Thursday, January 04, 2007


It is common among Christians to question why the Old Testament laws concerning dietary restrictions are no longer enforced in the New Covenant. We all understand that God spoke to Peter in a vision and showed Peter that all things were now clean. Specifically, in Acts 10:15 God says, "What God has made clean, you must not call common (or unholy)." But, why has God chosen to do this? Why are we as a part of the New Covenant allowed to enjoy bacon and ham when those of the Old Covenant were not?
The answer is found in John 4. Jesus, in his exchange with the Woman at the well told her that the time had come when people would worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Until the time of Christ, God was worshipped in specific places with rituals and customs. The Spirit of God took up a residence within the temple where people came to worship. The dietary restrictions were ways that the people honored God with their everyday restricting what they ate. In essence, the dietary and other Old Testament restrictions served as a daily reminder of the God whom they served. However, with the New Covenant (which is Christ), the reminder was no longer necessary just as the Temple was not necessary because the Spirit of God took up its residence within the people of God.
The ending of dietary restrictions was not a relaxing of the recognition of sacred things in the world. Rather, the end of the dietary restrictions showed an increase in the sacred. No longer was holiness reserved for certain foods and places. With Christ, the people of God were now able to worship God in any place and circumstance. With the New Covenant, it is not that nothing is sacred, but rather that all things can be viewed as sacred and worthy of thanksgiving and praise to God because his Spirit resides within us as a constant reminder of whose we are. What God has now made clean, we must not call common, but rather we should praise him for all the goodness that he gives to us everyday!

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