Established By Grace

The winds of false doctrine seem never to stop blowing. The Christian must be always vigilant so as not to be carried away by the deception often associated with these teachings. In his final exhortations, the writer of Hebrews warns his readers, “Do not be carried away with various and strange doctrines” (13:9a). The doctrines of which he warned them were associated with observing external ordinances like dietary laws in order to gain acceptance with God (13:9b-c, cp. 9:9-10). But our hearts must be established before God by His grace not with foods or any other works of the law for that matter! The strongest wind of false doctrine, the one that has prevailed through the ages is the teaching that a person can be saved by his or her good works.
The priests and Levites who served at the tabernacle sometimes received their food from the sacrifices they offered. The writer of Hebrews makes the devastating claim that those who serve the tabernacle under the Old Covenant have no right to eat from the New Covenant altar upon which Jesus died! The writer urged his readers who had professed faith in Jesus Christ not to go back to life and faith under the Old Covenant. In doing so they would give up their right to the blessing of eternal life provided by Christ through the sacrifice of Himself.
Christ gives eternal life only to those who turn in faith and repentance to Him from their sins and from their efforts to save themselves by their good deeds. As Paul stated so clearly, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).