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. How GOOD IT IS. What else is it that communicates to the Saviour such nobility but this immovable firmness of a spirit resting in God, from which words and deeds proceed, pure, calm, and self-consistent, like rays which the sun emits? The establishment of heart of which we speak is the union of Divine freedom and Divine power. We call him free who is not dependent on anything outside himself. Are you free in this sense? Where there is this freedom, there is also Divine power. Power is the capability of executing what we have set our minds on doing. Let me determine, moved by nothing without me, and all my action is subordinate to a single aim, and this aim stands unmoved before my eyes. But that is just what gives emphasis to all action. For such power we long, we should like to reign over nature, over our body, over everything outside us. Now it is the unity of such Divine power and freedom that makes establishment of heart so precious. Do you long after it? I know you do: you who see before you a life in which are seducers and tempters on the right hand and on the left, bent on bringing about your fall, oh, I know you long for it.
II. How SUCH FIRMNESS IS BROUGHT ABOUT — "with grace," says the apostle. He adds: — "Not with meats," intending to say, not through dependence on any outward work. When he says, "with grace," it is as if he said, "through faith in the grace which is offered in Christ." "Therefore, being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have also access by faith into this grace, wherein we stand"; if there is not this, then establishment of heart is impossible.
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.