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Come Boldly Before the Throne, Part 4

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
September 12, 2023 10:15 am

Come Boldly Before the Throne, Part 4

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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September 12, 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.  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 .

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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, Let's listen in as Rich unpacks Hebrews 4.14-16. This is the fourth part of a message titled Come Boldly Before the Throne of Grace. It was first preached on June 17, 2012. Being busy for God and doing all the things that a Christian is supposed to do is not the same thing as walking with God, of being in Christ.

So maybe we should heed that warning as well. The Scripture is written to us today as well. To move from ritual to reality.

A picture moved from the picture to the real person. The third point is don't be complacent with incomplete truth. The revelation that God has given, your knowledge of the Scriptures, are you content there? Are you just going to sit back and say, well, I'm just going to be happy with what I know and move on from there. We're never going to learn anymore? Are we never going to grow? Are we just going to be content with incomplete truth?

Turn the page on the owner's manual. Know the information that God has given you. And this is part of the warning that we find in Hebrews 5. That we are called to be skilled in the Word.

Skilled in the Word so that our senses are exercised by use to discern good and evil. And not be simply complacent with incomplete information. The fourth point is to move on to maturity. Move on to maturity. We are called to move on to maturity. For the Hebrews, it was moving on from just the information, moving on from just the ritual, into the reality and the transformation that is in Christ. If you ignore Christ, you ignore the reality. You ignore the real thing. You ignore the transformation that God has for you. And we need to move on to maturity.

It's time to move on to maturity. This is what the writer of Hebrews is saying to his readers. Okay? Because true pilgrims make progress. One who genuinely follows Christ. And when I say genuinely follows, I mean you're not just associated with Christ. You've not just chosen to somehow associate with Him.

You're not just listening to the lectures. You are genuinely following Christ because you have entrusted your life to Him. One who genuinely follows Christ on the God-ward path makes progress.

The true pilgrims make progress. We are called on to maturity. Now this is the premise, this is what the writer of Hebrews is arguing.

For this whole next section of moving on to maturity, three major themes behind it all. Priesthood, progressive sanctification, and pressing on to maturity, to use the New American Standard Language. And so then he takes us then, he begins with the priesthood. And he says, we have, this is his thesis, this is his introductory statement in verses 14 to 16, we have a priest par excellence.

What do you mean by that? The priest who is the best of his kind and nothing compares. As he says, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens Jesus the Son of God. He is our great high priest. The person of Christ is the reality for right standing before God because that's the question. If you're depending on any of the shadows, if you're depending on incomplete information, if you're depending on rituals to give you right standing before God, the writer of Hebrew says press on to maturity. We have a priest par excellence, nothing can be compared because if you miss out on Christ, you miss out on God.

It's a pretty straightforward statement isn't it? Any other means of right standing before God falls short, you must have Christ. He is our mediator. So we have that then in chapter 4 verse 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. He's not just a man here on the earth, he is the Son of God, God-man who is now in the very presence of God for you and me. And that is the significance of our mediator who has passed through the heavens, our mediator stands in the very presence of God and he's there for us. With him, we get God.

Apart from him, we do not. Not only is he there in the presence of God, but unlike the priest in the Old Testament, that foreshadow, unlike the priest in the Old Testament, he could go in once a year, get it done and get out. Jesus is there in the very presence of God for you and me to stay.

And then we come to verse 15. Not only is he there in the very presence of God for us, but Christ identifies with our humanity. Christ identifies with our humanity, 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. He is the perfect representation of humanity. He is my perfect representation before the consuming fire.

I, who deserve nothing less than to be consumed by his purity. He stands there for me and he represents humanity perfectly without disobedience to God and he perfectly represents us to God. So verse 15, Christ identifies with our humanity.

Very important that he's able to do that. Because were he not able to identify with us, because the priests in the Old Testament, they were men acting on behalf of the people, ushering them into the presence of God to make atonement for their sin. Christ represents us before an infinitely holy, consuming God and with him we get God.

And then we come to verse 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 unapproachable God becomes approachable through Christ.

The unapproachable becomes approachable. And it is after all a throne of grace and the throne of grace is much better than the mercy seat. The mercy seat was simply a foreshadowing of the reality that was come to Christ and now that Christ is here we have the throne of grace. Remember in Matthew's account of the gospel where Jesus died and he cried, my God, my God why have you forsaken me? That moment when he absorbed God's wrath for you and the whole world turned dark, it was a moment of triumph. Because when that happened, what happened in the temple in Jerusalem? Do you remember?

The curtain was torn. Do you realize the significance of that? God is now saying the unapproachable is now approachable. With Christ you get God.

In Christ you are no longer consumed by the radiance of his purity. Christ our high priest. We therefore can come boldly to the throne of grace. In the mercy seat one man meets God once a year covered by the blood of a forfeited life. Jesus Christ enters into the presence of God forever, once for all.

With him I get God. And so the throne of grace is there available to us and it is a throne. What is the significance of a throne?

He's a ruler. He is a sovereign king and under his gracious rule we are rescued from his wrath and from the oppression of the sin that separates us from him. That's the throne of grace. And is it at that throne of grace that God's goodness is lavished upon you and me. Let us come boldly to the throne of grace. Boldly.

Why does he say boldly? Because we can have the confidence that we are in right standing before God. The God who is a consuming fire. What is our grounds to appear before this consuming fire? It is Christ and Christ alone. This is why the author of Hebrews is writing and arguing so strongly that if you ignore Christ you are bound for the burn pile. But God in his love and his mercy has made provision for us in Christ who alone can usher us into the presence of this consuming fire. What amazing grace that is. That is love. That is the God who loves us.

Because he made us for himself. And so the call is then, come boldly to the throne of grace. And you can, without fear of being consumed, if in fact you can say, all I have is Christ. Before the throne of God above I have a strong and perfect plea. A great high priest whose name is love. Whoever lives and pleads for me. 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 / 2023-10-05 11:36:17 / 2023-10-05 11:40:22 / 4

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