Clean and Unclean Meats?
Here are some things to consider on unclean meats, as it came up in our discussion today. One awesome thing about our fellowship is our desire to provide an environment that points to the grace of Christ, His holy word, and allow each of us to grow in convictions according to the work of the Holy Spirit without the pressure of any kind of denominational requirements and doctrinal arguments.
The Christian life is one of living by faith, and sometimes being obedient by faith is harder than being obedient by works (or law) because we feel accomplished by a behavior but uneasy by faith because it “is the substance of things unseen” (Hebrews 11:1).
In Romans 14:2-3 we are counseled to refrain from forcing or demanding adherence to this type of doctrine. Paul exhorts “One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him” (ESV).
As we walk by faith we may choose to avoid certain foods that were considered unclean by the Old Testament laws, but we can not overlook the New Testament interpretation by Jesus saying, “There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him” (Mark 7:14 ESV).
It is in Leviticus 11 that we are introduced to the unclean meats and is important for us to remember why it was given. God wanted to teach the Israelite’s that there is a difference between holy and unholy and prior to the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, laws and ordinances was God’s means of communicating that difference.
The Israelites in their wilderness journey could understand the law, but they could not understand the principle. A toddler can understand Mom’s law – do not touch the hot stove, but they can not yet understand the principle – the stove transmits heat unnoticeable by sight.
The principles behind Leviticus 11 were that God wanted the Israelites to be different than the heathen lands they were passing through because the heathens ate anything without consideration of their health and they also used much of the same unclean meets as important elements of their heathen worship.
The Israelites had laws and ordinances in their spiritual walk of sight, we have the Spirit of God and God’s Word in our walk of faith.
So, here are 7 Bible verses to consider about this topic of unclean meats and the Christian…
- Galatians 3:10-14 – we are not justified before God by keeping His laws
- Galatians 3:24-26 – the laws served a purpose until Christ came
- Romans 14:17 – the “matter of eating” is not a matter of God’s Kingdom for us
- Romans 14:14 – nothing is unclean because of its own status
- 1 Timothy 4:4-5 – no food is to be rejected because of its own status
- 1 Corinthians 10:23-26 – all things are lawful to the believer
- Mark 7:14-23 – all food is declared clean
Read more at Got Questions? http://www.gotquestions.org/eating-pork.html