Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday Evening, April 23, 2000, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
HOW TO ESTABLISH YOUR HEART
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 13:1-9
Text: Hebrews 13:9
Hebrews 13:9 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.
Introduction: Make no mistake about it; Christians DO backslide. That is not to say that they lose their salvation. A believer has eternal life and will NEVER perish (John 10:28). However, it is possible for him to back away from Christian service, causing him to lose joy, peace, fellowship with God, and rewards in heaven, as well as provoking God’s chastisement.
The main reason Christians backslide is that they never got “established,” to start with. While it is true that most Christians who do not get established also never get grounded in doctrine and truth, it is ALSO true that many people backslide who know correct doctrine. Getting deeper into doctrines that are past the grasp of new believers does not establish the heart, according to our text. GRACE establishes the heart.
I believe that the following definition matches the way “establish” is used in the context:
- a. To place or settle in a secure position or condition; install: They established me in my own business.
- b. To make firm or secure
The grace of Christ is defined in scripture:
2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
Grace is a willingness to give up that which you have, that others may benefit. It is to spend and be spent for others.
I. HAVING A SPIRIT OF GRACE WILL ESTABLISH THE HEART
Galatians 6:18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
A. This is a spirit of servitude
- Christ came to serve.
B. This is a spirit of sacrifice
- Christ came to give His life for the souls of men.
C. This is the spirit of the Savior
- 1. Jesus is in us – Col. 1:27.
- 2. We should be filled with the Spirit of Christ.
II. HAVING SERVICE OF GRACE WILL ESTABLISH THE HEART
Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
A. Serving with grace is steady service
B. Serving with grace is sacrificial service
C. Serving with grace is silent service
- It doesn’t always need a pat on the back.
- Someone has said that a fellow who was asked to serve God again said that he was already serving God — in the “Secret Service.”
- Well, our service should be secret in THIS sense, that we are willing to serve God without recognition, knowing that GOD observes our service and that HE will reward us.
D. Serving with grace is sweet service
- It is much more joyous to serve others than it is to be served.
III. HAVING SPEECH OF GRACE WILL ESTABLISH THE HEART
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Ephesians 4:29-30 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Matthew 15:18-19 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Speech edifies or builds up, according to Eph. 4:29, or speech can define, or break down, according to
A. Gracious speech is holy speech
B. Gracious speech is humble speech
C. Gracious speech is helpful speech
IV. HAVING SINGING WITH GRACE WILL ESTABLISH THE HEART
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
A. Singing with grace is stirred singing
- From the heart, not from the flesh
B. Singing with grace is sincere singing
C. Singing with grace is spritual singing
- 1. It has an effect on our spirit.
- 2. It is connected with being filled with the Spirit
- 3. It has an effect on the spirit of others.
V. HAVING STRENGTH IN GRACE WILL ESTABLISH THE HEART
2 Timothy 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
A. God’s grace gives us strength to labor
B. God’s grace gives us strength to last (endure)
C. God’s grace gives us strength to love
- Love God first.
- Love God’s word.
- Love the appearing of Jesus Christ.
- Love the brotherhood.
CONCLUSION: The source of grace is God Almighty. He gives grace in salvation, and He gives grace for stability.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.