives it voice. It is Grace that operates in the nine gifts of the Spirit to allow their work in mortal man. It is That Kind of Grace which empowers the mandate of Jesus to, "Go ye to the uttermost part of the earth."

          Manifold in character and expression, Grace is seen everywhere the gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed and is so identified with it that it is called, "The gospel of Grace."
Acts 20:24
the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
          Peter declared that the proud need not seek this Grace, but the humble are assured it.
1 Peter 5:5
'God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.'
          What then of the pride and haughtiness displayed in church realms? What of the ministries whose claim to fame is their success and prowess in numbers? O' the sermons soaked in humility and stained with tears project a different Grace than they.

           Peter's epistles touched the root of rebellion and contrasted it with "the seeker of His Face." He exhorts through the years of trials and the emotional advocacy of the Word, that Grace will bring one to the place of glory with Christ.
1 Peter 5:10
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you
          The God of all Grace will still cause his quartet of power to become the saint's glory. Perfection, establishment, strength and rest are the support beams of a walk that few desire.

(Recently a prominent attorney and Christian leader in Chicago visited in our home and made a profound observation: "I would teach your book [En Punto] to more folks, but there are so few who envision, let alone aspire to its degree that the task becomes impossible.")

          The door to the Throne of Grace is wide open but not crowded. Those who enter will find themselves in a minority, considering the vast numbers of those who profess Christianity. It is the "coming boldly to the Throne of Grace" that will implant the four elements into the seekers life. The God of Grace will do what I Peter 5:10 says!

          Simon ended his epistle with:
1 Peter 5:12
By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.

Until Next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


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Die Sohn Zadoks

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