Hebrews 4:16 - Jesus Christ Our Great High Priest and Confident Prayer.
Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) Let us then approach the throne of grace
with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help
us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 (AMP) Let us then fearlessly and confidently and
boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God's unmerited
favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and
find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and
well-timed help, coming just when we need it].
Mercy means that God does not give us what we deserve, and grace
means that He gives us what we do not deserve. What a loving God He
is! [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe re Psa.
When Jesus Christ died on the cross, the curtain in the temple
(which had replaced the tabernacle) tore open from top to bottom (Mark
15:38), symbolizing our free access to God because of Jesus' death. No
longer did people have to approach God through priests and sacrifices.
[The One Year Bible Companion re Exo. 26:31-33]
At one time in history a "NO ACCESS" sign was posted at the
gates of Paradise. Even in the Old Testament temple there was no
access to the throne of God by the ordinary person. Even for the High
Priest his access was "limited" to once a year under very guarded
circumstances. A thick veil separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the
temple. It was off-limits. Restricted. No admission was permitted to the
rank-and file believer.
The moment Jesus was slain, the instant the Just One died for
the unjust, the veil in the temple was torn. The presence of God
became accessible to us. For the Christian the "NO ACCESS" sign was
removed from the gates of Paradise... We have access to His grace, but
even more, we have access to Him... We come as those covered by the
righteousness of Christ.... To be sure we still come in awe, in a spirit of
reverence and adoration, but the tremendous news is that we can . . .
approach the throne of grace with confidence. R. C. Sproul [Time With God
You have a great High Priest who can give you the mercy and the
grace you need just when you need them. He lives to intercede for you
(7:25) and to help you do His will (13:20-21). [Chapter by Chapter
Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe]
To the unsaved, God's throne is a throne of judgment (Rev.
20:11-15); but to God's children, it is a throne of grace. When you are
tempted, you can come to your great High Priest for mercy and grace. If
you sin, you can come to your Advocate for forgiveness (1 John
1:9-2:2). The way is always open. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by
Warren Wiersbe re Heb. 4]
God wants us to come "boldly" into His presence, not timidly or
anxiously or in fear of how He might respond. He wants to help us, and He
has all the grace we need to confront any challenge we might face.
[Life Principles SB By Charles Stanley re Heb. 4:16]
Because Jesus knows what it feels like to be tempted, He is
sympathetic toward us--that is, He does not feel annoyed at our failures or
exasperated with our struggles. He knows just how to move us on to maturity.
[Life Principles SB By Charles Stanley re Heb. 4:15]
God's unchanging nature teaches us that even when we feel
unlovely, we remain beautiful to Him. We can do nothing to change His love
for us--it is unconditional and flows freely from His throne of
grace. If God decided to change who He is, then every promise He has
made would be in jeopardy. He would become untrustworthy. But the
legacy of God is this: He loved us unconditionally yesterday, and He
loves us with the same love today and tomorrow. [Life Principles SB By
Charles Stanley re Heb. 4:15, 16]
Prayer is an awesome privilege. Prayer is our approach to God,
and we are to come "with confidence." Some Christians approach God
meekly with heads hung low, afraid to ask him to meet their needs.
Others pray flippantly, giving little thought to what they say. Come
with reverence because he is your King. But also come with bold
assurance because he is your Savior. [Life Application SB]
JESUS tells us ...,"When you pray, you should pray like this:
`Our Father in heaven, may your name always be kept holy. May your
kingdom come" (Matthew 6:9-10).
When you say, "May your kingdom come," you are inviting the
Messiah himself to walk into your world. "Come, my King! Take your
throne in our land. Be present in my heart. Be present in my office.
Come into my marriage. Be Lord of my family, my fears, and my
doubts." This is no feeble request; it's a bold appeal for God to occupy
every corner of your life.
[And] who are you to ask such a thing? Who are you to ask God to
take control of your world? You are his child, for heaven's sake! And
so you ask boldly. from The Great House Of God [Grace For The
Moment SB By Max Lucado re Heb. 4:16]
Through his death on the cross, our great High Priest, Jesus,
opened access to God. Now people can approach God directly because of
Jesus' sacrifice for sins. Because Jesus gave his life to do this for
us, let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace. This verse
is an open invitation to regard God as a great ally and true
friend. Yes, God occupies a throne, a seat of power and authority, but
it is a throne of grace, not a throne of greed or domination. The
term "throne of grace" describes the constant care and love offered
to God's undeserving children. God's grace is a characteristic of
his reign. "Grace" means undeserved favor. Our ability to approach
God does not come from any merit of our own but depends entirely on
Believers can "come boldly" and confidently to this throne, for
the king is our Father, who loves us as his children. At God's
throne, we will not receive anger or be ignored; instead, we will obtain
mercy and find grace to help in time of need. God is not only
concerned with converting people and collecting disciples; he also cares
and nurtures those children who are his own. He listens to our
needs. No request is insignificant, and no problem is too small for the
one who sits on the throne of grace. God will never reject a
Christian's plea or ignore one who brings requests before God. When we come
to God, we are promised "mercy," God's loving-kindness and
forgiveness. When we come to God, we will receive "grace," God's undeserved
favor, that will help in time of need. No matter what the problem, no
matter what sin caused the need, God promises to help us at just the
right time -- his time. This doesn't mean that God promises to solve
every need the moment we come to him. Nor does it mean that God will
erase the natural consequences of any sin that was committed. It does
mean, however, that God listens, cares, and will answer in his perfect
way, in his perfect timing. (Life Application Commentary)
Sometimes our problems are such a tangle that solving them seems
too far out of our grasp. That's when we have to get back to the
basics--do the right thing one step at a time. We need to boldly approach
God's throne, admit our utter confusion, and ask him to show us the
Ask God, "What do I do today?" Then walk in obedience, doing
what is right for today. "What about tomorrow?" you ask. God
responds, "Don't worry about tomorrow. Today is all you can handle. I've
got tomorrow taken care of. Tomorrow we'll talk about tomorrow." And
so it goes, one step at a time. Suddenly, we've walked through the
problem and out the other side. We've learned a thing or two about
ourselves. We've learned a thing or two about God. We've grown. And we've
gotten rather used to visiting God's throne on a daily basis-- and
liking it there. That's what those utterly confusing problems do; they
drive us to God.
Confused? Out of options? Go boldly to the throne of your
gracious God. Get used to being there. He'll show you the next obedient
step. [The One Year Bible for New Believers re Heb. 4:16]
This passage of Hebrews contains one of the most vital truths in
the New Testament concerning Christ and those who believe in him. It
also contains one of the greatest promises and invitations in the
Bible: come boldly to the throne of grace and receive mercy and grace
in our time of need. Why? Not because we're good or we deserve it
but because Jesus is in his place at the right hand of the Father
and is our great High Priest. That's why we have constant access to
God's grace; that's why we can take all our needs and problems to him
in prayer--because he is right now at God's throne beckoning us to
come for the grace and mercy he is so ready to give! He isn't
oblivious to the reality of our humanness; in fact, he understands our
weaknesses. There is help when we most need it, mercy and strength when
we're weak, sufficient grace for anything we will ever face --if only
we will come to the throne of our gracious God, ask, and receive.
Come to him today! [Praying Through The Bible By Fuller]
We will not be able to meet the trials of this time without
God.... The Lord proportions His grace to meet every emergency. We are
to receive daily supplies of grace for each daily emergency. Thus
we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and
if persecution comes upon us, if we must be enclosed in prison
walls for the faith of Jesus and the keeping of God's holy law, "As
thy days, so shall thy strength be." Should there be a return of
persecution there would be grace given to arouse every energy of the soul to
show a true heroism. But there is a large amount of nominal
Christianity which has not its origin in God, the Source of all power and
might. God gives us not power to make us independent and
self-sufficient. We must ever make God our only dependence. 1888/460
Jesus Himself, while He dwelt among men, was often in prayer.
Our Saviour identified Himself with our needs and weakness, in that
He became a suppliant, a petitioner, seeking from His Father fresh
supplies of strength, that He might come forth braced for duty and trial.
He is our example in all things. He is a brother in our
infirmities, "in all points tempted like as we are;" but as the sinless one
His nature recoiled from evil; He endured struggles and torture of
soul in a world of sin. His humanity made prayer a necessity and a
privilege. He found comfort and joy in communion with His Father. And if
the Saviour of men, the Son of God, felt the need of prayer, how
much more should feeble, sinful mortals feel the necessity of
fervent, constant prayer......
The darkness of the evil one encloses those who neglect to pray.
The whispered temptations of the enemy entice them to sin; and it is
all because they do not make use of the privileges that God has
given them in the divine appointment of prayer. Why should the sons
and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in
the hand of faith to unlock heaven's storehouse, where are treasured
the boundless resources of Omnipotence? Without unceasing prayer and
diligent watching we are in danger of growing careless and of deviating
from the right path. The adversary seeks continually to obstruct the
way to the mercy seat, that we may not by earnest supplication and
faith obtain grace and power to resist temptation.
There are certain conditions upon which we may expect that God
will hear and answer our prayers. One of the first of these is that
we feel our need of help from Him. He has promised, "I will pour
water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground."
Isaiah 44:3. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, who long
after God, may be sure that they will be filled. The heart must be
open to the Spirit's influence, or God's blessing cannot be
If we regard iniquity in our hearts, if we cling to any known
sin, the Lord will not hear us; but the prayer of the penitent,
contrite soul is always accepted. When all known wrongs are righted, we
may believe that God will answer our petitions. Our own merit will
never commend us to the favor of God; it is the worthiness of Jesus
that will save us, His blood that will cleanse us; yet we have a work
to do in complying with the conditions of acceptance.
Another element of prevailing prayer is faith. "He that cometh
to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them
that diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6. Jesus said to His disciples,
"What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive
them, and ye shall have them." Mark 11:24. Do we take Him at His word?