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BOLDLY AT THE THRONE ! A Study on Approaching God by KEN CHANT
introduction King Danaüs of Argos had 50 daughters, who were called the Danaïdes...
Artists and poets have seen in them a metaphor of the futility of life, which often seems little more than a dreary treadmill of repetitious duties.
Like chasing a carrot on the end of a stick!
Our text changes all that – Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need!”
come to the throne It is hard for us to realise the original impact of that invitation! But imagine reading about someone quite unimportant being invited to the palace!
So the ancients thought about God. If he could be approached at all, it must be with abject humility.
Note Ecclesiastes 5: “Watch your step when you go into the House of God... Don’t be in a hurry to speak, or too quick to say whatever is in your heart. Remember that God is in heaven while you are on earth, therefore say as little as possible!”
Or consider Psalm 29: “The voice of the Lord shakes the oaks and strips the trees bare, while in his Temple the people are all shouting, ‘Glory to God!... O Lord help us to bear up bravely; O Lord, grant peace to us once again!’”
But then came the gospel, with its glorious affirmation – “The way into the holiest has been made open for everyone who believes, through the blood of the everlasting covenant!”
We should never allow anyone, ever, to close that door!
come to the throne boldly The adverb adds an even more astonishing dimension to the invitation Cp. Esther 4:11-16
The Greek word is parrhesia = “all- words-speak” It was first coined to describe the democratic rights of the ancient Athenians
In time it came to mean “boldness” and “confidence” in general, but it never lost the underlying idea of the right to speak one’s mind freely.
You may say, “But surely I am unworthy?” Well, of course you are!
But it does not say that the way is open only to the perfect, the virtuous, the intercessor, or the specially favoured... but to those who believe !
come to the throne and find mercy Few men have had such an enormous influence upon the world and the church as the 13th century scholar and divine St Thomas Aquinas....
Two texts alone are enough to condemn us – Romans 3:23; Luke 10:27...
“Because we have all sinned, we now keep on causing ourselves to fall short of the glory of God.”
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and with all your mind.”
Therefore, we need mercy, first, last and most of all! But how great is that mercy?
Think about a leaf in a gale; a drop of ink in the ocean …
I do not mean that sin is inconsequential – Calvary demolishes any such fancy – but that the blood of the covenant is sufficient!
To think or act otherwise is to scorn the mercy of God –
“Listen, you whom I have chosen, says the Lord... Away with your fears and doubts! For God is your Leader. You who follow my commandments and instructions, says the Lord your God, must not let your sins weigh you down, nor your wicked deeds get the better of you!” (2 Esdras 16:74-76, NEB).
come to the throne and find grace A faith without miracles is empty indeed! See Galatians 3:2-5...
“Just tell me this. Did you receive the Spirit by your own efforts... or by believing the gospel?... Does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you because of some good work of yours, or because you believe the message that you have heard?”
We cannot be content with anything less than the “double cure” spoken of by the poet Augustus Toplady (1775) –
Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in thee; Let the water and the blood From thy riven side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure; Cleanse me from its guilt and power.
come to the throne and find help So far he has used a political, a judicial, and a theological term – now he adds to the list...
a nautical expression – frapping...
The word is used only twice, here and in Acts 27:17...
“We had a hard time holding the lifeboat in place, but finally we got it where it belonged. Then the sailors wrapped ropes around the ship to hold it together.”
And this “frapping”, he says, will always be “timely” The Greek expression used in our text means “at just the right time”.
Here are some renderings of the expression – “help at the right time... well-timed help... help just when we most need it... the right kind of help at just the right time!” So then –
“Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need!”