by Meg@bluffparkbaptist.org | Thursday, March 8, 2018
In the past month I have seen three separate articles or videos stating that Christians shouldn’t eat pork. They were followed by vigorous discussions about whether or not that was true. I read some of the things people wrote and the discussions soon spread to catfish and shrimp. Honestly I felt like I was roaming the desert with Moses or sitting at the table with Pharisees. Listen, I am doing neither; I am striving to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and He said I was “set free” from certain things. But what?
First, and foremost, I have been set free from my sin. I am no longer a slave to the passions and burdens of my sins. I am not a prisoner of my past. I am a new creature, washed white as snow by His blood. But also, I am set free from the burden of “the law”. Let me explain.
Many of the Old Testament laws from God were given for a couple of specific purposes. One was, of course, to set God’s people apart from those who were morally and spiritually bankrupt; those who worshipped false gods as well as those who worshipped no gods. Another was the dietary and cleanliness laws designed to keep God’s people as physically healthy as possible. Hence, don’t eat hazardous animals or touch dead bodies. All of God’s expectations were greatly enhance with human logic over the years, even to the point of being detrimental to a loving relationship with God.
Then Jesus appeared and brought grace instead of the law. He touched dead bodies, ate with unclean hands, forgave even adultery, and gathered food on the Sabbath. He said that a right relationship with the Father was accomplished, not by ceremony and ritual, but by salvation by His grace through faith and that it would play out by loving Him and loving our neighbor.
That doesn’t give us a license to sin. The Ten Commandments are pretty clear in themselves and Jesus evens heightened them by prohibiting the things that lead to our breaking of those precious commands. But it does mean that we don’t have to micro-manage God’s word to the point that we trade the slavery of sin for the slavery of judgement and ceremony. I like what Paul said in his letter to the Galatians: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1).
Bro. Tony, pastor
Church on the Bluff