Summary: Let your heart be settled on grace, and don’t be burdened down with the external regulations of religion.
NOTE: This is one of those sermons that sort of came together at the pulpit. You’ll get the main idea from reading these notes, but I recommend listening to this one: http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopup.asp?SID=429131647482
We have to go back and look at verses 8-9 again:
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 9Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.
Christ is the foundation and the pinnacle of truth. Everything revolves around this, and everything we preach and believe is based on this, so don’t be carried away with doctrines that teach otherwise.
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.
Real conversion is in the heart not in the outward and physical things. The law condemns men who can’t obey, but grace produces fruit from within. This grace is the free grace which comes from Christ. Why do we believe these particular doctrines? Without them we see no hope. We see only the outward works of unclean men which have no profit. Law doesn’t remove sin—it only exposes it. But with grace we see the finished work and unmerited favor of God.
And so he says this is a good thing. The grace of Christ is truly satisfying. Religious ordinances only condemn. We need and love grace. We’re settled on it and content in it.
10We have an altar,
Christ is our all in all. He is our law, Sabbath, altar, king, sacrifice, priest, tabernacle, and everything else. It kind of makes you wonder why churches have altars in their churches now, doesn’t it?
whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. 11For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.
No one ate the meat on the Day of Atonement. The blood was brought into the Holy of Holies and sprinkled on the mercy seat, but the bodies were taken outside the camp and burned. This was a shadow of Christ.
12Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
See how it’s a picture of Him? His body had to be crucified outside Jerusalem. He was unclean with our sins and bore our shame and reproach.
13Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
We identify with Him not only in the good things of faith, but also in the “bad.” The Hebrews were suffering and asking, “What now?” The answer is simple: cling to Christ! Identify with Him even in reproach!
14For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
This life is temporary, but we’re seeking a permanent one that’s only found in Christ.
15By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
This is the only thing we can sacrifice to God. It is well pleasing and based on the heart established in grace.