As readers of this blog, there is something you should know about me: I love bacon. I love it by itself, I love it with eggs. I love it on a sandwich, and I love it wrapped around hors d’œuvres at March Madness parties (it is, in fact, the best part about any sports party).

This weekend my girlfriend made the most amazing bacon-cooked entree I’ve had in my whole life. Seriously, it was out of this world. Every bite melted in my mouth, and the combination of the bacon, garlic and chipotle peppers concocted a flavor that was phenomenal.

Being the complete nerd that I am, I couldn’t help but think about the relationship between bacon and my faith as a Christian. Which naturally led to me thinking about what it must’ve been like to be held in bondage under the law as the Jews once were (and many still are). From there I began to think about how many times in our current culture I’ve heard Christians being blasted as hypocrites for eating pork (and/or shellfish). After all, doesn’t the Bible say we can’t eat them? The common analogy I hear is that Christians treat the Bible as if it is trail-mix, picking and choosing the parts that we like or don’t like. We’ve all seen it right? The email-chains being forwarded around about all the commands in the Bible Christians don’t keep (especially those from Leviticus), the blasts on Facebook about how we’re hypocrites and Jesus just wants us to be nice to one another (is a half-truth still truth?).

A.mazing.

A.mazing.

Two things sadden me about this. The first is that our culture around us can read the scriptures and completely miss what the Bible is about. Truly, “the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing” (1 Corinth. 1:18, ESV). Secondly, how Bible-illiterate is our church that we cannot quickly and easily respond to what our culture would like to think is often the “nail in our coffin”? Too many times have I seen Christians brought on talk shows only for this issue to come up, and they just have no response.

The irony is that the non-Christians who claim to hate religion, and are telling Christians we should be keeping the dietary laws, are understanding the Scriptures the same way the religious leaders did whom Jesus repeatedly said were wrong.

I titled this post “Bacon, Jesus, and the New Covenant”. Not only are these three of my favorite things, but they’re quite closely linked.

Bacon and the Old Covenant

It is true, the Bible twice explicitly forbids the eating of swine. Both Leviticus 11:7 and Deuteronomy 14:8 speak as such. “And the pig, because it parts the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean for you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch” (Dt. 14:8, ESV). There are three reasons we can look at that would explain the reasoning for this law.

The first of these is that it was simply for hygiene reasons. This view would say that pork can be contaminated with worms and bacteria, so the prohibition might have been based on the fact that eating pork can lead to illness. Since this only occurs occasionally, and can happen from eating other meats, it is likely that this is not the best explanation.

The second explanation would say that the prohibition of swine has to do with the pig’s association with certain Babylonian, Syrian and Egyptian gods (ISBE). However, this theory does not explain why other animals were forbidden (Leviticus 11:4-6, Deuteronomy 14:7).

The third reason, and the most probable, would be the pigs symbolic representation. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) says it this way:

“The standard sacrificial animals of the pastoralist Israelites were sheep, goats, and oxen, which all had in common cloven hooves and the fact that they chewed the cud (cf. Lev. 11:3). God had chosen certain animals for sacrifice in the same way that He had chosen one nation, Israel, to be His holy people. As God’s people Israel was to reflect His holiness (cf. vv 44f) by restricting its diet to those animals that fitted the pattern of the animals chosen by God for His “diet” (namely, cloven hooves and chewing the cud). The pig is “unclean” because it meets only half the requirements: it has cloven hooves but does not chew the cud (v 7).”

Up to this point, eating bacon-cooked ribs seems like a pretty serious offense doesn’t it? So why then is it not hypocritical for Christian’s to partake in this meal?

All Foods are Declared Clean

The problem with stopping at the end of our discussion above is it would not do the Scriptures justice as to what it says to the entirety of the “bacon-problem” (I don’t like to see these two words so closely associated). The coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, brought in a new age – and with him a new covenant (more on this later). So much of what Jesus spoke to when he came to live among us was the people who kept the old law religiously, yet didn’t understand the purpose of the laws at all. On the outside, many Jews appeared to be the most holy of peoples, but on the inside they were completely bankrupt. Jesus calls these people white-washed tombs – they look clean on the outside, but are full of everything unclean on the inside.

We see this flushed out in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 7. Jesus had just finished telling a parable to the Pharisees and Jews, and he finished his time with the people by telling them “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 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 7:14-15, ESV). Confused by his teachings, his disciples continue to question Jesus further. Jesus goes on to explain “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him,  since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled? (Thus he declared all foods clean.)” (Mark 7:18-19, ESV). You see, the point Jesus is trying to make is nothing we can physically do makes us clean in any way. The religious law-keepers at the time claimed that not eating pork made them cleaner than others. Jesus want’s to get at your heart and root out the wickedness that inhabits it – he isn’t concerned with what you eat. After all – as verse 19 says literally in the original Greek – what we eat goes into our stomach and then out into the latrine. Jesus wraps up his point by telling us the things that he is concerned with – what naturally dwell in our hearts: “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,  coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.  All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:22-23).

We're doing this. Except with the Bible.

We’re doing this. Except with the Bible.

This point is again hit on in the book of Acts. Peter has a vision from God – in it there is a white sheet, and on this sheet are all the animals, reptiles and birds of the air. Peter was then commanded to rise, kill and eat. Peter objected, saying that he has never touched a common or unclean animal. He is then instructed “What God has made clean, do not call common.” (Acts 10:15, ESV). Here again we see that there is something different now that Jesus has come – God’s followers are now allowed to eat all animals under creation (there is a deeper meaning behind this passage, concerning taking the gospel to the gentiles – but it is not relevant to this discussion).

Finally, in Paul’s letters to the Romans we actually see that it would be wrong for us to continue holding to dietary restrictions under the law. In chapter 14 the Apostle Paul tells us “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…Everything is indeed clean..” (Romans 14: 2-3, 20a, ESV). For the Christian Paul says, we would actually stand weaker in our faith if we held to dietary restrictions.

It’s clear from a reading of the entirety of what the Scriptures have to say about pig that it is indeed lawful for a Christian to enjoy a bacon cheeseburger. Before, we alluded to the term “New Covenant”. None of what we have discussed so far would make any sense without the New Covenant, and it is only under the New Covenant that we come to understand the point Jesus is driving home.

The Beauty of the New Covenant

The Bible is full of what we call “covenants”, that is, a promise made between God and His people. We see multiple covenants in the Old Testament between God and the people of Israel. After the fall of man, the people of Israel are put into a law-abiding relationship with God. This is where we get the Ten Commandments, the dietary restrictions, the restrictions of the sabbath, and so on. If we read the Old Testament in it’s entirety we get a crazy cyclical picture of a chosen people of God who continually fall into grievous sin, God punishes them, the people cry out to God, he saves them from their predicament, he gives them more laws to abide by to keep them from falling back into sin, but then they just break the new commands and do it all over again. What we see from this picture is that no matter how hard we may try we always fail to live up to God’s standards. To account for this, the people of God routinely had to make sacrifices to atone for their sin. There were restrictions on this too – the animal was often a lamb, it had to be male, containing no blemishes – basically, a perfect lamb. To account for their sin, someone or something had to take their punishment. “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22, ESV).

Fast forward a couple thousand years. It’s first century Jerusalem, and for hundreds of years the chosen people of God have been religiously keeping their laws. The Pharisee’s of the time – the teachers who believed their righteousness came from how well they kept the law but were completely corrupt – held complete power over the Jewish people. Out of nowhere, a young man speaking with authority walks onto the scene telling them they’ve gotten it all wrong. Not only is he speaking with authority and calling out these teachers of the law, but he’s performing great miracles. He’s claiming the ability to forgive sins. Most importantly, he’s claiming to be God.

With him comes a new message: he is going to usher in the New Covenant. The law was given to us to reveal our sinful hearts – not to keep it like a checklist and then consider ourselves clean. When the law says do not murder, it is meant to show us the reality that the hatred in our hearts towards others is murder (Matthew 5, 1 John 3). Similarly, when we even so much as lust after others, we’ve already committed adultery (Matthew 5:28). God’s standards for us are so high that it is impossible for us to keep them. Under the New Covenant, Jesus fulfills the law-restrictions of the old (Matthew 5:17). Under the old law, we see the weight of our sin and how wretched we are. Culture wants to tell us that we’re all basically good, in reality we are all  quite bad.

Until we see the weight of our sin under the old law, we will never see the glory, richness and beauty of life in Christ.

This is why the New Covenant is so amazing: while we were under bondage of the law, while we were sinners under it, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8). The law brings death, but the Spirit of God through Christ brings life (2 Corinthians 3:6). Don’t you see? Christ is the perfect, spotless, blameless lamb! We are no longer captive to the law, sin and death because he took the punishment that we deserved once and for all. It’s the most magnificent thing that has ever happened in the entirety of time, and he did it for you and me.

***Side-note***

It would be wrong for us to conclude that we can therefore live a life not in pursuit of holiness. Yes, we are free from the bondage of law and the ceremonial commands that came with it, such as dietary restrictions and special days of observance. But the moral law – how we are to act in our relation to God and our relation to others – remains intact. We are no longer burdened with making ourselves right before God when we sin; Christ has done that for us. It is however still the obligation of every Christian to pursue a life of holiness, which we can only do through Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

***End Side-note***

—–

Quite a bit of exposition from a plate of bacon-cooked ribs.

Christian, if you’re reading this, I hope this was a blessing to you. I hope this will help you not only articulate the Scriptures teachings to this common objection, but that it will also be a reminder of your sinfulness, and your captivity under the old law  – and the grace you’ve found in Christ. Do not be like those white-washed tombs.

Non-Christian, I hope this was a blessing to you too! At the very least, it is my hope you learned something about the Christian faith you didn’t know before. Maybe it will be an exhortation to you to dig deeper into sin, grace and the beauty of what Christ did on the cross.

Questions, comments? Sound off below!



38 thoughts on “Bacon, Jesus, and the New Covenant”

John Song · March 25, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Dynamite Post. I’m now hungry.

Eleazar Kitchens · March 27, 2013 at 2:28 am

Wow! Where to even begin? At best a 1/2 baked theology you have just stated there sir!

In the “Old Testament” it teaches that “murder” is a sin. How is not murdering someone physically, mentally, or emotionally…as you stated, “bondage”?

    Eleazar Kitchens · March 27, 2013 at 2:33 am

    If there is no “law” then what defines what sin actually is? I guess as a “Christian” the cop that pulled me over and gave me a ticket for speeding is putting me back into bondage. How dare that cop try to enforce the speeding limit!

      toddott · August 17, 2013 at 12:54 am

      Have you ever wondered why it is that no matter what the speed limit is, people alway have to go just a little bit faster? It’s because human nature is rebellious. Whenever there is a law, we rebel. Fear of punishment keeps most people in line, but whenever there’s a chance that we could get away with it, we try. The speed limit law produced rebellion in you making you a slave to the sin of exceeding the speed limit. (Someone said that whoever sins is a slave to sin).

      You need to read Galatians. The power of sin is in the Law. Because of our sinful rebellious nature, the “law” cause us to rebel. It reveals our sinfulness and rebellion. Paul says the Law is a Jailor who holds us in the prison of sin. Where there is no law, there is no sin.
      God created everything to be free, to live according to its own nature. The Law inhibits our freedom, thereby causing us to rebel. Wen we believe the Gospel, God gives us the Holy Spirit. He changes our very nature.
      When Jesus died, we died with Him, thereby freeing us from the Law. We are dead to the Law of Moses, but alive to the Spirit. The Law no longer has any power to produce rebellion because we are free from it. Now we are free to live according to the new nature that God has given us, a nature that lives righteously. The Spirit is now our guide. He leads us into all truth and into those good works of love which God has prepared in advance for us to do. Since we are dead to the Law, it no longer has the power to make us a prisoner of sin. Nor are we bound by its external laws. We are free, and our righteousness is not our own, but Christ living in us and through us. Jesus fulfilled every obligation we had to the Father. The Father needs nothing from us anyway. Now all he asks is the we love others in word and deed, for whatever we do for others we do for Him.

      The “Law” written on our hearts is not the Law of Moses. It is the Christ Himself living in us. It is the very Word breathed into us by the Father. God has given us a new nature, His divine nature. We are the righteousness of Christ. Paul says the Law is not made for the righteous, but for the unrighteous. Does a Christian need to be told not the murder? No, it is not in his nature to murder.

      The Law os of the flesh. Those who hold on to the types and shadows of the Law are of the flesh, unable to discern spiritual things.

      Paul likens those who hold to the Law of Moses as immature carnal children. Children need to be told when to brush their teeth and make their beds. Those under grace, who have received the promise given to Abraham (430 years before the Law was given) are mature SONS who have received their inheritance. They are made in the image of their Father and have His character. They don’t need a ” tutor” to keep them in line.

      Sadly, those under the Law will never receive their inheritance because they thought they could earn God’s approval through the works of the Law.

      Paul says the Law was added UNTIL the Seed had come. Well, the Seed came 2000 years ago, fulfilled the Law in every way, from the types and shadows of the sacrifices, the types and shadows in the food laws and feasts and sabbaths, to the moral Law itself. The sabbaths were types of the rest we have in Christ. The food laws were laws of separation, keeping Jews and Gentiles apart. They were types of believers being separate from the world. The Word of God is clean meat that we are to take in and digest.

      The Old Covenant has passed away. All that remains is God’s eternal moral Law of love. No more foods, feasts or sabbath which were types and shadows.
      In Matthew 5 Jesus was showing us that the intent of the Law is love for others, something the teachers of the Law had missed. Love, forgiveness, turning the other cheek, faithfulness, honesty – these are the commands that that Jesus said we were not to break or teach others to break.
      God never changes, but God has changed the way that He deals with mankind. The Law of Moses was not an end, but a means to an end. It’s only purpose was to show us our sinfulness and our utter inability to obey God, thereby preparing us for the promised Savior. The Old Covenant showed us our need, the New Covenant met that need, Christ in us our hope of glory

      That is the simplicity of the Gospel.

      p.s. I love bacon!

        Heinbr · August 17, 2013 at 1:37 am

        Hi Todd- you’ve resurrected a comment thread that I thought was long dead! Thanks for commenting.

        That being said, I just wanted to clarify who you were speaking to in either comment – me or another visitor?

        I appreciate your comments and I’m pretty sure you and I are in agreement, so I want to make sure you didn’t misunderstand my article. Your response was much more detailed, but I was originally trying to write a very broad article. I should’ve written a second one in response to all the Judaizers on here rather than answer person by person.

        Grace and peace!

heinbr · March 27, 2013 at 2:44 am

Hello Eleazar,

I appreciate you visiting the site and taking the time to comment. Could you please clarify your statement “How is not murdering someone physically, mentally or emotionally…as you stated, bondage?”

In addition, I would encourage you to re-read what I said about God’s law.

Foggy Q. Spy · March 27, 2013 at 4:04 am

” Whoever then, breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven” – matthew 5:19

That’s from Jesus himself. Also the ” New Covenant” states that the Law will be written on our hearts and all the Israelites from all the corners of the earth will be brought back into Israel, and that no man will die for another. Jeremiah 31.

How are ou going to justify our half baked theology now?

    goingtodamascus · March 27, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Hello Foggy,

    Thank you for posting. I would also encourage you to read back over my portion of this post, specifically regarding the end of my discussion on the New Covenant, as I believe you are reading things into the post which are simply not said.

    In addition, I would love to hear what it means to you for God’s law to be written on our hearts.

    Looking forward to the discussion.

Donna · March 27, 2013 at 5:33 am

I want to say that I appreciate the time and effort that you spent putting your article together. I read it through a post on fb.

Being a person that spends time in the Word, I would like to respectfully request that you consider the questions and statements that I have shared with you in response to some of the information in your article.

I would ask that you consider reading whole books and chapters of the Scriptures to get the full context of the few verses that you posted above. Also, the Hebrew Scriptures, Genesis through Malachi, were the only Scriptures that The Messiah and the apostles had in the first century. These Scriptures are how we, as disciples in 2013, should be defining biblical words.

If swine is now ok with the Father, why is it prophesied in Isaiah 66:3-4 that He will punish those who continue to eat it? And, how was the 2cnd Temple defied by the sacrifice of a pig if it is now considered clean? See also Isaiah 65.

Please continue reading Acts 10, Peter understands that his vision is about people.

Act 10:28 And he said to them, “You know that a Yehuḏite(Jewish) man is not allowed to associate with, or go to one of another race. But Elohim has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.1 Footnote: 1See v. 35.

Act 10:34-35 And opening his mouth, Kĕpha (Peter)said, “Truly I see that Elohim SHOWS NO PARTIALITY, 35 but in every nation, he (a person) who fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.

Are you saying that He changes or adds to His Word as time goes along?…

Mal 3:6 “For I am יהוה (YHVH), I shall not change1, and you, O sons of Yaʽaqoḇ (Jacob), shall not come to an end. Footnote: 1Jas. 1:17.

Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of turning.

Amo 3:7 Adonai, God, does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.

Are you saying that the Son came to usurp His Father’s authority?Messiah said that He only came with the doctrine of His Father…

Joh 7:16 יהושע (Yahoshua) answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.1 Footnote: 1Deut. 18:15-20. 17 “If anyone desires to do His desire, he shall know concerning the teaching, whether it is from Elohim, or whether I speak from Myself. 18 “He who speaks from himself is seeking his own esteem, but He who seeks the esteem of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.

He also told us to do what they read from Moses seat, yet do not do what they do…

Mat 23:1-4 Then יהושע spoke to the crowds and to His taught ones,
2 saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on the seat of Mosheh.
3 “Therefore, whatever they say to you to guard, guard and do. But do not do according to their works, for they say, and do not do. 4 “For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders, but with their finger they do not wish to move them.

In other words, Do what they read from the Torah “Law”, however, do not do what they do because they do not do the commandments of Elohim. The works they do are traditions and doctrine’s of men, just like today. They tell the people to follow their man made laws (Mark 7) and not our King!…

Mar 7:6-9 And He answering, said to them, “Well did Yeshayahu prophesy concerning you hypocrites, as it has been written, ‘This people respect Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. 7 And in vain do they worship Me, teaching as teachings the commands of men.’1
8 “Forsaking the command of Elohim, you hold fast the tradition of men.” 9 And He said to them, “Well do you set aside the command of Elohim, in order to guard your tradition. Footnote: 1See Isa. 29:13, 2 Ki. 17:19, and Mt. 15:3-9.

It is my hope that you will start to realize that our Messiah came to uphold the Law of His Father to show us how to. To bring it to a spiritual level, because the Father looks at the intents and motivations of the heart. Just like He tells us about lusting in our mind vs. the physical act of adultery, He says we already did it in our hearts.

It is a far greater commitment than I ever knew sitting under doctrine’s of religion. Whether it be Christianity or Judaism, we all must get back to the pure doctrine of The Father.

It is He who sanctifies the clean animals, fish and fowl for food, we can not change that and neither can He. It is He who created the unclean animals, water creature, and fowl to be the scavengers of the earth and waters. We can not change that and neither can He. He has to uphold His own Law or He breaks the Covenant. Which He told us He will not. He will always be faithful, even when we are not.

This is why The Messiah had to die for us, because we have been an unfaithful bride. By His law, the adulterous bride would be put to death for her sins. She is the one who broke the Covenant. However, when He put Abraham to sleep and walked around the pieces He knew that the people would break the Covenant, so He would have to pay the price. This is the curse The Messiah took for us, the penalty is death.

He did not add to nor diminish from His own law, nor did He die to do away with them…

Look forward to hearing from you. =D

Shalom,
Donna

    goingtodamascus · March 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Hi Donna,

    I too appreciate your careful and thought-out response. It would’ve been very easy for you to skew your words in a demeaning way, but you did not. I am thankful for that.

    May I ask what background you are coming from? If I had to guess it would be SDA, but I don’t want to assume.

    I will try to address your comments systematically one by one.

    – I think you and I are reading Isaiah 66:3 quite differently. Starting in verse 2, the Lord declares it is those who fear and tremble at his Word is the one to whom he looks. What we then see in verse 3 is a contrast between a man who does not have a respect for God’s word, and is just going through the motions – with a man who would blatantly disobey God’s law. So what we see then is someone who keeps the law without a love and respect for God is just as bad as someone who doesn’t keep the law at all. What the verse is saying is something like this:

    “He who sacrifices an ox (without love for God) is like the one who murders a man…He who presents a grain offering (without a love for God) is like the one who would offer a pig (to an idol)…”

    I don’t see anywhere in these verses where it is being said that God is going to punish those who eat pig, rather, he is going to punish those who attempt to follow him with an empty heart – much like the rich young ruler.

    -I would, to some degree, agree with what you said about Peters dream in Acts 10. I did address this in my post – that there is a deeper meaning to the dream about reaching the gentiles, but it wasn’t relevant to this post. After all, Peter was the one who would explicitly go to the Gentiles, while Paul sought after the Jews.

    -I would also agree that God does not change. The beautiful thing about God is that He is at all times the same and never changing, and his attributes are at all times in harmony with one another. When we see his wrath, we also see his love. Unlike the god of Islam, who can at any time be one of his attributes without being any of the others.

    -I would also agree that they Pharisees and those under them were often obeying works of tradition rather than the commands of God. When we are left to our own devices, we take a list of divine commands and interpret them in a way that allows those who keep them to be above those who do not – completely taking out the point of worship towards an amazing God. We see this explicitly played out in Mark 2:23-28

    -I would also, to a degree, agree with your statement that Christ came to uphold the law and take it to a much deeper level, to root out the very heart disease that inhabits our soul. I also addressed this in my post – it is not the physical act of murder alone Jesus is concerned with – but the very motivation of hatred in our heart that it comes from. I also addressed in my post that the moral law of God (loving God – the first four commandments, and loving neighbor, the last six – the summation of the entire Law) is completely upheld by Christ and necessary for the Christ-follower.

    However, to say that this includes ceremonial and judicial requirements of the law – such as religiously keeping the Sabbath, dietary restrictions, and circumcision – would just be blatantly not true. Even if you throw out Acts 10, this view is irreconcilable with the passage from mark, Romans 14, and basically all of the book of Hebrews. In addition, Peter explicitly address these burdens in Acts 15:

    But some believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and said, “It is necessary for them to be circumcised and ordered to keep the law of Moses.”

    The apostles and the elders met together to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “My brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that I should be the one through whom the Gentiles would hear the message of the good news and become believers. And God, who knows the human heart, testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us; and in cleansing their hearts by faith he has made no distinction between them and us. Now therefore why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”

    Thanks again Donna. Look forward to hearing from you again. If you want to engage in a longer, continued dialogue perhaps it would be better to use the ‘contact’ form and we can exchange over email.

    For the King!

      mom of four · March 28, 2013 at 1:12 am

      I think the passage in question in Isaiah 66 would be a little farther on than just verses 3-4.

      Here is what I think was being referred to:

      15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
      16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.
      17 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.

M. A. Cecil · March 27, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Just want to bring to your notice that any thing written in italics or in brackets are not in the original scriptures but added on by the translators ““Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled? (Thus he declared all foods clean.)” (Mark 7:18-19, ESV).’
If according to you all foods clean by Jesus then why Peter said after 15 years after the resurrection still declares; “Acts 10:14 But Kepha said, Not so, Master; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.” So is Peter disobeying Christ? For the 1st century followers of Yeshua (Jesus)obeying the dietary laws outlined in Lev 11 was not an issue. and by the way what is forbidden to eat is not considered food. God/ Jesus never change and so His commandments and laws and Matt 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
These are Yeshua’s (Jesus) very own words, eating what is forbidden is an abomination meaning the most detestable thing to do. How can you eat pork with your mouth and with the same mouth pray to him? Grace never replaced His commandments this is a false teaching. 1 John 2:3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

2:4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

2:5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of YHWH is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

2:7 Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.
Think about it brother, Blessings.
M. A Cecil

    goingtodamascus · March 27, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Hi MA-

    Thanks for your comments.

    I will only address your foundational claim, as this is the root of your address and many of your other comments will be addressed in my reply to Donna.

    In a way, you are correct that bracketed text might not be in an original. If you are reading from the original manuscripts (such as are available in the UBS4 or the NA27/28), bracketed text would indicate there are variants amongst manuscripts. This is why these greek manuscripts come with a Critical Apparatus, which will site the documents that the variants come from. It is very useful.

    However, your claim that parenthetical text in the English is not in the original is simply not true. Now, the original Koine Greek did not use parenthetical notation of any kind, in fact the original manuscripts would’ve been written in all capital letters without spaces or puncuation SOMETHINGLIKETHIS.

    I submit to you the original Greek passage, taken from the UBS4:

    18 καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς, Οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀσύνετοί ἐστε; οὐ νοεῖτε ὅτι πᾶν τὸ ἔξωθεν εἰσπορευόμενον εἰς τὸν ἄνθρωπον οὐ δύναται αὐτὸν κοινῶσαι 19 ὅτι οὐκ εἰσπορεύεται αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν καρδίαν ἀλλʼ εἰς τὴν κοιλίαν, καὶ εἰς τὸν ἀφεδρῶνα ἐκπορεύεται, καθαρίζων πάντα τὰ βρώματα;

    “…and it goes out into the toilet, declaring clean all the foods”

      mom of four · March 27, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      Everything which was defined for a first century Jew as food is listed in Torah.

      I find it very interesting that even long after Acts 10 (the point of which is described in verse 28), Peter is still referring the “strangers scattered” (ie gentiles who have come to faith who are meeting with the Jews in the synagogue) to Torah as the rule for living and telling them to leave behind the former lusts they held in ignorance “For it is written: Be holy for I am holy.”

      One might ask “Where is that written?” (Although in 25 years of going to church I wasn’t taught to ask that.) The only places one will find this phrase in the rest of the Bible are in Leviticus. So let’s go look at what exactly Peter was referring to when he wrote this.

      Leviticus 11: 43 Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.
      44 For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      45 For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
      46 This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth:
      47 To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.

      So therefore Peter was referring the ones who had no previous knowledge of the dietary laws and restrictions right back to the heart of what is food and is not food, and he strongly told them to leave behind their former lusts.

        goingtodamascus · March 27, 2013 at 10:25 pm

        Hi MOF,

        I appreciate you taking the time to read my post and write a response back.

        Again, like the other commenters so far, I would refer you to all of the above passages in the post, as well as the passages in my other responses. To say that Peter is referring to dietary restrictions in 1 Peter 1 would be antithetical not only to the rest of the New Testament, but also to Peter himself in Acts 15.

        This dispute can also be settled in Galatians 2, when Paul publicly rebukes Peter for forcing Gentiles to eat like Jews at the table:

        But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

        The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ga 2:11–14.

        In much of the book of Galatians Paul rebukes the Judaizers for leading people astray and telling them they need to live under the ceremonial restrictions of the Torah. We see this played out in his rebuke of Peter.

        What this also tells us is that since the very beginning of the early church, Judaizing teachers who would seek to enforce OT law on Christians have been trying to infiltrate the church and lead people astray. It is at best misguided, and at worst damning.

        I’m not trying to be offensive, but the scriptures are quite clear on this subject. From the very words of Jesus himself, to the numerous words of the other NT authors, the message is clear. To put on the former yoke of slavery, as Peter says in Acts and Paul in Galatians, is to rob Jesus of his deserved glory and the once-for-all work of blood-bought grace.

Josh · March 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Wow, awesome post and explanation! I do feel some of the previous comments miss the point of the article. We, believers, can never earn God’s mercy and grace; it was given to us freely through Jesus Christ. Yes, we should do good and follow Christ’s example, but only because we freely want to, not because it will earn our salvation. A person that calls himself/herself a Christian, but believe he/she cant eat pork because it will nullify his/her salvation, misses the whole concept of Christ dieing for us. However, I think it is fine for a Christian who decides not to eat pork because it will serve as a reminder of the Old Covenant, but ultimately knows it will not “earn” his/her salvation.

    goingtodamascus · March 27, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Well said Josh. Indeed, if not eating Pork or shellfish is a reminder to you of God’s holiness and his authority over your life, then by all means. However to hold this yoke over another Christian is very un-biblical.

Foggy Q. Spy · March 27, 2013 at 4:49 pm

What it is meant by ” the writing of the Torah ( the Hebrew for law, which i will be using from now on) on our hearts” means that the Torah is written on our hearts, and we will obey it. As it also states that we will no longer need teachers either. Deuteronomy 13 has the details of how we are to judge a prophet, and if they speak about changing the Torah, they are a false prophet, bar none, end of discussion. The Torah is not, as Christianity believes, to show us how much we need Jesus, it is how we are to live our lives. It is not hard to obey, but if you come to it later in life, it can take a while to get used to it. It is incredibly easy to honor the Sabbath, which in its essence is honoring your own body, also, not eating pork is incredibly easy to do. God is merciful, He will not, as Living Waters ministries or any other evangelist society tells you, send you to hell forever for breaking a simple commandment. That is not His justice. In fact, in the Torah, the ONLY punishment for stealing is paying the person back, plus 1/5th more. Instant forgiveness.

I would like to know how you justify dishonoring the Torah in light of Matthew 5:17-19.

    goingtodamascus · March 27, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Hi Foggy,

    Thank you for sharing more with me.

    When we see something in Scripture that particularly stands out to us, we must see what the entirety of Scripture has to say about the subject. I can pull out any one verse and make it say what I want, such as 1 John 3:6 “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.” I could show that to you and say “Sorry, if you’ve sinned you’re out. Have fun in hell.” But we know that’s not what this verse and passage is talking about, because we read it in the context of the entirety of Scripture.

    At first glance at the passage you listed in Matthew 5, it might appear that indeed the entirety of the Torah is to be upheld by today’s Christian. Taken in light of the entirety of Scripture, is this really what it is saying? In addition to the passages in my post (Mark 7, Acts 10, Romans 14), I would also submit Acts 15 to you (specifically, “Now therefore why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”).

    I would also point you to:
    – Romans 7:7 (“What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin.”)
    -Galatians 3:23-25 (“Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian”)
    -James 2:10 (“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it”)
    – Ephesians 2:13-16(“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.”)

    Edit: let me add two more,
    -Galatians 4:9-11 (“But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? You observe days and months and seasons and years! I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.”)

    And, most importantly, Galatians 5:1-6
    “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
    Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”

    I could go on. The very thought that Christians are under the Torah was the very thing Paul preached against in his entire letter to the Galatians.

    So what then can we conclude? What does it mean for Christ to fulfill the law and for the law to be written on our hearts? We can conclude that the letter kills, but the spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6). As Paul says, under the law his sin was revealed to him. As followers in Christ, we have now been baptized by the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. This very presence of God changes our desires, and this is what makes Christianity so unique. We don’t keep the law of God because we have to, we keep it because we want to. That is what it means for the law to be written on our hearts – the moral law that Christ has upheld. No longer are we under the physical circumcision, but we are under the circumcision of our hearts (Romans 2:28-29).

    May I ask what faith background you come from?

    I pray that the grace of Christ is revealed and made beautiful to you.

Foggy Q. Spy · March 27, 2013 at 10:15 pm

I am Jewish. I obey Torah, and live a life studying Torah. The entire Tanach ( what christians call the old testament, a highly offensive term)upholds the Torah. Jesus upholds the Torah ( for the most part), and since Paul is the only one saying it’s done away with, then he is a false prophet. Which he is. Paul speaks against circumcision in galations 1, while God Himself in Genesis tells Abraham that circumcision is an eternal sign of the covenant. No covenant can annul another one, all Biblical covenants are eternal. Christianity, in essence, worships Paul, as they go on every word he says, while ignoring the word of God which states not to do certain things.

And on another note, the things stated in Acts 15 are the 7 universal laws of the Noahide covenant ( Genesis 6, those are the laws given so that gentiles can have a place in the World to Come. The new covenant will only come about when the Third Temple is built, all Israel is gathered back to the Land, universal knowledge of God is the norm, the messiah comes, and the dead are raised.

Thank you for your time, brother

    goingtodamascus · March 27, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Hi Foggy,

    Appreciate your response again.

    I can see where you are coming from, from the Jewish perspective. The Scriptures you see as authoritative are not the Scriptures I see as authoritative. This dialogue goes far beyond the eating of pork, but goes into the conversation of “Is Jesus really who he said he is?” If you do not believe so, then freedom in Christ does not apply to you. I pray that it would be so. However, the purpose of this post was not to get into debate over Biblical inerrancy or whether or not Jesus is the Christ. The purpose of this post was to show, from a Christian perspective, a perspective which takes the Bible as authoritative and worships Jesus as the Son of God, why we do not hold to that law.

    If you’d like to dialogue further, I would love to do so. Perhaps we could exchange some resources? So long as pride does not get in the way, I believe we could both learn a lot from each other. Please shoot me an email using the contact form if you’d like.

    For the King!

Jerry · March 28, 2013 at 1:38 am

I think you can replace the word bacon with homosexuality and have the same argument. It’s not a Jew thing. It’s not a command made for a Jew. It’s a command by God to humanity. This article is offensively ignorant. The author shows ignorance on the subject and starts his biased opinion stating how HE feels about bacon. Who cares how he feels. What does God himself say that HE feels about it? I am telling you that Jesus never ate the crap and never will. I will also tell you that he never said we could. I will say that Paul’s writings are twisted and misinterpreted. They have to be, because he has no authority to change what God said. If you eat bacon and do Easter and Christmas and Halloween then leave me alone about this nonsense. You are already too callous to what God says anyway. If your willing to do those feasts but Not his feasts or Sabbath then what’s a little pork? Or Easter egg hunt? Or all hollows eve? Or maybe you could care less about rest on the 7th day? SUNday is not sabbath. Sabbath keeping is a command. Just because scripture says they started meeting on the 1st day, doesn’t mean GOD said ok sabbath is now 1st day of the week. That’s ridiculous. Feasts are observed when Jesus comes back. They were observed before he left. Get rid of religion and practices with mixture. Sin after all is transgression of the law. All of the law. Not just the pieces you don’t FEEL apply anymore. Salvation is thru belief on Jesus but living a holy set apart lifestyle can only come from living as Jesus did. He did all that I have said. Why aren’t you?

    goingtodamascus · March 28, 2013 at 2:24 am

    Hi Jerry,

    Thank you for stopping by and reading this post.

    You have made quite a statement with your words, and it is clear there is far more going on in your heart than can be addressed in a comment thread.

    I find it a little off-putting that you would come and blast me for stating my opinions and how “I feel” about things, when everything I say is clearly backed up from Scripture. Clearly. Yet, you make such a claim, and then follow up your next three sentences by starting with “I am telling, I will also tell you, I will say” – with no Scriptural argument. In fact, you undermine the Biblical text by saying Paul’s writings are twisted, words that were written under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

    I am unclear as to the perspective you are coming from, but it is clearly prideful and arrogant. Give Christ his throne back, you owe him.

    As owner of this blog, I reserve all rights to moderate and delete any comments that are clearly disrespectful to myself, God’s Church, or other posters. I will leave your comment up, should you choose to return with such hatred and arrogance I will have your comments removed.

    Nick · March 28, 2013 at 3:09 am

    Hi Jerry,

    Boy, that’s quite a lot of topics rolled into one comment! I think I see what you’re trying to get at, however, I feel there is a slight misinterpretation/misunderstanding still. By no means will I be able to address them all in one post, but I hope this helps a little. Mark 17:18-19 is Jesus saying himself that it’s our hearts that are the problem, not our diet. That was the exact problem the Pharisees had – not the diet, but the heart condition. They would pass the poor on the street rather than help them. Heck, if they had the power to heal as Jesus did, I also bet they wouldn’t heal people on the Sabbath. Jesus did just this (see Mark 3:1-6). Did Jesus break the rules? No. He did what was right. Rule-following is not the way to gain salvation. That’s called legalism. This is what Jesus is teaching here. Now, relate to unclean foods. Do you think God is concerned with whether or not we eat pork? If you’re not a born again Christian, the answer is “yes”. If you are, then “no”. Reason? Christians have a perfect atoning Sacrifice, and that Sacrifice lived perfectly and died for us because He knew we couldn’t. Did Jesus eat pork? Likely not. Why? 1 Corinthians 8:13: “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall”. While I’m aware this was written after His death, being God, I’m sure He knew it to be true while He was on earth. I’m also sure he knew it’d be a stumbling block for his disciples, who were Jews. Plus, He came to fulfill the OT law (Matthew 5:17). Avoiding swine was part of that law.

    I really hope this addresses what you were getting at. If I can be of any further clarification, please let me know! I’ll also pray that God will give you clarity and wisdom in this area.

    toddott · August 17, 2013 at 1:16 am

    Well, the Law was ADDED because of transgression UNTIL the promise. Now that the promise has come, we are no longer under the Law.

    In Matthew 5 Jesus was showing the INTENT of the Law, which is love, forgiveness, faithfulness, grace, humility, etc. The Pharisees had missed the point of the Law and had become arrogant and judgmental and condemning of Jesus because He didn’t obey it the way that they believed it should be obeyed.

    Hey, does that sound familiar? Go back and read your post. You obviously have missed the intent of the Law also.

    Let me ask you. Jesus said that not one iota of the Law would disappear until all was fulfilled. Well, tell me, how many of the 613 commandments do you obey? In your own words…ALL of the Law. Not just the pieces you don’t FEEL apply anymore.

Foggy Q. Spy · March 28, 2013 at 2:55 am

My email is jedidiahjohnson20@yahoo.com . We can exchange resources, I was more or less a christian before October. But since I have opened my eyes to the Torah, and want to honor my creator. I’m not saying this to be mean, but christianity will never convert a Jew that has a knowledge of the Bible. As it says, anyone that says the Torah is obsolete is a false prophet. Why should we Jews, and in fact anyone, throw that out and accept what Paul says?

    toddott · August 17, 2013 at 2:24 am

    The Torah (the five books of Moses) are not obsolete. The Law was given to the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai. Gentiles were never under the Mosaic Law. The purpose of the Mosaic Law was to keep Israel separated (holy) from the world (Gentiles). In Christ, that separation was removed. He abolished the Law “in His flesh” making the two (Jew and Gentile) one new man. The Torah is not obsolete. All of scripture is useful and profitable. The Torah teaches us through types and shadows about Christ.
    The Law, the Mosaic Covenant, however, is no longer how God relates to His people. He no longer uses mediators or writes His laws on stone. He relates to His people personally, through His Spirit living in us.

    You are correct. The Gentile church will never convert a Jew that has a knowledge of the Bible. Jesus had the same problem when He lived on earth. It seems the majority of Jews will only believe when “they look on Him whom they pierced” at His second coming.
    Regardless, a Gentile should not be a “stumbling block” to Jews. They should respect the Jewish persons desire to observe the Torah. Paul said that to the Gentile he became as a Gentile, to the Jew he became as a Jew, he became all things to all people in order to win some to Christ.

    I would say that the reason the “Church” will never convert a Jew, is mot because of disputes over the Law, but rather because of anti-semitism. (Anti-semites are most likely not Christians, anyway.)

Steve · March 28, 2013 at 4:39 am

A christian friend shared this article with me on Passover of all days. I have no idea why. Perhaps it was to help justify his Easter Ham Sunday. Who knows, and I don’t care to know what his reasoning was.

For the record, I don’t care what christians eat. That is between them and their plate. Just don’t try to use twisted scripture and empty logic to convince me to sin against The Most High. If you want to eat swine, horse, dog, cat, rat, humans, or anything else, eat it. No one is stopping you. Scripture has warned you but who cares about that, right?

Our Messiah once quoted from a Real Prophet when He opened the scriptures to quote from Isaiah 61. Assuming that this legitimizes Isaiah is a credible Prophet we must then also consider chapter 66 vs. 17.

But if you are out there promoting this lie that scripture’s position statement has changed on this subject because a guy had a dream 2000 years ago (about a man) which resulted in the mass spontaneous mutation of animals from unclean and not editable to clean and presumptuously editable, I WILL EXPOSE THE LIES AND TEACH THE TRUTH.

Malachi 3:6

(Tim, please don’t send me this garbage in the future.)

    goingtodamascus · March 28, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Steve,

    Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well.

    For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

    Hebrews 7:11-12,18-19

    May the peace and rest of our Lord find its way into your soul.

Josh · March 28, 2013 at 11:45 am

Well said Nick!

Foggy Q. Spy · March 28, 2013 at 3:06 pm

The book of Hebrews is a sham. How do I know? Because it says there is a change in the Law, which is impossible. If Jesus were here today, he would throw it away. And also, Steve is an awesome guy. The Torah is not meant to be followed perfectly. It is meant to be studied and applied to our lives. God forgives. Remember king David? He committed murder and adultry, and he repented sincerely and God forgave him, without a sacrifice.

    Josh · March 29, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Hmmm, I will try to keep this short. God forgave David, but still was punish for it and paid a price for it.

    Bathsheba’s baby died
    David’s sons Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah were slain
    Tamar was raped by her half brother

    And there was never a change in the Law. Jesus overcame the Law and died for our sins.
    Example: The law of gravity will always exist, despite using rocket propelled engines or magnetism to overcome it.

    The Law still exist, and will be judged by those who try to follow it.

    In fact, all those who do not believe in Jesus, will be judge by the Law. 1st Timothy 1:8
    For whoever shall keep the whole Law and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. Jam 2:10
    The law was to expose our sinful nature. (Romans 7:7)

    As Romans 3:9-20 stated, there is not one that is righteous.
    Ecclesiastes 7:20-“There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.”

    toddott · August 17, 2013 at 2:00 am

    The change in the Law is from a carnal, external regulation to an inward spiritual one. For example, under the Ten commandments it was ok to hate your neighbor as long as you didn’t murder him. Under the new, we must love even our enemy.

    Here’s the thing. There are three laws. The Law of Moses. The law of sin and death. The Law of the Spirit. All things are controlled by natural laws. Humans are controlled by the law of sin and death. We are rebellious in nature. How are we set free from the law of sin and death? Can the Law of Moses set us free? Nope. The Law of Moses actually strengthens our rebellion. The power of sin is in the Law. We were created to be free. All things must be free to live according to their nature. The Law of Moses was weak and unable to overcome or sinful nature. It is holy and good, but it is weak because of the flesh.

    God had to give us a new Law. This new Law actually changes our nature. It changes who we are. So what about that old nature that keeps hanging around, that “old man?” Well, he died on the Cross with Jesus, and those who are dead are no longer under the Law.

    So what we see is, the Law of Moses was made for our “old man,” our old sinful carnal nature. The Law put to death that old man, thereby nullifying the Law since laws don’t apply to dead people – of a husband dies, the wife is free from the law that held her. She is free to marry another.

    So the old man died, but Jesus raised us up with Him as new creations. We are a new man. The old has gone, the new has come. What about the Law? Well, the Law of Moses was made for carnal, spiritually dead person. We need a new law! That Law is the Spirit of Life, the very Law that brought us back from the dead. The new law is not like the old law, written by the finger of God. The new law is actually the very presence of Christ, the Word of God breathed into out hearts.

    We no longer walk by the written code. We have a living person, Christ Himself, dwelling in our hearts. The Spirit is now our guide. He leads us into all truth and leads us into those works of love which He has prepared for us. It is no longer about external regulations. Those were types and shadows of Christ. He is the reality. By living and believing and trusting and abiding in His love, we bear His fruit. The entire Law of Moses is fulfilled in this: Love your neighbor. James said it. Paul said it. Jesus said it.

    We are empty clay jars. Paul said that we have this treasure, the Holy Spirit in jars of clay. By faith and trust, by abiding in Christ’s love, that love is made complete and it overflows to others, thereby fulfilling the Law.

    Every obligation of the Mosaic Law, every debt was fulfilled by Christ FOR US. The fulfilled not only the types and shadows, but also the moral Law. (Those who are “in Christ” by faith have also fulfilled the Law). He is our propitiation. The Father is satisfied. There is nothing He requires or needs from us. There is only one thing He asks of us – that we love. And in loving others, we are also loving God, for whatever we do for the least of these, we do for Him. We are His hands and feet, light and salt.

    So yes, there is a change of Law, from a written code engraved on two tablets of stone (which symbolized Israel’s hard, divided heart -Ezekiel 11) to the living Word of God living in our hearts.

    That is the simplicity of the Gospel and righteousness by faith apart from the Law of Moses.

Cheryl · March 28, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Excellent word GTD. 1 Tim.4:1-6
If someone of Jewish blood [or any other] has not accepted the Lord Jesus, as Savior and there for has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit[ Who leads us into all truth]; they are not able to teach the church. Pity to those who are following the blind.

    goingtodamascus · April 3, 2013 at 3:36 am

    Thanks, Cheryl for your encouragement. To God be the glory.

James M. · March 28, 2013 at 7:37 pm

It was refreshing to read and see in words, with scripture back up, the belief that my folks helped instill in me when I was much younger. Thanks for posting your view of the scripture on the matter. Its given me something to think and reflect about.

Probably over bacon tomorrow at breakfast.

Pseupsslurdem · March 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Can I just say what a relief to come across an individual who really knows what theyre talking about on the net. You definitely know tips on how to bring an problem to light and make it important. Much more consumers have to read this and realize this side of the story. I cant think youre not even more popular considering that you unquestionably have the gift.

[url=http://www.shopsredbottoms.com]red bottom shoes[/url]

Languages, Part 2 ← Going to Damascus · April 9, 2013 at 9:24 pm

[…] false teacher and a whole congregation becomes grossly misinformed. This happens in the form of people telling you something in the English translation doesn’t exist in the original Greek. To fit their deceitful doctrines, false teachers will often make such statements to fit their […]

Leave a Reply to M. A. Cecil Cancel reply

Related Posts

Practical Theology

As Seen on TV: Racism and Our Beauty Disorder

They say that each generation has one or two – maybe three – television events which shape the personality and psyche of the entire generation. We remember the sights and sounds of that day, where Read more…

Practical Theology

Capturing a Vision for Pastoral Internships

It has become evident to me that when it comes to pastoral internships we are facing a systemic crisis. Poorly trained pastoral interns leads to poorly trained pastors. We have forgotten the importance of pastoral internships. What we need is a big, robust vision of pastoral internships that is worthy of the high calling which Christ has given to his church.

Practical Theology

When Congregants Become Consumers

Have you ever been frustrated at the prevalent disregard Americans show toward experts in fields that laypeople otherwise know nothing about? Joe Average who thinks he knows as much about the political system as the Read more…