The Throne of Grace
Let us then draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
– Hebrews 4:16
Let us notice here three particular points:
1. The reference to a throne points us to the King who sits on the throne, the Lord Jesus, who, when He had finished the whole work of redemption in this world, ascended to heaven and ‘sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high‘ (Hebrews 1:3). From his throne of majesty, He has everything that happens in this world under control, and He is especially ordering it all for the benefit of those whom He has redeemed. So when they pray in the name of Christ, we can expect them to be heard on the basis of what He has done for them. Through his work on earth, he has obtained an abundance of gifts which He is sovereignly dispensing to those who come to Him as He sits on His throne of majesty.
2. It is a throne of grace. So we may not come to it as if we were asserting our rights or as if we could purchase blessings through our own good works, perhaps by the merit of our prayers. We are sinners; we have no merits; we deserve nothing except to suffer eternally for our sins. But the One who sits on the throne is full of grace; He will cast out no one who comes to Him–who, in others words, trusts in Him. We are to come to Him, first of all, that our sins may be forgiven and that all our spiritual needs may be supplied, on the basis of His great work of redemption, when He suffered and died in the place of guilty sinners. And that work of salvation is entirely gracious–we can never begin to deserve it. Likewise, the supply of all our other needs, both spiritual and temporal, is entirely of grace; we can never deserve any of His gifts.
3. We are told to come boldly, that is, with confidence. For one thing, we are assured that Christ is ‘not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin‘. Although He could not experience what it is to sin, yet He has experienced all other kinds of infirmities, so He will not turn away the prayers of those who come trusting in the sincerity of the call to the throne of grace. Further, we must be confident of the truth of all the statements of Scripture, in particular the truth of Christ’s invitation: ‘Come unto me . . . . and I will give you rest‘. We may most often think of this as an invitation to sinners to come to Christ for salvation, but having so come, they are to come in faith again and again for the supply of all their further needs, as God, in His wisdom, sees is best for them. They are to come conscious of the reliability of the Scripture assurances that Christ, on the throne of grace, will never reject anyone who looks to Him.
– Donald MacLeod