Faithlife Sermons

At the Throne of Grace Together

Hebrews - Lent   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  32:34
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Based in Hebrews 4:14-16.We re together with other Believers any time we are at the throne of mercy.

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Opening prayer, dedication
Music ministry
The Blessing (short)
507 Through It All
How Marvelous
Word of God -
Hebrews 4:14-16
Sermon "At the Throne of Grace Together"
We finished last week talking about the rest we all need
We learned that when we Rest in Christ, then we have the other forms of rest all covered
We also learned that without Christ, there is no real rest
I want to begin with the last verse from our core text last week
Hebrews 4:13 ESV
13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
It was not that many years ago that cameras were not EVERYWHERE
Some employees, including our own, really hated the idea that they might be watched
Of course everyone said “I have nothing to hide”
But the idea of being potentially watched all the time was stressful
All any employer can do is fire you
Of course, we all know that
“Character is what you demonstrate when you THINK no one is watching”
Just imagine the stress when we process that God IS always watching and we KNOW that we are doing things less than perfectly
How could we possibly “rest” like that, right?
The answer is found in God’s grace
God is not watching for us to fail
God is watching us out of love and wants us to trust His grace
That’s who our Jesus is!
That’s why we can gather and be at rest with Him
That’s why we can be confident as we continue our journey toward “The Throne of Grace Together”
Which is where the title for the message comes from today
We really are on a journey together
If I was telling you about this awesome trip, and I was trying to get you to join me
What would you want to know?
Where were we going
When were we going and for how long
How would we be traveling
How much would it cost
And what every kid, even the older ones, wants to know Who is going “
Parents would also want to know who the chaperones were
Maybe for the adult too
We would want to know who was organizing AND who would be leading, right?
I wouldn’t want to go on a long trip with a person in charge who
I didn’t trust to be organized
or whose character was in conflict with biblical principles
Here, we are on a journey of faith until the day God calls each of us home
More specifically, we are on a part of that journey where we approach Easter 2022
Don’t worry about the character or pedigree of our ultimate trip organizer because His name is Jesus
And Jesus assigned the Holy Spirit as our tour guide
The Holy Spirit will guide us in the way to go
What to do and what not to do
And the Holy Spirit will work hard to keep you from missing the bus as it goes on its way
What exactly is the destination for this leg of our journey
It’s “The Throne of Grace” -
Let’s head there together, shall we?
Don’t take my word for it about pedigree, it was at the beginning of our core text today, Hebrews 4:14
Hebrews 4:14 ESV
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
This is a great confirmation of what we studied in Ephesians 4:10
Ephesians 4:10 ESV
10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Perfect for this season of preparation
As we get ready to celebrate resurrection Sunday
We get to talk about what Jesus went through before the crucifixion
It comes to us in this reference to “passing through the heavens”
In the Old Testament church, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would pass through three areas to make the atoning sacrifice
The Outer court
The Holy Place
and the Holy of Holies
Jesus passed through the three heavens after making the His sacrifice in atonement for ALL our sins
The atmospheric heaven, where birds fly and clouds are
The stellar heaven, where the planets and stars are
and God’s abode (where God is seated)
What exactly do we mean by “heaven”?
The word in Greek was “Ouranos”

(ouranos). n. masc. sky. The portion of creation that is distinct from earth.

So, “heaven” is essentially everything created that isn’t on earth
And Scripture generally refers to the heavens as being in layers
2 Corinthians 12:2–3 ESV
2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. 3 And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—
In order to come alongside us and become our High Priest, Jesus journeyed through ALL three heavens
If you ever feel down and like you aren’t worth anything
Just remember that Jesus traveled a long way and endured tremendous troubles to save you
Even if you closed the door on Him at first, He still wants into your life
Knowing the long journey, and the power He holds
Surely we can agree that Jesus is worthy of more than an occasional tip of time or thought
This journey was for a purpose
That purpose was and is to show us the way to salvation
So, God in Heaven is not expecting Jesus to return from that journey empty-handed
Here’s the point of the heavenly comparison
When Jesus returned to the heavenly Holy of Holies, having completed our redemption
The theoretical or facsimile of heaven got replaced by the reality of heaven
What was only a dream, that we gentiles could spend all eternity with God in heave,
That became a very real option
Jesus demonstrated His desire for us to follow Him to heaven
and Jesus demonstrated His power through His resurrection
Therefore, we should be able to “hold fast” to our faith in Jesus
Takeaways
Hold Fast to Faith in Jesus
Our Faith in Jesus requires that we boldly PROFESS our faith in Jesus
“hold fast to our confession” means that we are to not waiver,
We are to be strong as we are vocal proponents or advocates for our faith in Jesus
There is no room for lukewarm or wishy-washy faith
Jesus came far too far, did far too much and suffered far too much for us to be anything other than bold!
Takeaways
Hold Fast to Faith in Jesus
Jesus knows our struggles
One of the most spectacular things Jesus did was to choose to leave the highest heaven to come to walk with us
By coming alongside us and becoming human for a time
Jesus was fulfilling a requirement for high priesthood
Recall from Hebrews 2:17-18
Hebrews 2:17–18 ESV
17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Jesus came alongside us and became “LIKE” us
That we may know that Jesus understands our struggles
That we may know we are not alone
That even Jesus faced temptation
That even Jesus felt physical and emotional pain
That we are NEVER alone in our discomfort and pain
We really must focus for a moment on “weakness”.
Verse 15 says that Jesus can sympathize with our weakness (Isaiah 53:3)
Isaiah 53:3 ESV
3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Jesus knows first-hand what it’s like to not only “feel” despised ,
but to actually be despised
Even despised by His own people
So, if you feel down, looked down upon,
Jesus knows how you feel
You are NOT alone, nor am I
We are, in fact, on this journey of life together
Together with each other
and Together with Jesus
Our final takeaway
Takeaways
Hold Fast to Faith in Jesus
Jesus knows our struggles
Go to the Throne of Grace Together
I love having a destination, a final location in mind for any trip
While I am one of those who don’t need or even like to have every turn mapped out
I enjoy the side-trips
I even enjoy chasing a rabbit or two along the way
The best trips though, are those where the destination is exciting
You just can’t wait to get there
But being able to enjoy the side trips and deviations that life brings along the way makes those trips even better
When you can see a sign advertising two-headed snakes and you just HAVE to go see it
Or, that young lady struggling to change a flat tire and you are able to bless her with help
Or that waitress who was struggling and needed a friendly ear and extra tip
All given as opportunities to shine the light of Christ and introduce people to the Kingdom of God
Now we are talking about a EPIC trip!
To bring the message a little closer to home
As Believers in Christ, we all have a destination of Heaven
Eventually we want to be in the third Heaven
We will have loved ones who have already gone before us
and there will be those who follow us
We will have crisis after crisis along our journey
financial
emotional
spiritual
medical
Whether it’s us who get sick or our loved ones
We will have disappointments
and we will disappoint others
But, whether we have sinned against someone else, or our sins against God
God knows our sins and the brokenness that is our heart
Holy Brothers and Sisters in Christ, God does NOT give us what we deserve
God gives us grace to cover the space between what we do and what is needed from us
Through God’s grace and mercy we are accepted, purified and redeemed
We are not strong on our own, but strong through Christ
When Paul was talking about the thorn in his side which made Paul weak, Paul tells us this is what Jesus said to him,
2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Our individual and collective weaknesses are opportunities for God’s power to shine
All by God’s grace and mercy
I closed the message last week with this statement which is made even more clearly today:
we enter God’s Rest together when we fully accept and extend God’s grace together”
First we enter God’s Grace,
by accepting and extending His grace to others
That brings us together with each other AND God
And it is then that we are truly able to be at the Throne of God’s grace TOGETHER
a united body of Christ for ever and ever
AMEN
Closing Hymn/Invitation:
“Before the Throne of God Above”
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