It’s a Throne of Grace, not Groveling

There is never a reason for a child of God to respond to him as if you are a worm who must grovel in his presence:

 

Instead, the Bible says:

Let us then approach God’s 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.)

What is the time of need? The writer of Hebrews had just finished describing the ministry of Jesus as the one who helps people in their weakness and temptation. This passage then means you can approach God’s throne of grace with confidence even when you are in the depths of struggle with sin. Jesus knows what people are going through and can “empathize with our weaknesses, [because] we have one who has been tempted in every way.” (Hebrews 4:15.)

Worm Theology is Wormy Theology

Some will tell you that you are a worm who must grovel before God. Don’t listen to them. They are stuck in a mindset similar to the one the writer of Hebrews was trying to correct for his readers as well.

Hebrews was written to Jewish believers in Jesus, and the first few chapters are designed to show them they are much better off with Jesus than in returning to their old ways of exercising their faith. Jesus is superior to angels (Hebrews chapter 1), superior to Moses (chapter 3), and superior to any high priest (chapter 4). Jesus’ gospel of grace is a radical departure for them.

They had been taught their whole lives that their repeated sins required repeated sacrifices in order to maintain their right standing with God. While they knew God to be “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love” (Psalm 145:8), their heritage also taught them that a failure to follow the rules meant facing God’s wrath. That was a frightening prospect as their prophet Jeremiah learned.

Jeremiah on the Ruins of Jerusalem, Horace Vernet 1844 (Wikipedia)

The Lord is righteous,
yet I rebelled against his command.
Listen, all you peoples;
look on my suffering. …

I am the man who has seen affliction
by the rod of the Lord’s wrath.
He has driven me away and made me walk
in darkness rather than light;
indeed, he has turned his hand against me
again and again, all day long. (Lamentations 1:18, 3:1-3.)

To the Jewish readers of Hebrews, the idea that God’s throne is a throne of grace rather than a throne of wrath for those in sin must have sounded odd, even unthinkable perhaps. Yet throne of grace it is and one you too can approach confidently, knowing you are welcome there because of Jesus and all he’s done for you.

You are not to act like a groveling worm, forever in fear of God’s condemnation. That’s not who you are at all.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free … . (Romans 8:1-2.)

You are free forever and a beloved child of God who is instructed in Scripture itself to approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, not groveling. Jesus welcomes you there.

That’s what Scripture says. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

***

Bold I approach the eternal throne …

***

 

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4 Responses to It’s a Throne of Grace, not Groveling

  1. Jeannie Prinsen says:

    So encouraging, Tim.

  2. Pastor Bob says:

    I see why this is posted, and we need it.
    Perhaps the counter pint should be brought out and examined (another posting idea?).
    That point is the believers who as servants make demands upon God that should not be made. A minister one time talked about how the man was not imploring, begging, oar asking – but DEMANDING (his emphasis) for his needs. The more he listened the more he heard ‘worldly wants’ not needs (new nice car, bigger house, more income, selfish as he called it). He even added this phrase, “Lord your servant beckons you come this moment.”
    How do we balance this? Time with Him listening.
    Should we consider what others have to say? Yes but go back to time with Him find the right balance.
    Sadly as these words are typed, we all know that some (many?!) will not take the necessary time.
    My hope is that these words are read, one more will take more time with Him.

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