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…
I. WHO ARE THE SUBJECTS OF GRACE? All men are naturally destitute of grace, and under the entire dominion of a depraved heart. In this state they remain until they are awakened, convinced, and converted, by the special influences of the Divine Spirit. They now become conformed to the moral image of God, reconciled to His character, to His laws, and to the terms of salvation proposed in the gospel.
II. WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIAL DOCTRINES OF THE GOSPEL?
III. Having specified the essential doctrines of the gospel, it remains to show THAT REAL CHRISTIANS, WHO ARE THE SUBJECTS OF GRACE, ARE ACTUALLY ESTABLISHED IN THEM. The apostle represents them so established, as not to be carried about by divers and strange doctrines; and this we find verified by the conduct of real saints under both the Old and New Testament. And it is well-known that since their day, multitudes have sacrificed their lives in testimony of the truth and importance of the essential doctrines of the gospel. And this leads me to say that they not only may be, but must be so established; for several reasons:
1. Because they know that the essential doctrines of the gospel are true.
2. Because they love them.
3. Because they feel the infinite importance of them.Conclusion:
1. If the subjects of grace are established in the essential doctrines of the gospel, then it is easy to distinguish religious orthodoxy from religious heterodoxy.
2. If the subjects of grace are established in the essential doctrines of the gospel, then real Christians see the propriety and importance of forming and subscribing creeds, or confessions of faith.
3. If the subjects of grace are established in the doctrines of the gospel; then they are constrained to consider men's religious sentiments as a test of their religious character.
4. If ministers of the gospel are established in the great and fundamental doctrines of it; they will not fail to preach those doctrines to the people.
(N. Emmons, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.