For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are…
I. WHAT THIS BOLDNESS IS. It is not audacity, rudeness or trifling freedom. Prayer and insolence ill accord together. This boldness arises from nothing in ourselves, but purely from the goodness of the Being we address: and it consists principally in a persuasion that we are freely authorised to come, and may confidently hope to succeed.
II. THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH WE ARE TO COME TO THE THRONE OF GRACE. To "obtain mercy" and to "find grace." The blessings are wisely connected together by the apostle, because there are too many people who try to separate them. They would be saved from hell, but not from sin. They wished to be pardoned, but not renewed. They would have mercy, but not grace. But be not deceived. Whom God forgives He sanctifies and prepares for His service. And both these blessings are equally important and necessary to our salvation. Let us therefore pray for both.
1. Pray for mercy. And pray like those who know they greatly need it. You are very guilty.
2. Pray for "grace to help in time of need." But is not every time a time of need with us? It is. And there is not a moment in our existence in which we can live as we ought, independently of Divine grace. We need this grace, to mortify our corruptions; to sanctify our affections; to resist temptations: to overcome the world. But there are some seasons in which we peculiarly require the aid of Divine grace.Now if we are to pray "that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need," does it not follow, as a fair inference, that a prayerless person is destitute both of the mercy and grace of God?
1. Have you come to this throne? You ate fond of hearing sermons — but while you so often hear from God, does God ever hear from you?
2. Do you design to come? or have you resolved to "restrain prayer before Him"? Do you imagine you can acquire these blessings in any other way than by prayer? Or do you imagine these blessings are not worthy of your pursuit? If you could gain a fortune by prayer — would you not pray? Or health — would you not pray? But what are these to mercy and grace? Or do you imagine they are not to be gained? There is no ground for such despair: He "waiteth to be gracious; and is exalted to have mercy."
Parallel VersesKJV: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.