It is Good For Our Hearts To Be Strengthened By Grace (Hebrews 13:9-10)

"Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them. We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat” ( Hebrews 13:9-10 )

A few years ago a couple came to our church, started getting involved and after a while started sharing with others that Christians were supposed to live like Jesus lived, a mixture of grace and Jewish rituals and customs. They started teaching that since Jesus lived that way, we too were supposed to. Needless to say, this teaching caused problems as it confused people and caused conflict within the church body.

This couple avoided the leadership team every Sunday and when they were finally confronted to address the situation, they left quickly and never returned. This same thing has happened over and over throughout the centuries. In fact this is the exact teaching that bewitched the church at Galatia shortly after Paul had moved on from the church ( Galatians 3 ).

This is why we are to remain strengthened and steadfast in grace, because understanding grace combats strange doctrine such as this. John said, “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” ( John 1:16-17 ). Jesus came with the message of grace, God’s unmerited favor and spiritual blessing heaped on us through Him. The grace message says that what we cannot do, God did through Jesus. He has reconciled us back to the Father so that we may know and experience Him. In fact, there is not one thing that we can add to what Jesus did, so why try?

When we are established in grace then this truth combats anything contrary to it. If someone tells us we must live holy by keeping the law, then the grace of God shows us that He has already made us holy as we are fashioned after Him in righteousness and holiness ( Ephesians 4:24 ). If someone tells us that we must adhere to Jewish dietary laws, then the grace of God shows us that the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, joy and peace ( Romans 14:17 ). If someone tells us that we must keep the Sabbath then the grace of God shows us that the true Sabbath Rest for the people of God is Jesus Christ ( Colossians 2:16-17, Hebrews 4:9-11 ). Grace is able to keep us in the truth.

In the final exhortations from Hebrews we see this amazing truth; grace is what strengthens and encourages us throughout this life. We begin by grace and we end in grace, it is a constant that will never change. Amazingly, this grace received by faith gives us privileges that those under the Old Covenant never had right to. Just as these verses say, “We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat” ( Hebrews 13:10 ).

Juli Camarin

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