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Posts Tagged ‘throne of grace’


John Newton has a few hymns based on Hebrews 4.  I wish we could have sung them when I preached on this text.

Approach, My Soul, the Mercy Seat

Approach, my soul, the mercy seat where Jesus answers prayer; there humbly fall before his feet, for none can perish there.

Thy promise is my only plea; with this I venture nigh: thou callest burdened souls to thee, and such, O Lord, am I.

Bowed down beneath a load of sin, by Satan sorely pressed, by war without and fears within, I come to thee for rest.

Be thou my shield and hiding place, that, sheltered near thy side, I may my fiercest accuser face, and tell thou hast died.

O wondrous love! to bleed and die, to bear the cross and shame, that guilty sinners, such as I, might plead thy gracious name!

 Here is the RUF arraingment of the song by Kevin Twit.  They have some chord charts and piano music available.  Here is a quote they have from Luther about the content of the hymn:

“You should tell the devil “Just by telling me that I am a miserable, great sinner you are placing a sword and a weapon into my hand with which I can decisively overcome you; yea, with your own weapon I can kill and floor you.

For if you tell me that I am a poor sinner, I, on the other hand, can tell you that Christ dies for sinners and is their Intercessor… You remind me of the boundless, great faithfulness and benefaction of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The burden of my sins and all the trouble and misery that were to oppress me eternally He very gladly took upon His shoulders and suffered the bitter death on the cross for them.

To Him I direct you. You may accuse and condemn Him. Let me rest in peace, for on His shoulders, not on mine, lie all my sins and the sins of all the world.” Martin Luther

Behold the Throne of Grace!

Behold the throne of grace!  The promise calls me near: there Jesus shows a smiling face, and waits to answer prayer.

My soul, ask what thou wilt; thou canst not be too bold; since his own blood for thee was spilt, what else can he withhold?

Thine image, Lord, bestow, they presence and thy love; I ask to serve thee here below, and reign with thee above.

Teach me to live by faith; conform my will to thine; let me victorious be in death, and then in glory shine.

 

As I said, great stuff which we should sing fairly often.  Newton had a good grasp of grace, and it is evident in his hymns.  It is this grace-centeredness that needs to be a bigger part of our worship services.

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This is my chosen sermon text for the week.  Here are some interesting thoughts I ran across in my prep today:

“There can be no sustained faithfulness on our part unless we are convinced that we can trust God.  The basis for that trust is the consideration that we have a high priest who is merciful and compassionate in his relationship with us.”  Wiliam Lane in Hebrews: A Call to Commitment

“The promise is that God’s children will receive mercy accompanied by sustaining grace.  Mercy and grace are closely allied and essential aspects of God’s love.  That love is outgoing in providing the protective help that does not arrive too late but at the appropriate time, because the moment of its arrival is left to the judgment of our gracious God.”  William Lane in Hebrews: A Call to Commitment

“For he is not talking about sin and its guilt but about temptations, afflictions, and persecutions.  So the mercy meant here must be the cause for our deliverance- namely, in its consequences.  … In addition to this, the apostle is not here referring to the initial approach of sinners to God through Christ for mercy and pardon, but about the daily access of believers to him for grace and assistance.  To receive mercy, therefore, is to be made to participate in the gracious help and support of the kindness of God in Christ, when we are in distress.  This springs from the same root as pardoning grace and is therefore called ‘mercy’.”  John Owen in Hebrews

“… God’s word is like a long staff by which he examines and searches what lies deep in our hearts… God, who knows our hearts, has assigned to his word the office of penetrating even into our inmost thoughts.”  John Calvin in Commentary on Hebrews

“… for when Christ receives us under his protection and patronage, he covers with his goodness the majesty of God, which would otherwise be terrible to us, so that nothing appears there but grace and paternal favor.”  John Calvin in Commentary on Hebrews

“After terrifying us, the Apostle now comforts us, after pouring wine into our wound, he now pours in oil.”  Martin Luther, quoted by Philip Edgcumbe Hughes in A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews

“The hardness of the struggle should be an inducement to the Christian to draw near to the throne of God’s grace, rather than to draw back and abandon the conflict…”  Philip Edgcumbe Hughes in A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews

These are things I need to keep in mind, not just for a sermon, but everyday life.  As I prepare, it has been one rough week.  It is not just something to talk about, but something I need to be true and rely upon.

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