Righteous by Food or Faith


Doing all the right things and not doing the wrong things makes our relationship with God to be about works instead of faith, and that’s not what God is looking for.  Jesus came to be our righteousness, and all we have to do is trust in him and let him live through us…

3 Do not eat any detestable thing. 4 These are the animals you may eat… 21 you are a people holy to the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 14:3, 21

11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.
Matthew 15:11

There is substantial teaching in the Old Testament relating to foods which are unacceptable for Israel to eat.   God desired for Israel to be holy unto him, and ceremonial law such as this were part of Israel being set apart from their neighbours.  When Jesus came, he brought new teaching from heaven:

“What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”  That’s what Jesus said.  It’s completely different from what God spoke through Moses.  What gives?

This is Jesus raising the bar.  Not eating pork didn’t make the heart of a person holy or pure.  It set the person apart from their neighbour, yet it didn’t produce righteousness of heart.  By the time Jesus spoke these words, the religious leaders of his time had come to believe they were righteous because of what they didn’t do.  And that doesn’t fly with Jesus.

Remember when the rich young guy told Jesus he had kept all the commands?  Jesus told him to sell all his possessions and help the poor (Mark 10).  Jesus knew that keeping the commands did not equate to a heart of faith and love toward God.  That’s why he taught that what really matters is what comes out of a person’s mouth – what comes out tells you about their hearts…

So how’s your heart?

Are you a fine, upstanding citizen?  Great!  Does it make you acceptable to God?  No!!  Doing all the right things and not doing the wrong things makes our relationship with God to be about works instead of faith, and that’s not what God is looking for.

Jesus came to be our righteousness, and all we have to do is trust in him and let him live through us.  Our righteousness is by faith!

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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