Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
God’s goal in redemption was to restore both righteousness and holiness within man’s nature which is what we become as new creations in Christ (Ephesians 4:24). This was the main reason for His grace which accomplished what we could never do on our own. God’s nature is holy and His nature did not change under grace or in the New Covenant. This holiness is now made possible by God’s empowering grace (Ephesians 1:4).
Holiness in the Book of Isaiah is portrayed as a highway, the way of holiness (Isaiah 35:8-10) and a standard (Isaiah 62:10). Some portray grace as a change in God’s standard, that there is no standard or that the high holy moral standards of God have been adapted down. His standard of holiness does not change as we move from being OT times to NT times because it is His nature which never changes. This is a perversion of grace and not the true grace of God. The true teaching of grace, though, doesn’t change the standard but helps us reach it by imparting God’s righteous and holy nature within us (Ephesians 4:24).
The standard of holiness is under assault both within the church through extreme unbalanced teachings and in the Last Days culture of the world’s sliding into more and more immorality. Within the Church some respond to the standard by:
- Implying there is NO STANDARD under grace (which is lawlessness).
- ADJUSTING THE STANDARD or adapting it down (this is compromise).
- GIVING UP UNDER THE STANDARD because they feel it is too high (faint under it or rebel to it).
- PRETENDING TO MEET THE STANDARD when in fact they do not (this is hypocrisy).
None of these are Biblical responses or options that will lead to liberty and life. God made us righteous and holy in Christ to enable us to live right and holy. We must also understand mercy along with holiness. As grace does not change the standard but helps us to meet the standard by the new nature we have in Christ, so mercy helps us when we fail to measure up to it. His mercy allows us to keep reaching for His high holy standard. God’s throne of grace is where we can find grace to help but also where we can obtain mercy Hebrews 4:16. His mercy endures forever.