“Let Us Therefore Come Boldly Unto The Throne Of Grace, That We May Obtain Mercy, And Find Grace To Help In Time Of Need.”—Heb 4:16
This epistle is indited and left to the church by the Holy Ghost, to show particularly, and more distinctly, the high priesthood of Jesus Christ, and the excellent benefits that his people have thereby. In which both the excellency of his person, and transcendent glory of his office, beyond either priest or priesthood of the law, is largely set forth before us, in Heb 1:2, &c.
Wherefore, in order to our beneficial reading of this epistle, the Spirit of God calls upon us, first, most seriously to consider what an one this excellent person is: “Wherefore, holy brethren,” saith he, you that are “partakers of the heavenly calling,” consequently you that are related to and that are concerned in the undertaking of this holy one, “consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” (Heb 3:1). Consider how great and how fit this man is for so holy and glorious a calling. He being so high, as to be far above all heavens; so great, as to be the Son of, and God equal with the Father. Consider him also as to his humanity, how that he is really flesh of our flesh; sinlessly so, sympathisingly so, so in all the compassions of a man; he is touched with, compassioneth, pitieth, loveth, succoureth us, and feeleth our infirmities, and maketh our case his own. Nay, he again, from the consideration of his greatness and love, puts us upon a confident reliance on his undertaking, and also presseth us to a bold approach of that throne of grace where he continually abideth in the execution of his office: “Seeing then,” saith he, “that we have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities: but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace” (Heb 3:14-16).
In the words we have,
“To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev 3:21).
There is also to be a throne of judgment, on which God by Christ, at the great and notable day, shall sit to give to the whole world, their last or final sentence; from which, no, not, not by any means, they shall never be released. This throne is made mention of in the New Testament, and is called by Christ “the throne of his glory,” and “a great white throne” (Mt 25:31; Rev 20:11). And his presence, when he sits upon this throne, will be so terrible, that nothing shall be able to abide it that is not reconciled to God by him before.
Wherefore it is not amiss that I give you this hint, because it may tend to inform unwary Christians, when they go to God, that they address not themselves to him at rovers, or at random; but that when they come to him for benefits, they direct their prayer to the throne of grace, or to God as considered on a throne of grace. For he is not to be found a God merciful and gracious, but as he is on the throne of grace. This is his holy place, out of which he is terrible to the sons of men, and cannot be gracious unto them. For as when he shall sit at the last day upon his throne of judgment, he will neither be moved with the tears of misery of the world to do any thing for them, that in the least will have a tendency to a relaxation of the least part of their sorrow; so now let men take him where they will, or consider him as they list, he gives no grace, no special grace, but as considered on the throne of grace: wherefore they that will pray, and speed, they must come to a throne of grace: to a God that sitteth on a throne of grace: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain,” &c.
The unbeliever, the erroneous and superstitious, consider not this: wherefore they speak to God as their fancies lead them, not as the word directs them, and therefore obtain nothing. Ask the carnal man to whom he prays? he will say to God. Ask him where this God is? he will say in heaven. But ask him how, or under what notion he is to be considered there? and he will give a few generals, but cannot direct his soul unto him as he is upon a throne of grace, as the apostle here biddeth, saying, “Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace.” Wherefore they come and go, or rather go and come to no advantage at all: they find nothing but their labour or words for their pains. For the right considering of God when I go unto him, and how or where I may find him gracious and merciful, is all in all; and mercy and grace is then obtained when we come to him as sitting upon a throne of grace.
Before I proceed to give you a more particular description of this throne of grace, as also how it may be know, I will a little touch upon the terms themselves, and show briefly what must be implied by them.