Jul 262011

Do not be led away by diverse or strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.

Hebrews 13:9

Welcome to my new blog entitled “Strengthened by Grace”. I pray that this is the first of many more blog entries that will strengthen you on your journey to heaven. I pray that all who read these entries are trusting in Jesus alone for salvation and that we, together, will persevere until the end. When we think of gaining strength, we typically think of diet and exercise. Doctors, nutritionists, and really all of us, know that eating healthy foods combined with exercise is very good for our heart, the physical one. The verse above gives us a heavenly perspective of what we really need to strengthen us. It’s not walking or weights, but GRACE. It’s not, “No pain, no gain”, but “No grace, no gain!”

The writer to the Hebrews, in this text, juxtaposes food with grace.  In chapter 12:2, the writer exhorted his readers to look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith. He warns them against apostasy many times, and warns them not to be led astray by the diverse and strange doctrines of the Judaizers, especially the teachings that emphasize the proper feeding of the body rather than the feeding of the soul, or heart. A spiritual diet that lacks the proper understanding of grace is a diet that is anemic, and it will not strengthen the heart. This is why he says, “It is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace.” What does that mean?

To begin, my spiritual muscles are strengthened when I think of God’s regenerating grace. I agree with Calvin here who said, “As he (the author) sets grace in opposition to meats, I doubt not but that by grace he means the spiritual worship of God and regeneration.” I must take you to Ephesians 1 and 2. God’s people have been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. Their eternal redemption has been purchased by the blood of Christ, the eternal Son. They have been sealed by the Holy Spirit. They are made alive in Christ by GRACE (2:1-10). Why is it good for the heart? My spiritual heart will not even pump a beat apart from grace! I am dead in my trespasses and sins. I am a child of the Devil. I am made alive and rescued only by grace alone, through faith.  My salvation is totally unmerited. It does not matter how many pounds I can lift or how strict is my diet. These external things are in no way a means to salvation.  God’s people are saved by sovereign, all conquering grace! His grace alone can conquer my rebellious heart, by the regeneration of the Spirit, and give me a heart to worship Him.  Be strengthened by that thought today. All those that are born again, are born again because of His Grace! I have no life without it! “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, ” Ephesians 1:7. I encourage you to read Ephesians 1 and 2 this week and be strengthened by the riches of His Grace!