2 IntroductionToday I want to tell you a story of mercy and grace and how this story can give you hope for today.I know in my life if it wasn’t for the mercy and grace of God through Jesus Christ I would be in real trouble. If it wasn’t God, who saved me, I would be lost. Even though I grew up in a Christian home, as a child, and I knew all about God and church it never really meant anything to me. In fact , you could say that I turned my back on God and the church for years.
3 Cont.I always thought I knew better, and that it was more fun to get into trouble rather than living for God. If it wasn’t for the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ I would have never been able to make my way back to God and back to the church.
4 Cont.It was this mercy and grace that encouraged me that if I wanted I could still serve God, despite my sinful background. Maybe there’s someone out there today who is in the same position that I was in or maybe there’s someone out there who has never trusted in Christ. If you are in either category, then today’s your day. If your not in any of those categories and you’ve have managed to be faithful to God through the years, this story is for you too. We can all find hope today for our troubled hearts and so let’s commit this time unto the Lord Jesus Christ.
5 Hebrews 4: 16Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Heb 4:16.
6 Hebrews Cont.When we look at this passage of scripture we see that the writer of Hebrews is saying that when we approach God this doesn’t happen in an ordinary fashion. It says that when we approach God, we don’t just approach Him like anyone else, but when we approach God we approach His throne of grace.Another aspect to point out is that not only are we able to approach his throne of grace, but we can do so with boldness. When we approach this throne of grace we do if with confidence.
7 Hebrews Cont.When we get to this throne we are not going to leave empty handed. When we leave this throne of grace, we are leaving with grace and mercy. Wow! What a promise! When we read this promise in the Bible it should give you a tremendous amount of hope for the future.
8 Background of the TextYou see in the Old Testament times when someone wanted to approach God for the forgiveness of sins or any type of blessing they had to approach God through the high priest.In the Old Testament the High Priest was the one who people approached to act on their behalf when asking for the forgiveness of sin or when asking for a blessing in their lives. The High Priest acted as a mediator between everyone and God. It was impossible to access God without first going through the High Priest.
9 Cont.When you look at Exodus 25: 17-22, which we won’t be reading right now, it speaks of the mercy seat being made of gold and being placed on top of the ark of the covenant. It says it is there on the mercy seat that God will meet and speak with the High Priest. It was within the Holy of Holies that this mercy seat was placed and this is where the blood of bulls and goats was spilled and this is where the atonement of sins took place. The High Priest was the only one allowed to go into the Holy of Holies and so now because Jesus died on the cross, Jesus is our High Priest and because of that we have full access to it. Now we can meet and talk with God through Jesus, because of his death that was the final sacrifice needed.
10 Cont.This is what is going on in these verses that bring us to the promise of Hebrews 4:16, which says, Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. This is why we can find hope for the future.
12 Unique AccessIn today's day and age we always have to make appointments, whether it's family, co-workers, or with any professionals such as doctors. Yet, with God we can approach him anytime. With God we don’t have to make any appointments. With God we don’t have to text him or him. With God, we not only have direct access to him, but we have full access, and we can use this full access anytime, anywhere, for any reason.
13 Cont.This access that we have with God is filled with mercy and grace, and it’s not based on the law of Moses anymore with all it’s rules and regulations, it’s now based on the finished work of the cross. Now just because our access to God isn’t based on the law of Moses anymore doesn’t mean we can just do whatever we want and not suffer the consequences, rather it means that because of God’s mercy and grace we will want to serve him and obey him out of gratitude and thankfulness.
14 Go to your Bible and read Hebrews 4: 14-5:10 for more information on this.
15 More InformationFirst, when we read these other verses it tells us that both the OT Priests and Jesus the High Priest were appointed, not by themselves, but from GodSecondly, when we read these verses it tells us that the reason Jesus is now our High Priest is because he is the Son of God and is perfect
16 Cont.Thirdly, Jesus came to be offered as a sacrifice for us in the same way that the animals of the OT were sacrificed. Jesus blood was spilled in the same way that the blood of the animals was spilled. Now because of what Jesus has done we can lay hold of the promise that is written in verse 16, which is our verse for today’s story which says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Jesus completes and fulfills the OT sacrificial system.
17 Q# 1:Why can we approach God’s throne of grace?
18 Why?We see the answer to this in chapter 4 verses 14-15, 14 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.First, we can approach God because Jesus is now our High Priest and we don’t need a mediator anymore. Jesus fulfilled the role of being the sacrifice and now he fulfills the role of being our High Priest. Jesus could not become the High Priest without first becoming the sacrifice. This is why Jesus is the only one who qualifies for the position of High Priest.
19 Cont.Secondly, we can approach God because Jesus not only died for us, but passed through the heavens to do it. The OT Priest would pass through the different areas of the Tabernacle to reach the presence of God in the Holy of Holies and Jesus in the same way passed through the heavens to reach the presence of God. In his humanity he died and in his divinity he rose again.
20 Cont.Thirdly, we can approach God because this High Priest was sinless. The Old Testament Priests were not sinless, but Jesus is. Now we can approach God anywhere and anytime. No more sacrifices are needed. No more Tabernacle or Temple is needed. We can approach God through Jesus Christ anytime and anywhere. Verse 15 says that Jesus sympathizes with our weaknesses. Jesus, by personal experience, knows what it’s like to be tempted, but remain sinless.These are all the reasons we can approach God throne of grace.
21 Q’s # 2&3: What do we receive when we approach God’s throne Q’s # 2&3: What do we receive when we approach God’s throne? When can we approach God?First , we see that when we approach God we receive grace and mercySecondly, we can approach God in our time of need.
22 Why do we receive mercy and grace? The reason we receive grace and mercy is because that is why Jesus died on the cross. It was the throne of God were sin was atoned for and it is now where people can find mercy and grace for all of the troubles in life. We come to Christ who sits on the mercy seat now and through him we receive mercy and grace. He is our High Priest now and because of that Jesus is the answer to all of life's problems. Jesus sat down on the mercy seat to symbolize that no more sacrifices were needed. Jesus completes and fulfills the OT sacrificial system. Jesus sat down at the right hand of God. In order to see this more fully you’ll need to read Leviticus 16 and 17 as well as the rest of Hebrews. ”In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.Ephesians 1:7-10 says,The reason we receive grace and mercy is because that is why Jesus died on the cross. It was the throne of God were sin was atoned for and it is now where people can find mercy and grace for all of the troubles in life.Not only will this mercy and grace give you help in this life time, but it is this mercy and grace that will unite all things at the end of time. It is this mercy and grace that transcends all time and space and gives us hope for all eternity.
23 Let’s also look at Ephesians 1:7-10 to emphasize this mercy and grace “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (ESV)
24 Lavishing and UnitingThese verses say that God lavished on us the riches of his grace and that Christ will not only give us what we need in this life, but also in the life to come. Jesus Christ will unite all things at the end of time in both heaven and earth. It is this same Jesus who gives us what we need in this life as well, and his help comes in the form of mercy and grace.
26 Time of NeedLet’s read Hebrews chapter 5: 9 TO FIND OUT what defines our time of need. "9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him…”Our time of need first of all is our need of salvation and then secondly our time of need includes our journey in life after being saved. The verse says, “he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.”
27 Cont.We are saved and then we spend the rest of our lives obeying him and one of the ways we get through this journey of life is to constantly come back to this throne of grace and get the mercy and grace we so desperately need.I don’t know about you, but I need a lot of grace and mercy in my life. I’ve made a lot of changes in my life, but I’m far from perfect. When I feel like I’m down and out for the count I come running back to the throne of mercy and grace and start all over again.
29 Times of NeedSome examples of our times of need include Our initial salvation: before we receive anything from God we must become one of his children and the way we do that is by accepting God’s Son as our personal Lord and Savior. Sickness: Some of us have diseases such as cancer, or MS, or diabetes, or some of us come down with other (less serious) sicknesses such as bronchitis, or the flue. Regardless of what kind of sickness you have this is definitely a time of need.
30 Times of NeedRelationship problems: Whether you married or not you may be having relationship problems. These are also times of need. Forgiveness may need to be part of this process, but if you come to God and ask for grace and mercy you will get it, in one way or another. Unemployment: Not having a job and not being able to provide for your family is also a real need. If you come to God’s throne and ask for grace and mercy you can be guaranteed that God will come through for you either by giving you a job or providing for you in other ways.
31 Times of NeedDeath of loved ones: This is also a great time of need. When someone in our lives dies there isn’t anything anyone can say to take away the pain, but with enough time passing by it can become a little easier. This is a time of need where we can come to God and he will understand. Why? Because God allowed his own Son to be our sacrifice by allowing him to be tortured and killed like a criminal. Jesus himself said—God why have you forsaken me? Jesus understands pain. Run to Jesus—run to the throne of grace and mercy.
32 Times of NeedLoss of hope: There are some of you listening today that have lost all hope. There may be a variety of reasons for it, but you have lost all hope. Maybe there have been a variety of reasons that have rested down upon you like a perfect storm. Sickness, unemployment, a new responsibility, a death. Somewhere along the way you have lost all hope. If this describes you come to this throne of God and you will not leave empty handed. You will leave feeling refreshed and renewed and you will receive hope to go on.
34 We can boldly approach God anytime, anywhere, for any reason, and when we do we can expect to receive grace and mercy. The reason why is because Jesus became the final sacrifice for our sins and is now our High Priest. If your troubled today for any reason- come to the throne of grace and mercy, you won't be turned away-you won’t leave empty handed.