Hebrews 13:9, “Be not carried away by divers and strange teachings: for it is good that the heart be established by grace; not by meats, wherein they that occupied themselves were not profited.” Think of it! We are being established in grace. What is grace? It is love pouring itself out upon the graceless and the unworthy. The Spirit gave to us a marvelous interpretation of grace in Romans 4:4, 5. “Now to him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned as of grace, but as of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness.” Then in Romans 5:6-10 we read, “For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly.”
You see, Grace is Love in operation, Love in action. I never could get it clear in my heart how Jesus could love the man who was putting the lash upon His back, or how He could love the man, and die for him, who put the nails through the palms of His hands and feet; but I imagine that if you had been back there near the sepulchre when Jesus arose from the dead, you would have heard Him say, “Where is the man who plaited the crown of thorns and placed them upon my brow? I want to tell him that I died for him, that I suffered the torments of the damned for him.”
Don’t you remember that He said, “Go, tell my disciples and Peter”? That little conjunction there ties the heart of Peter with the Master in a way that moves my heart.
“Go, tell Peter, who denied me; tell him that I love him.” That is Grace, indeed.
You notice that God put His love beyond a doubt: “in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Then you notice the tenth verse: “While we were yet enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son.” You remember John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” Jesus belongs to the world.
He doesn’t belong to you any more than He belongs to the despairing, wicked men who have murdered so many women and children in Europe. That is grace; and you are so established in grace that you don’t criticize anyone. Don’t you know that the man you are “knocking” is the man Jesus died for? Did you ever realize that you and I, before we can ever become soul winners, before we can reach a lost world, have to be established in grace? We have to know the Master, and know the motives behind His Love Gift, His Sacrifice. We have to be established in it so that we will be like John G. Paton was in the New Hebrides. He stood and watched a chieftain shoot his companion; and then – would you believe it? – the day came when he baptized that chieftain and administered the Lord’s Supper to him. He so loved that he gave his life to those desperate heathen men and women.
You who read this lesson, take God, by His grace, to establish you in love, to establish you in grace. Do you know what that will mean? That will be establishing you in the perfect Word of Grace. You will become a soul winner when grace gains the ascendancy. God so loved that He gave. I so love that I give. I so love that I give my time; I give my money; I give my ability. I lay it all upon the altar of grace. He loves you now and He wants you to love Him as He loved you. He wants you to give as He gave.
You can’t give as much, but you can give with the same spirit of love that He gave, can’t you? One of my students from Central America could not speak much English, yet was attending our evangelistic meetings. He watched Miss Ridge, a returned missionary, pleading with a high school girl to yield to Christ. He politely said, “Teacher, tell her that if I could, I give her my heart. It would believe on Jesus.” That is grace!