9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.
Verses 9–16 set forth the continuing sacrifice of praise to God. Verses 9 through 13 allude to Old Testament means of purification offering (“sin offering”).
The writer of Hebrews—having spoken about both true and faithful leaders and the Lord Jesus, who is eternally faithful to His church—in verse 9 speaks of those who were not faithful to truth.
9Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines.
The message of Jesus remains forever the same (He 13:8); therefore, we should reject any other message, especially teachings foreign to the truth as it is in Jesus (“strange doctrines”).
By contrast, people who carry strange doctrines are unstable and changing in what they believe. These diverse teachings stand in contrast to the eternally unchanging truth in Christ. With Christ, there is no deviation of norm.
The word “various” indicates that there are different forms of false doctrines. God’s Word is singular, whereas false beliefs are varied and numerous. Often their doctrines are syncretistic.
“For” is the reason for the warning about those being led astray by false doctrines.
it is good that the heart be established [confirmed] by grace,
A heart “established” is the opposite of one “carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Eph 4:14). There is no legalism in grace; grace is all that God affords us because of what Christ did, not because of what we do. Christ’s efficacy is the basis for God’s grace toward us. Thus, salvation is all of God and not of us. Grace assures the believer of eternal salvation. A person who believes this is “established by grace.”
“Grace” means that it is God that gives, He provides. He extends His grace through Christ, who never changes His willingness to provide.
Believers need to be “established by grace” and not revert to a legalistic system. Faith in God rests on grace, not on eating ritual foods.
not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.
“Foods” here are ceremonial foods of Judaism. Food does not commend us to God (Ac 10:15; Ro 14:17; 1 Co 8:8; Co 2:16; 1 Ti 4:1-5).
The more Christians are ignorant of the principles of the Word, the more they are susceptible to false doctrine.
Christians today are gullible. They are carried like driftwood on a surging sea by false ideas (Eph 4:14). Why are they so easily deceived by cults or even manipulative evangelists on television (Mt 7:15; Mr 13:22,23)? They are immature in both doctrine and Christian living. They are vulnerable to fantastic and wild supernatural claims. The answer to this problem is the preaching and application of the Word of God. The more people are ignorant of biblical truth, the more they are susceptible to error.