The Theology of a BLT
The Theology of a BLT
by Lonnie Lane
Q. Since there are several messianic teachings about everything I would like to ask you about the laws concerning foods. Do I have to follow those laws? Or do I have liberty in Yeshua to follow those that I am led to? Are those laws important in my walk with the Lord?
A. We are fully accepted by the blood of Yeshua, not because of doing or not doing anything such as keeping dietary laws. There is no food that will make you right with God by either eating it or not eating it.
When confronted with food-related questions Jesus said to His disciples, “Hear and understand. Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man…. Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts…” (Matt. 15:10, 11, 17-19a) He then goes on to list matters of evil thoughts that come out of the heart, such as murders, adulteries, slanders, etc. But His point was that food does not defile a man.
The Torah was written to teach people what is right and wrong, good and not good. Eating pork and shellfish, for instance, isn’t morally wrong. They do happen to contain higher amounts of cholesterol than other meat or fish and because they eat the refuse of other animals or fish, they are eating contaminated food often. So from a health perspective “keeping” the instructions about food may be wiser than not doing so, but there is no spiritual consequence to doing so. Paul later said in relation to food, in this case about eating things sacrificed to idols, “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.” (1 Cor. 10:23. Also see 1 Cor 6:12.) In other words, if Yeshua’s atonement cancelled the record against us, eating or not eating make no difference in terms of our salvation or relationship with Him. Our relationship is now by the Spirit.
If you choose to abstain from eating foods which Torah says not to eat, do so for reasons other than fear of violating the Law and incurring God’s displeasure. You may choose to do it in your freedom in Him. Yeshua’s blood has cancelled our debt and in Him we are all “kosher,” that is, acceptable to God!
When Jesus said that the whole Torah can be summed up as loving God, and loving your neighbor as yourself, it didn’t mean forget Torah altogether and just be nice and loving to one another. Reading the Torah will show you what the SPIRIT of Torah was meant to be in our lives. An example I like to use is how the early Believers shared everything in common which is what Torah taught again and again — provide for the hungry, take care of those in need, extend justice to orphans and widows, don’t show favoritism. We see that being worked out in love among the early Believers who appear to have had no partiality with regard to social, economic or any other status. Even the disciples had to learn to live that out, accepting their tax collector fellow-disciple, for instance, till he was just one of them.
More Christians might have a better understanding of what life in the Kingdom should be by the Spirit if they were familiar with what God gave to Israel in Torah. Torah is, after all, a declaration of how the community of God should live — with Him and one another.
So follow your heart. It’s peace that lets you know God is leading you. If it feels like compulsion or you feel compelled to make others see as you do, it’s probably not God’s leading. However, enjoying fellowship together when you share some of those values can be a rich and worshipful experience, such as sharing Shabbat together. Above all, let the peace, joy and righteousness of the Holy Spirit guide you in all things.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright ©1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.