"Approaching God's Throne"

Highlights in Hebrews  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  20:48
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If you wanted to see the Queen of England or the president of the United States to make a request you couldn’t just walk up to Buckingham Palace or the White House and ring the bell. They don’t let ordinary people like you and me just walk in to see the head of the country. You need to make an appointment, and if it’s granted there will be someone at the gate to meet you and bring you in.
What about when we want to make a request of God? It’s not that God doesn’t want us to come but that we may be hesitant to go. Maybe we don’t want to bother God with our concerns, maybe we don’t feel worthy to ask God for anything. Most of all, if we really understood who God is we’d be afraid to enter His presence. Our own sin and guilt would make us want to run and hide instead.
Fortunately, Jesus came to us to make it possible for us to come to God without fear.
Hebrews 4:14–16 NIV84
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

We have a high priest

As we saw a couple weeks ago from 1Timothy we have a mediator, Jesus Christ. In today’s passage He is described as our high priest. The role of the high priest was to be a mediator between God and the people, teaching them God’s will and representing the people and offering the prayers and sacrifices of the people to God. He is the bridge, connecting us with God the Father, overcoming the gap between us.
He was made like us
Hebrews 2:17 NIV84
For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.
He became fully human
He has been tempted in every way we have – He was tested by Satan throughout his ministry, he faced every trial that we face.
He is without sin – He is able not to sin, unlike us, and he always made the right choice, he passed every test. Because of this He is able to help us – giving us guidance and strength.
C.S. Lewis wrote, “We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means—the only complete realist.”
He can sympathize with our weaknesses – he knows how we feel, he’s had the same feelings, he understands what we are going through. He enters into our suffering and makes it His own.
He made atonement for us – unlike the high priests under the old covenant who had to offer sacrifices repeatedly, Jesus only needed to offer Himself once.
Has gone through the heavens – now he has gone into God’s presence to intercede for us, and has opened the way for us to come before God.


Let us hold firmly to our faith – literally our confession
We are encouraged to continue in our belief and trust in Jesus Christ, and to confess that faith to others.
Because of His love for us
Following His example for us
2 Thessalonians 2:15 NIV84
So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence - continually
With boldness, not only in coming to God but in being able to speak freely. Abraham bargained with God, Job demanded that God explain why he was suffering, the psalms question God asking how long something will go on, Habakkuk asks why God doesn’t answer him.
It’s the throne of grace because it is here that we find God’s favor, unmerited and undeserved but abundantly provided because of what Jesus has done for us.
Hebrews 10:22 NIV84
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
We can approach God in assurance because Jesus has cleansed us from our sin and guilt. Our access to God is not based on who we are or our own worthiness but on Jesus Christ.

So that:

We may receive mercy
Not being treated as we deserve
We may find grace to help us in our need
We have an incredible privilege. God has an open-door policy.
Will we take advantage of what Jesus died for to make possible?
Ephesians 3:12 NIV84
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
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