No More Dietary Or Cleansing Laws

This short Bible study explains why Old Testament dietary and cleansing laws no longer apply to New Covenant Christians. #BibleStudy #DietaryLaws

The Old Testament includes a detailed system of dietary laws forbidding the consumption of certain "unclean" foods.

There is some evidence that these laws had purposes related to disease, sanitation, and storage of food in Old Testament times, and there are still some health and nutritional benefits from following them. 

But the New Testament clearly puts an end to these laws. They have nothing to do with holiness or obedience to God. 

In Acts 10: 9-15 God gives Peter a clear vision about dietary laws:  

About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” 14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” 15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” 

This short Bible study explains why Old Testament dietary and cleansing laws no longer apply to New Covenant Christians.
But even before this, Christ was paving the way for these changes.
When the Pharisees asked why He didn’t follow their hand-washing laws in Matthew 15:10, 11, 17-20:

“Jesus called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

In addition to foods, certain activities made a person unclean, and the Old Testament includes a complex system of "cleansing" laws covering body fluids, dead animals, mold, etc. These cleansing laws served some sanitation purposes, but their main purpose was to show us that men were dirtied by sin and unable to approach a holy God. But Christ's sacrifice made us clean and allowed us to enter God's presence on Christ's merits alone:

Hebrews 10:19-20 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.

The Scriptures below clearly rebuke anyone who thinks that Christians must obey the dietary laws as part of their obedience to God.

This short Bible study explains why Old Testament dietary and cleansing laws no longer apply to New Covenant Christians.
Colossians 2:16: Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 

Mark 7:17-19: After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) 

Romans 14:3:The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.

For more details, see Which Old Testament Laws Apply Today,  No More Sacrifices, and The 9 Commandments.

copyright, Gail Burton Purath, 2013, updated 2022 

1 comment:

  1. A good informative website about
    Dietary laws of old testament... actualy as a Christian first time iam understanding this...! Now iam 48 years aged...thank you.