1 Corinthians 10:19-28 We can’t eat whatever we want even at a friend’s house

We constantly get questions about Dietary Law. We want to cover a verse more in depth. Please read this post to help in understanding of what Paul is talking about. We know that all the Disciples were Torah Observant and all of Christianity was Torah observant up until the end of the 1st Century; well after our Messiah died. So we know there is no way they taught against Dietary Law but we want to break down one verse that is often confusing.

1 Corinthians 10:19-28 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? {20} Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. {21} You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. {22} Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? {23} All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. {24} Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being. {25} Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake; {26} for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.” {27} If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake. {28} But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.”

The context provides five points:

1. Notice that verse 19-28 set the context in its entirety. Often we separate verse 27 (see above) and are taught if you go to dinner at your friends house to go ahead and eat whatever. Paul is only meaning in context of food sacrificed to idols. He is not saying it is okay to go to your friends house and have a Ham sandwich. Nowhere does Paul state we are allowed to eat anything unclean. This verse is only talking about sacrificial food. Quite a bit of meat was sold at the market that was leftover animal parts from a sacrificed animals. Paul is merely saying don’t worry if you don’t know. Again, not if you don’t know if it is unclean or clean. Only if you don’t know if was killed in a sacrifice to another god!!! Notice in verse 27 (see above) he also states “those who do not believe”. Paul knows at this point in time that those that “do believe’ would never eat unclean food and they would not knowingly eat anything sacrificed to another idol.

2. Nobody would ever have to ask if something is Pork or Shellfish. It is plainly obvious. So no Dietary Law has been lifted here.

3. Paul also states that at no time should we accept food sacrifices made to other gods. Not only should we not accept them, if we did, somebody might get the wrong message and think it is okay. If we know the truth we don’t eat it but if we go to a non-believers home we can eat clean foods sacrificed to another god as long as we haven’t asked. So basically if it’s clean food we can eat with a clear conscience as long as we don’t know it has been sacrificed to another god.

4. The only point of these verse is to differentiate between foods sacrificed to other gods. Again none of it has anything to do with eating unclean meats so we don’t offend our friend that invited us to dinner.

5.  Notice in verse 28 it says this But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness.”  So not only do we not have a lifting of Dietary Law as often taught, but we also see a command to abstain from any food sacrificed to another god. Paul writes that we should not knowingly eat any food offered to an idol even if it’s clean according to Yahweh’s commands.  Paul’s writings say to avoid any food sacrificed to another god/idol for the sake our of friend and our own conscience sake.

“Always Learning”
Biblical Truth

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