Because of Christ, we have every reason to pray in faith and hope! Because Christ, our Great High Priest has sprinkled the Mercy Seat with His own shed blood, we can now come boldly to the throne of grace and lay hold of mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:14–16, NKJV).
In Christ we have full access to the Father! We are forgiven and redeemed. We are loved and accepted. We have the full measure of God’s embrace. He has given us Christ! What then will He withhold?
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:31–32)
John Newton’s hymn “Behold the Throne of Grace” celebrates the promise we have of bold access to the presence of God in Christ. It encourages us to remember the promise and preach it to our own souls. In Christ God freely gives us all things, not so we can obtain and cling to “the world’s poor toys” but so we can have and cling to Christ, who is our greatest need and ultimate joy.
The hymn is from Book 1 (“On Selected Texts of Scripture”) of the Olney Hymns published in 1779 by John Newton and William Cowper. It is included along with two other hymns under the Scripture text: “Ask what I shall give thee” (1 Kings 3:5).
Behold the Throne of Grace
Behold the throne of grace,
The promise calls us near,
There Jesus shows a smiling face
And waits to answer prayer.
That rich atoning blood,
Which sprinkled round we see,
Provides for those who come to God
An all prevailing plea.
My soul, ask what thou wilt,
Thou canst not be too bold;
Since His own blood for thee He spilt,
What else can He withhold?
Beyond thy utmost wants
His love and pow’r can bless;
To praying souls He always grants,
More than they can express.
Since ’tis the Lord’s command,
My mouth I open wide;
Lord open Thou Thy bounteous hand,
That I may be supplied.
Thine image, Lord, bestow,
Thy presence and Thy love;
I ask to serve Thee here below,
And reign with Thee above.
Teach me to live by faith,
Conform my will to Thine;
Let me victorious be in death,
And then in glory shine.
If Thou these blessings give,
And wilt my portion be;
Cheerful the world’s poor toys I leave,
To them who know not Thee.
“Behold the Throne of Grace”
Words by John Newton (1779)
Tune: STATE STREET
Music by Jonathan Woodman, 1844
Words and Music ©Public Domain
Download free sheet music (PDF), including a guitar chord charts and arrangements of the hymn tune STATE STREET for classical guitar and for instrumental ensemble.
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