by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
he beautiful old hymn “Arise, My Soul, Arise” was written by the great hymn writer Charles Wesley. Let us use its five verses to focus our thoughts these next five days.
Arise, my soul, arise; Shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice in my behalf appears:
Before the throne my surety stands, (repeat)
My name is written on His hands.
At first reading, the theme of the song seems unclear, until we recognize that the sinner is being enjoined to come to salvation and by the power of the sacrificial blood shed on his behalf receive forgiveness and eternal life.
Because “Christ . . . hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2), “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access” (Romans 5:1-2) to the Father, who alone has the power to forgive our sins. We have no need to fear rejection, for “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).
We can arise and “come boldly unto the throne of grace,” where God the Father reigns. We have assurance of access because our “surety of a better testament” (Hebrews 7:22) is “a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God” (Hebrews 4:14), and “who is [seated] on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Hebrews 8:1). Here He requests the Father’s “mercy, and . . . grace” on our behalf, for He knows us by our names which are already “written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27) “from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 17:8). JDM