“Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.”
Hebrews 13:9 KJV
Grace focuses on what Jesus has done for us and is freely offering us – if you’re not established in grace you’re going to be easily swept away by bad teaching that focuses on what you must do for God. Legalistic performance-based teaching pulls your attention from Jesus and what He has done for you and turns your focus on yourself and what you must do for Him. Teachings like that are pulling you away from Jesus (Galatians 1:6).
How do you build a strong and fruitful Christian life? Religion tells you that it’s through your devotion, sacrifice and personal holiness – your ability to live up to the standard of the law. That’s not how God sees it! A strong and fruitful Christian life comes from being established in grace, not works. It’s all about His devotion to you and His sacrifice for you. He fulfilled the law for you (Matthew 5:17). The Christian life is all about what Jesus did for us and is freely offering us!
It’s a good thing that the heart be established with grace. Grace isn’t merely a teaching for your intellect – your heart needs to be established in grace.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
Proverbs 4:23 KJV
Your heart is the source of your life. If you want to have a successful and fruitful life it starts in your heart. You need to guard your heart (protect it) from what you allow in because the seed you sow into your heart produce a harvest in your life. If you want a good harvest you need to sow towards that harvest. We experience the fruit of grace in our lives as we establish our hearts in grace.
It’s a good thing that the heart be established in grace, not in meats… Not in meats refers to the dietary laws of the Old Covenant. We need to be established in what Jesus has done for us (grace) not in what we should be doing for Him (works of the law). The Christian life is not about what we do but what Jesus has done for us and is freely offering us. I like how the Phillips Translation puts it: Spiritual stability depends on the grace of God, and not on rules of diet. You will never be spiritually stable (or mature) without being established in grace.
“…For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.”
Hebrews 13:9 KJV
Being established in law doesn’t profit you. Being occupied with what you need to do for God doesn’t benefit you at all. As the Passion Translation puts it, there is no lasting benefit in trying to observe the law.
“So don’t let anyone lead you astray with all sorts of novel and exotic teachings. It is more beautiful to feast on grace and be inwardly strengthened than to be obsessed with dietary rules which in themselves have no lasting benefit.”
Hebrews 13:9 TPT
Being established in grace makes you stable. As you feast on (indulge in) grace, it will inwardly strengthen you – that means that grace makes you strong. So often we think that strong people are the people who are able to obey the law and live up to certain standards of holiness whereas focusing on the power of God – His grace – is what makes us strong.