The Bible is abundantly clear that there are no longer any unclean foods. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, God released His people from the food rules of the Old Testament.
…there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.
– Romans 14:14-15
So not only are there no longer any unclean foods, but we are never to put our own food preferences over that of our brother. This we must do out of love for our brother. If our food grieves a brother, we are to toss out our food preferences and embrace our brother.
It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.
– Romans 14:21-23
I believe God is telling us that the foods of which we approve are a personal choice, one between ourselves and God. One should eat without putting any pressure to follow suit on those around us.
When Peter was hungry and fell into a trance, he saw a procession of all kinds of wild beasts, creeping things and birds of the air. God’s voice came to him and said, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” And God said, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” (Acts 10:10-15)
The Lord’s direction to Peter echoes the same thought. God has cleansed all common and unclean foods. They’re all safe to eat.
What do I mean by “safe”? I believe this safety has to do with our spiritual state. Because of Jesus’ atonement for our sins, we have His righteousness. The only requirement is — do we accept Jesus’ gift of salvation and believe that He has the authority to save us?
In the Old Testament, during the time when the Israelites had to follow the guidelines for clean and unclean foods, those guidelines gave them a standard to which they should strive to attain. But because they couldn’t achieve perfection — “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), God gave them hints of a coming Savior, a deliverer who would be the final and perfect atonement for the people’s shortcomings.
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
For He [God the Father] made Him [Jesus the Son] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
– 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21
So, we don’t have to follow any guidelines regarding food for our salvation. There’s nothing — save the acceptance of Jesus’ gift and belief in Him — required of us in order to be good enough for the Lord. Why then should one choose to eat healthfully?
One reason why one should eat healthfully is because it is a healthier way to eat. That seems like a no brainer. And while I do claim this to be true, I won’t offer it as the ultimate reason for eating well. Would you agree with me that when people make the claim that this or that is more healthy, it often doesn’t hold water? I mean, how many people do you know that eat healthfully, yet still get sick? And on the other hand, how many people do you know who eat junk food, and yet seem perfectly healthy? Additionally, who sets the standard for what is healthy, anyway?
There is a reason for God’s people to eat well that has much stronger appeal. But before I state it, I would like to offer my definition of healthful foods. The healthiest foods are… GNOWFGLINS (pronounced g-NOWF-glins). What are those? — You’re asking. I will tell you. They are:
G – God’s (not man’s creations)
N – Natural (not artificial)
O – Organic (raised without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers; raised without drugs, hormones, or synthetic chemicals)
W – Whole (not processed)
F – Foods (not synthesized chemicals)
GL – Grown Locally (not transported from far away)
INS – In Season (not out of season)
I believe GNOWFGLINS are the most healthful foods. But we shouldn’t eat them just for health.
We should eat healthfully as a way of praising our Savior for His perfect design — to honor Him, to give Him glory. He is our Creator. As our designer, He knows best how to nourish our bodies. That is why we should eat the foods He made for us, as best we can — and those foods are God’s Natural Organic Whole Foods, Grown Locally In Season (GNOWFGLINS).
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of Men.
– John 1:3-4
He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the service of man, that he may bring forth food from the earth…
– Psalm 104:14
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.
– Genesis 1:1,31
And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.”
– Genesis 1:29
Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.
– Genesis 9:3
Please do eat healthfully, but do it primarily to give glory and praise to our Creator for His perfect design. I thank Him that He designed a world that brings forth food, that He doesn’t require perfection from us, and that He gives us grace to serve Him as our hearts lead. My heart wants to serve Him fully, and the food that I serve my family is just a part of the life I desire to lead for His glory. How is God leading you to praise Him?
© Copyright 2008 by Wardee Harmon. All rights reserved.
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