The Finished Work of Christ
Now let’s consider what happens at the moment any lost person acknowledges their sin/rebellion to the Holy God, admits their guilt before Him, and accepts the payment that Christ made on the cross as sufficient to guarantee the forgiveness of their guiltiness and the forgiveness of sins. At that moment God then accepts that person as justified to live eternally in His presence. Through this acknowledgment of Jesus Christ as their Lord, they too have access from that time forward throughout eternity to this throne of endless grace.
Christ’s victorious presence at the right hand of God is the continuing assurance of our righteous standing before the Holy God to whom all men will answer. The risen Christ need not speak a word in order to assure our acceptability before our heavenly Father, for His work is finished, and we are found in Him, as well as in His eternal righteousness. The risen Christ has completed His labor, securing the salvation of all who would believe in Him, trusting Him and only Him. Some may think that Jesus must continue to work as a way of securing our salvation, but the scripture is very clear in attesting to the fact that Jesus has finished His work! He is seated at the right hand of the Father – a position of rest. His labor in procuring and securing our salvation is finished!
Many run awry when hearing the truth of atonement, attempting a confession of Christ and His Lordship yet without repentance of their own sin-controlled life. This seems to be done for a variety of reasons none of which result in true salvation of one’s soul. Perhaps done in order to escape eternal punishment just in case Jesus Christ really did pay the sin debt yet at the same time they never intend to relinquish their claim to exercise the supposed right to rule their own life and thus they never accept Jesus as their Lord. This sadly results in their missing out on salvation because they love to rule their own life and are unwilling to give up that rule and allow Christ to live through them as Lord and Master of their existence. While fiercely contending for the rule of their own life they continue on without Christ.
The Throne of Grace
Sinners do not enter here at this throne of grace, for only the high priest and those found in Him are allowed into this holy place. This is a place for those who have received grace and mercy and are found clothed in the righteousness of Christ Jesus. This is a place that is off-limits and inaccessible to the unsaved and unrepentant. But to those who are in the righteousness of Christ Jesus it is the place where we experience the unmerited love of God. We the saved, the favored, have access only as the new creature we were created as when we accepted the atonement provided by the blood of Jesus, having repented of our rebellion and unbelief toward the Lord God.
This throne of grace is a place of privilege and favor where we are received after being born again. Having been crucified with Christ and raised in newness of life, as Romans Chapter 6 illustrates with great emphasis, it is only the beginning of our eternal journey. The unveiling of the possibilities available in this newness of life and what it means to have eternal life are explored with a brief overview of what it means to walk in the Holy Spirit as opposed to a walk governed by the sin nature that dwells in our members.
Prayer that is effective begins with the belief of the authority of Christ’s name. Now because of our exclusive entrance unto the throne of grace we are given clarity as to what 1 John 5:14 is telling us – so if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. Since God hears everything that we ask Him according to His will it would seem wise if we would first ask ourselves if what we are about to ask is a petition for God’s will or is it what I will? Is a petition that I’m about to present to God for my pleasure or am I seeking His will? Many unfulfilled requests presented to God are said to be claims of God being unfaithful when in fact the prayer was an effort of the petitioner attempting to obtain his or her own desire in the matter instead of first finding out God’s desire and petitioning Him for the fulfillment of HIs will, which when brought to pass will increase our faith and His kingdom rule.
Remember a lot of good or seemingly good things originate from the flesh but they are not God’s will. They originate from self and things that are pleasing to self. Our self-gratification has a way of slipping by our intelligence, but not the notice of God. His Holy Spirit indwelling us is aware of every nuance of motive and intervenes accordingly.
An Extreme Example
I want to enter into one of the extreme experiences in life to illustrate a point concerning how we pray and the motives behind our petitions. I speak from experience – I know the death of a loved one is painful, heartrending and devastating to one’s emotions beyond all explanation, but this too is a temptation that is common to man. Why is this experience called a temptation? It is because we determine it is not a good thing based on our comfort or discomfort.
Our thoughts are not based on God’s will and thereby exhibit our willingness to seek our will and comfort rather than God’s will or His pleasure. This extreme example of the death of a loved one is used to illustrate a principle often found in the prayers of the Saints – namely the misuse of prayer for purposes other than God’s will. Remember the exhortation concerning which prayers get answered? (See 1 John 5:14-15) God hears and answers the prayers that are according to His will – every prayer that is according to His will.
Over the years I have encountered many believers who are discouraged because they have prayed year after year faithfully that this or that event may take place, that this or that person might be saved, that some ailing relationship may be repaired – though in many cases these things do not happen. Is God unfaithful? Never! Does God answer every petition that is asked according to His will? Absolutely and emphatically, yes. This leaves the unsatisfied petitioner with the unavoidable fact in view – that their petition is outside God’s will at the present time or completely outside His will throughout time.
In Part 3 we’ll take a closer look and examine scriptures which generally interfere with our will and oppose our self-proclaimed right to rule what affects our lives.