Entering the Court
Summary: We have the right to approach God in his court to address problems and charges brought against us by our accuser.
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 things change on the earth that otherwise may stay the same.
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 intercessory activities: “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift 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.” (Lk 22:31-32) Satan brought an accusation against Peter and asked permission of the court to test him, possibly to demonstrate he had weak faith or was otherwise unqualified 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 appropriate 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 is now seated beside God in heaven (Lk 22:69; Eph 1:20-21) and God seated us with him. (Eph 2:6) Being seated there is significant, because it indicates a position of authority, as opposed to standing around the throne ready to serve. I don’t know whether we’re literally seated perpetually in the heavenly realm, or our place is assigned and we can go there as we choose, but we clearly have a legal right to operate in God’s court and are a part of its process. This means we can “approach the 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 and we can be certain we’ll receive mercy despite what we’ve done and grace which enables or empowers us to do what we should.