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Bible Questions
Letters Table of Contents | Bible Questions

William wrote:

I still wonder about the law of eating swine. I have had a strong conviction about it... no where does it say that I can find does it say its ok now to eat it. The Bible [Old Testament] says don't eat it... don't even touch it.... but later [New Testament] you can read all things that go into your mouth are okay... or when you become A CHRISTIAN, NOTHING YOU EAT IS WRONG TO EAT. I'd like to know more about it

Our Answer:

Hi William:

Thank you for your question. I'm happy to help with this.

In the Old Testament there are three types of law:

The ceremonial or temple law. These laws governed sacrifices and things related to the temple. When Jesus died on the cross the veil in the temple was torn in two, showing us that the temple law was no longer in effect and we now had direct access to God. In the case of the ceremonial law, everything changed at the cross and the cerimonial law is no longer needed.

The moral law. The best known of these laws are the Ten Commandments. In the New Testament Jesus reiterates and expands on the moral law, with the exception of keeping the Sabbath. The moral law describes the character of God, and thus although we are not required to obey it for our salvation, out of love for God and our desire to become more like him we desire to obey His moral Law.

"If you love Me, keep My commandments." (Logos 21) - John 14:15

"Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me." - (NIV) John 14:21

The civil law. Civil laws are the laws put into place by governments. Israel did not have a civil government at the time, so God provided the civil law. As with civil law today, these laws were to protect people from harm. The law about not eating pork was a civil law. The law about pork was a health related law protecting people from, at that time, the health hazard of eating pork.

The New Testament tells us we are to obey the civil laws (Romans 13). These are the laws put into place by our government. So, for example, eating pork is okay (it is not a health hazard today), but exceeding the speed limit on the highway is not okay.

So instead of looking at the civil laws of the past and trying to obey them, we should be looking at our current civil laws and obeying them--as long as they do not conflict with God's moral law. The message of the Bible is that pork is okay to eat. But our civil laws tell us to not speed on the highway; don't run red lights; register your car with the DMV and keep it insured. To obey these laws is to be obeying God. If you violate these laws, you are violating God's law and thus sinning against God.

I hope this has helped.

Yours in the Love of Christ,
Move To Assurance


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