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Come Boldly Before the Throne, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
September 8, 2023 10:15 am

Come Boldly Before the Throne, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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September 8, 2023 10:15 am

When Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the garden, we became like a branch that sawed itself off from the tree.  In our attempt to find satisfaction apart from God, we separated ourselves from our very life source.  But God was not willing to leave us in our brokenness.  Jesus comes as our High Priest, the only one who could be the go-between, the only one who could truly restore us to the Father.  The Old Testament ritual of the high priest was a shadow of what Jesus would complete for us.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the garden, we became like a branch that sawed itself off from the tree. In our attempt to find satisfaction apart from God, we separated ourselves from our very life source.

But God was not willing to leave us in our brokenness. Jesus comes as our High Priest, the only one who could be the go-between, the only one who could truly restore us to the Father. The Old Testament ritual of the High Priest was a shadow of what Jesus would complete for us. Hebrews 4.14 says, Since then we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God.

Let us hold fast our confession. As servants of Christ, a truth like this infuses courage into our hearts and bolsters our resolve. We can draw near to the throne, confident that we have a High Priest who has experienced what it is to be one of us, confident that His work doesn't just cover sin, but transforms us. Let's listen in as Rich unpacks Hebrews 4.14-16. This is the second part of a message titled, Come Boldly Before the Throne of Grace.

It was first preached on June 17, 2012. We like to think that God is love. He is love. He is love. Were it not for His love, were it not for His tender mercies, you would have been consumed.

And so He has provided mediation so that you can be back in right relation to Him. The question is, are you? Let us fear. Let us fear, he says, lest any of you seem to have come short of it.

Fear is the desire to be in right relation to the One who can and ought to consume you. So what is our confidence then that we could be in right relation, in right standing before God? We can have that confidence, but what is it? What is our confidence that we can be those productive branches grafted back into the tree and not the dead branches destined for the burn pile? What is our confidence?

What is the confidence? With what confidence can we know that we have right standing before God, the God by whom and for whom are all things? In other words, it is all His and it is all for Him. As it says in verse 13, just before verse 14. I know you knew that, but just so you are aware, 13, at the end of verse 13, what does it say about God? What does it say about our relationship to God? The God to whom we must what?

Give account. When it is all said and done, every human being will stand before this consuming fire. Every one of us. What confidence do you have that you have right standing before Him? It is only possible through His loving mediation, through the high priestly work of Jesus Christ. Which is why He says, let us fear lest any of us seem to have come short of this rest.

This rest means you are in Christ, you are secure in Him. You are that branch that has been grafted back into the tree, you have been reconciled to God. Here is our confidence, 1 Timothy chapter 2 verses 4 through 6.

Let us read this together. God our Savior desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all.

It is pretty clear, isn't it? Where is your high priest? The only one who can take you into the presence of the consuming fire so that you are not consumed.

Do you have right standing before God? Now the first theme of this whole section, arguing the supremacy of Christ, is priesthood. Let us move on to the second one now. The second one is progressive revelation and this is a theme that is in the background. This is progressive revelation. In other words, God unveils more truth, unfolding in time and space. It is like the pages of a user's manual or a student's guide. You have something new and you are trying to figure it out and so you read the information that you have and you get to a certain point where the information ends.

What do you have to do? Turn the page for more information and this is what God has done in history. He has given this much revelation and then all of a sudden there is more and so He opens, He unfolds the next page and there is more information. And through history, God has granted more and more and more information. We find that, look with me, keep your finger there, look at the very, very first verse of Hebrews. Hebrews 1-1, God who at various times and in various ways spoke in times best to the fathers by the prophets, verse 2, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son. There it is, that is progressive revelation. So God has given information and now He is giving more information and the writer of Hebrews is saying, you need to know and you need to respond to the information that God has given. So first of all we have the law in the Old Testament, all of the 39 books of the Old Testament back there. And what is that? That is in the Old Testament, particularly the law of Moses, that is tangible foreshadows of the reality to come in Christ.

Let me illustrate that for a minute. You see these lights? It is shining on me. You see my shadow over here, see my shadow waving? Say mm-hmm.

Okay, now I know you are with me, alright? That is my shadow. Question, is that shadow me?

This is not a hard question, is it Ken? That shadow is not me. It is a shadow of me and if that is all you could see, you would know that hey, there is somebody coming, there is information and there is somebody coming. And all the truth, all the rituals and the laws and expectations of the Old Testament, those were a foreshadowing of the reality that it was to come in Christ.

Here is the problem. That shadow by itself is inherently incomplete. It is not the real thing, it is just a shadow.

It is incomplete because it is powerless to transform, it is only a copy, it is only images of the real thing that is to come in Christ, like a photograph. You take a photo of somebody, is that really that person? I show off my family, my wife and kids to people that I haven't seen for a long time, here they are and I show that to them. Is that really my wife and kids?

This is not a hard question. It is not. It is only a picture of them, right? It's not really them.

I cannot have a relationship with that photo. It is simply an image and that's what the Old Testament is. It is a foreshadowing of the reality that is to come in Christ. That was revelation and then the new revelation comes in the person of Jesus Christ.

God has in these last days spoken to us by His Son. So in the copies in the Old Testament, to understand Hebrews, you need to understand much of what is written in the book of Leviticus and we will work through that, Psalm specifically. Let's look for example at Leviticus chapter 16. You don't need to turn there but in Leviticus 16, it tells the function of the high priest on the day of atonement.

In the Old Testament, you had the tabernacle first and then you had the temple that was built planned by David and built by Solomon. You had the courtyard, you had the holy place and then you had the what? Holiest place. The Holy of Holies and inside the Holies, what was dividing the Holy of Holies?

A curtain. A big curtain and behind that curtain in the holiest place was the Ark of the Covenant. It was called the mercy seat. God said to Moses, it is there that I will meet you at the mercy seat.

Why is that? Because that represented the separation, the necessary separation between holy God and sinful man. The high priest could go in once a year and he had to have the blood of the sacrifice, the blood of a forfeited life and he could go in once a year with that offering and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and there God would meet with him and he would make atonement for his people. What would happen if somebody else tried to go into that holiest place? It would be instant lights out. Only the high priest could do that and he could do it once a year and he couldn't go in there and just stay in lounges as long as he wanted to, it's like go in, get it done and get out.

One man, nobody else. What is that? That's the foreshadowing. The reality comes in Christ and that takes us to the New Testament, which is why we call it the New Testament, the new covenant. It is the New Testament.

Now we're no longer looking at the foreshadows, now we're looking at the real thing. Christ, God in person, the one whom John the Baptist said, behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, not just covers them, he takes them away. What a tremendous truth that is. But you have the reality now in the person of Christ so that we are really forgiven.

There is real relationship and there is real transformation. And this is what we must know and understand and learn from this progressive revelation that God has and this is a major theme behind this whole section of the book of Hebrews, progressive revelation. And here's the important truth for us. God holds us accountable to know and respond to the revelation he has given. God holds us accountable to know and respond to the revelation he has given, which is why it brings us to the third warning in the book of Hebrews and we will see this as we get into the section.

I'm just merely going to touch on it and introduce it today but we're not there yet. The third warning in the book of Hebrews we find in chapter 5 verse 11 through 6, 12. Now if you were to look at Hebrews 5, 10 and then skip on over immediately to Hebrews 6, 13, there would be a perfect flow there.

So 5, 11 through 6, 12 is kind of like a parenthetical statement and that encompasses the third warning of the book of Hebrews. The first two warnings are this, the first warning is the warning to focus which protects us against drift, drifting away from the salvation that God has for us. The second warning is to trust which will rescue us from distraction by what looks hard. To trust God instead of being distracted by what looks hard. Like the children of Israel going into the promised land, it looked hard to them but they were called to trust God and we need to learn from their example of disobedience. If you don't trust God, it will be hard. Then the third warning is the warning to mature which rescues you from a dull infantile faith of being complacent with incomplete information and that was the challenge to the Hebrews.

They were at some point ready to go back to the shadows and say, okay the reality in Christ but we were happy with the shadows, let's go back with the shadows. We're going to be happy, we're going to be complacent with incomplete truth and the writer of Hebrews is saying you're going to fall short of the rest that God has for you. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's Word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace, weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-08 12:16:56 / 2023-09-08 12:22:13 / 5

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