“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find graceI to help in time of need.” (Hebrew 4:14-16)
Now, I know on my last post I was going to talk about 2 Cor 3:18, but now THIS verse came to my attention tonight, and I need to share it! It’s so good…
So, this passage tells us Jesus is our High Priest who knows our weaknesses, and was tempted in all points as we are…yet without sin. He never gave into sin as we so often do. Because of this, verse 16 declares that we can draw near with confidence! That itself is something to get excited about! If we didn’t look at anything else in this passage, if we got a hold of that truth, it would set us free to draw near to the Lord with confidence indeed! It’s because Jesus didn’t sin and fulfilled the Father’s will, that we are now able to come to Him confidently. Wow!
But now, let’s look at a couple of words…
“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find graceI to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16)
The first word we will look at is “receive…”
Original Word: λαμβάνω
Part of Speech: Verb
Phonetic Spelling: (lam-ban’-o)
Short Definition: I receive, take
Definition: (a) I receive, get, (b) I take, lay hold of.
2983 lambánō (from the primitive root, lab-, meaning “actively lay hold of to take or receive,” see NAS dictionary) – properly, to lay hold by aggressively (actively) accepting what is available (offered). 2983 /lambánō (“accept with initiative“) emphasizes the volition (assertiveness) of the receiver.
Did you get that?? Receiving here means to actively lay hold of, being assertive, accepting with initiative, to go after and receive the thing you are wanting. In the context, it is about receiving God’s mercy. Now you look at the next word, being mercy! You’d think you wouldn’t need to look up the word mercy, as we all know what that means. But have a look, as it is more than just having pity or compassion…
Strong’s Concordance 1656 eleos
Original Word: ἔλεος, ους, τό
Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine; Noun, Neuter
Phonetic Spelling: (el’-eh-os)
Short Definition: pity, mercy
Definition: pity, mercy, compassion.
“1656 éleos (translating OT 2617 /kataisxýnō, “covenant-loyalty, covenant-love” in the OT-LXXover 170 times) – properly, “mercy” as it is defined by loyalty to God’s covenant.
[1656 (eleos, a primitive word) can have a non-technical (human pity) but generally connotes covenant-loyalty (covenant-love), i.e. is often and directly used in connection with God’s covenant (Heb, berith).]
1656/eleos (“covenant-defined mercy“) is one of the most difficult terms in the Bible to translate because it expresses a unique form of “mercy” which is in keeping with God’s attributes (as He determines leniency, compassion, judgment. etc.). This relates directly to the OT counterpart for “mercy” (“covenant-loyalty,” OT 2617 (see).“
Do you know why we can receive God’s mercy as defined by lambano above? Because His mercy is based on His covenant He made through the shedding of Christ’s Blood on the cross!
So now, because Christ did not sin as we do when He was tempted, we can now come confidently (parrhēsía – bold resolve!) to the throne of grace (favour!) and receive (actively lay hold of, accept with initiative!) God’s mercy (Covenant-loyalty, covenant-love, covenant-defined mercy, that keeps with God’s attributes!)
God is FAITHFUL to fulfil His covenant toward us, made in Christ’s Blood! When you doubt this, study what this verse says, what it really means, and allow the truth of His Word to get down into your heart, assuring you of His mercy, His covenant love toward you.
Remember, it’s not your effort that saves you, it’s Jesus’ mercy, His covenant made in His Blood alone. Actively lay hold of it by the faith that God alone provides.