Entering the Court
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In previous articles, we became aware of the legal nature of our spiritual conflict, so let’s consider our involvement in it. We’re about to discover that we can enter – and actually have been entering – God’s heavenly court to take care of business and see changes on earth that otherwise might not happen.
We have the right to approach God in the court and Jesus gave us precedent for that. At a point late in his ministry, he said something to Peter that hints at his legal intervention: “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32).
Satan brought an accusation against Peter and asked permission of the court to test him, possibly to prove he had weak faith or had failed to serve God effectively. Jesus explained that he prayed for Peter, which means he asked or petitioned God in Peter’s behalf.
Jesus knew Satan was presenting legal charges before God and he interceded for Peter by entering a formal request. Peter was under Jesus’ authority and it was acceptable for Jesus to do that. It’s important for us to realize that Jesus did it as a human before he returned to heaven, which makes his action a legal precedent for us.
Jesus the man now sits beside God in heaven (see Luke 22:69; Eph. 1:20-21) and God seated us with him (Eph. 2:6). Being seated there is significant, because it’s evidence of our authority, as opposed to standing around the throne ready to serve. I don’t know whether we’re literally seated continually in the heavenly realm, or we can go there as we choose. But we clearly have a legal right to act in God’s court and are a part of its procedings.
This means we can “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Heb. 4:16). We have access to the throne to petition in behalf of our earthly needs. We can be certain we’ll receive mercy despite what we’ve done, and grace which enables us to do what we should.