If We Pray over a Meal, Can We Eat Anything?

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If We Pray over a Meal, Can We Eat Anything?

MP3 Audio (1.11 MB)
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Does 1 Timothy 4:4-5 1 Timothy 4:4-5 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
American King James Version×
show that New Covenant Christians can eat whatever they want? Are Old Testament dietary food laws done away?

Transcript

[Darris McNeely] Steve’s program on “You Are What You Eat ” has generated a great deal of response. We’ve already covered some questions that have come in from our viewers in regard to the matter of clean and unclean meats. And we have another one that’s come in regarding the verse in 1 Timothy 4:4 1 Timothy 4:4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
American King James Version×
about what is sanctified and what is not.

[Steve Myers] Yeah, it’s an interesting passage because oftentimes people have a question about it and they say, well doesn’t this show that we can eat whatever we want? So, let’s read that passage and see exactly what it says. In verse 4 of 1 Timothy 4 it says, “For every creature of God is good and nothing is to be refused if it’s received with thanksgiving for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4 1 Timothy 4:4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
American King James Version×
).  So normally if you would just read that little section you would say, well, if I pray about this and ask God to bless it, then I should be able to eat whatever I want. There shouldn’t be any restrictions. I shouldn’t have to worry about anything back in the Old Testament. And so, that’s the normal misconception about what that verse is saying. But that’s not what it’s saying.

[Darris McNeely} No. And again one of the principles of understanding the Bible is to keep every verse and all of it in context. In verse 3, it also talks about this—it talks about those who, “Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Timothy 4:3 1 Timothy 4:3Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
American King James Version×
). And so when you look at verse 3, you see that it again brings in the foods that God created to be received. And again we go back to Leviticus and Deuteronomy, which show exactly which are the foods God created to be received. And again when you read further in this section of Timothy, Paul is really addressing something that’s even deeper than just the matter of the food laws from what we call the Old Testament. He’s really addressing a philosophy that was prominent in the ancient world that he wanted members of the church to remove themselves from—that really kept them from understanding the whole plan and purpose of God. And the problem with the philosophy of that world at that time was foods that—all foods—and an unbalanced, improper approach toward food as a whole.

[Steve Myers] And that’s an amazing thing when you really see what this section says. The first verse in chapter 4 brings that out so clearly. He says, “The spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith” (1 Timothy 4:1 1 Timothy 4:1Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
American King James Version×
). Alright, how will they depart from the faith? He said, “Giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” And part of those doctrines that influence from the demonic realms are those that forbid to marry, like you mentioned in verse 3. So it wasn’t just about food. They also forbid marriage and then it says, “Abstain from foods.” And that word for foods there means any kinds of foods—not just…just not meats. And so that’s what Paul was arguing against pointing out very clearly; don’t get involved with that sort of thing. It’s not good.

[Darris McNeely] Really, the whole context and the whole background to this subject that Paul was addressing is a heresy that really has some really unbalanced approaches toward not only marriage and foods, but all of physical life in itself and denying the self unnecessarily apart from what God said was right and good in all aspects of life—not just foods.

[Steve Myers] One group was the Essenes. And some of them by this time were followers of Pythagoras. He was a famous mathematician. And some of his followers…

[Darris McNeely] Another Greek…

[Steve Myers] Another Greek—some of his followers would do something very interesting. What they would do—because they felt that anything physical was evil, so you deny yourself. The spirit was good, the flesh was evil. Deny yourself and you’ll be closer to God. So what they would do is they would set up tables with beautiful foods, wonderful things, a regular feast, then they would come and sit around that table and they would smell all of those beautiful aromas. They’d look at that gorgeous food. Then they’d get up from that table and throw it all away. They wouldn’t eat a single bite because they felt that was growing in character. But see Paul is saying that’s ridiculous. That kind of an attitude is ridiculous. When God set apart food—Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14—that can be eaten, don’t abstain from it. Matter is not evil. This is very good, the things that God sanctifies and that’s the important part. What did God sanctify? That we should be thankful for.

[Darris McNeely] Enjoy what God has given to us in balance and in moderation, but keep your focus upon what God’s word says is right and good—whether it’s dealing with food, or anything dealing with this physical life.

[Steve Myers] That’s right. That’s BT Daily . We’ll see you next time.