Food, the Law, and Grace (#1021)
Good morning. Today, we’ll continue our series on the grace of God. A very deep subject, which touches on every part of life for us and we’ve already had a few sessions and we’ll be covering this in some more detail in a class in late June at the Dundon’s country home down in Ebony, Virginia. Details are on the website if you’d like to join us in person or listen to it being streamed live, or listen to the recordings afterwards. Then eventually we want to put this into a book called “Why Grace is Sufficient,” and if there is too much material for one volume we’ll come up with two or three over the next few years.
So, with that in mind, today we’re going to look at a topic I call Food, the Law, and Grace. Food is an area, which as you know is very controversial. You may have wonderful Jewish friends who have one or two kitchens in their house. Sometimes they have a Kosher kitchen, which they attempt o keep clean according to the Old Testament laws. Sometimes for various reasons they cook things that aren’t Kosher, or somebody in their family isn’t Kosher, they’ll have two kitchens. Because if somebody in the family really likes bacon sandwiches, you can’t cook that in a Kosher kitchen. So you need a totally different kitchen, with totally different pans and utensils, and plates and everything. And then of coarse we know people that may not follow dietary laws because of the Old Testament, but they may have grown up in a culture where they only eat food that is organically grown. Or they don’t eat meat because their concerned about animals being killed. Or they don’t even eat eggs and milk because they think all animal products are bad for their health. And, we have friends that follow this and many other approaches.
Some people will eat any kind of meat, but they still don’t like pork — even though they know they aren’t under the Law, they think that pork is bad for you. And for them and their health, it might be bad. So the point is, not to say some people have bad dietary habits, the point is to say: peoples dietary habits are all over the map, and sometimes they’re based on the Old Testament Law and sometimes they’re not. But as we will see in the scriptures, in this grace administration, there is no restriction on what we eat. Another thing that comes up as far back as the Book of Daniel, is not eating food offered to idols. You may recall when Daniel and Meshack, Shadrack, and Abednego are taken as captives to Babylon they asked their supervisor that they not eat the meats that come from the King’s table. It doesn’t say it explicitly in Daniel, but the strong implication is that they don’t want to eat the meats because they have been dedicated to the Babylonian idols. So they asked to eat just vegetables, which weren’t dedicated to the idols and they actually come out healthier and stronger. And of course the vegetarian community looked at that and say: see, a vegetarian diet is better for them, which it might be but I don’t think that is the point. I think the point is they weren’t eating food offered to idols and as a result God blessed them and they became very healthy.
But, all of these things aside, anything with food is going to be controversial. I just sort of chuckle at things. I’ve had various people living here at the lake, off and on over the last several years, renting rooms and helping out with the chores and stuff and everyone of them has a different view on what to eat. Some don’t eat gluten because it makes them sick, some don’t eat certain foods because someone told them years ago that it will kill them and when they say that to me, I say: “well it better hurry up because I’ve been eating that for 50 years, and I’m pretty healthy.” But the point is, everybody has different points of view. And everybody is allowed to have different point of view. I don’t pick on them; I just try to figure them out and work with them, and they can eat what they want to eat. But, all of that personal experience aside, let’s get into the scriptures: Leviticus eleven…
As taught by Bruce Mahone 20210530. All rights reserved.
Verse Listing and Notes
Leviticus 11 Dietary Laws – prohibition about eating many things
Matthew 15:1-20 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which goeth out of his mouth
Acts 10:9-15 What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common [cf. Acts 10:28; 11:9]
Acts 15:1-29 Abstain from meats offered to idols… (vs. 29) [Acts 21:20 – zealous for the law]
I Corinthians 8 Meat commendeth us not to God (vs. 8) [we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat – NIV] NOTE which brother is “weak”