by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
â€œLet us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.â€ (Hebrews 4:16)
he beautiful old hymn â€œArise, My Soul, Ariseâ€ 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 â€œChrist . . . hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to Godâ€ (Ephesians 5:2), â€œwe have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have accessâ€ (Romans 5:1-2) to the Father, who alone has the power to forgive our sins. We have no need to fear rejection, for â€œwe have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteousâ€ (1 John 2:1).
We can arise and â€œcome boldly unto the throne of grace,â€ where God the Father reigns. We have assurance of access because our â€œsurety of a better testamentâ€ (Hebrews 7:22) is â€œa great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of Godâ€ (Hebrews 4:14), and â€œwho is [seated] on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavensâ€ (Hebrews 8:1). Here He requests the Fatherâ€™s â€œmercy, and . . . graceâ€ on our behalf, for He knows us by our names which are already â€œwritten in the Lambâ€™s book of lifeâ€ (Revelation 21:27) â€œfrom the foundation of the worldâ€ (Revelation 17:8). JDM