Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Grace Gets Exciting!

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:14–16 (NASB95)
The litmus test of whether or not you understand the gospel is what you do when you fail. Do you run from God and go try to clean yourself up a bit before you come back into the throne room, or do you approach the throne of grace with confidence? If you don't approach the throne of grace with confidence, you don't understand the gospel. You are most offensive to God when you come to him with all of your efforts, when you're still trying to earn what's freely given. – Matt Chandler, from the sermon "Remembering Your Creator"
Anybody who has heard me preach or teach knows that I love the word, “therefore” (or similar words). It’s a word that is meant to tell us something like, “sit up and pay attention now, a conclusion is coming,” or it brings together a series of thoughts. Sometimes, “therefore” appears in a series (“this” “therefore” “that” “therefore” “more” and so on). It’s a great little word.

It drives home important points. For example, in the passage from Hebrews 4, you’ll see “therefore” at verse 14 and again at verse 16. I’ll let you go read the verses coming before this passage, so you’ll see more of what’s involved in Jesus being our great high priest. But the question might be, “So what?” Well, first, we have a great high priest in heaven, and it’s somebody that can sympathize with our weaknesses. After all, he’s been tempted in all things as we are. Sure, he didn’t sin, but he understands. You really need to get that point.

The next idea is thrilling! When we need mercy and grace, we can approach God’s throne of grace confidently because we’ll get exactly what we need, not what we deserve. Grace gets exciting when you understand it. Some think they need to get things together before they come to God. Grace tells us it’s the other way around. When you need God’s help, go to him. He’s the only one who can clean you up.