By BGEA Staff • June 1, 2004 • Topics: Bible
The dietary laws for Israel recorded in Leviticus, chapter 11, which include, for example, a prohibition against eating pork, were given for specific religious and, perhaps, health reasons.
The New Testament, however, makes it clear that observation of these Old Testament food laws for religious reasons is no longer required in the New Testament era. Jesus Himself declared that all foods were “clean” (Mark 7:17-23).
In Acts 10:9-16, Peter was informed by God through a vision that he was not to reject the use of certain animals for food on a religious basis. The apostle Paul also writes, “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4).
The Bible makes it clear that “the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).
There is no saving grace in either eating or not eating certain foods. We are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; see Ephesians 2:8-10. This, of course, does not mean that all animals we use for food are of equal value when it comes to our health.
Many people feel they can win God’s favor and have eternal life by following the dietary laws of the Old Testament. But this is a misunderstanding. You cannot save yourself—but Christ can, and He will as you commit your life to Him by faith.