EATING AND DRINKING
The next group of commands deal with various aspects of eating and drinking. They are arranged according to the Greek words.
- “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would (wishes) not work, neither SHOULD HE EAT”: 2.Thess.3,10.
- “Whatsoever is sold in the shambles (market), that EAT, asking no question for conscience sake”: 1.Cor.10,25.
- “If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you EAT, asking no question for conscience sake”: 1.Cor.10,27.
- “But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, EAT not for his sake that showed it and for conscience sake. For the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof”: 1.Cor.10,28.
- “And when he had given thanks, He brake it and said, Take, EAT. This is My body whish is broken for you. This do in remembrance of me”: 1.Cor.11,24. (only in Berry’s text).
- “But let a nab examine himself, and so let him EAT of that bread and drink of that cup”: 1.Cor.11,28.
- “And if any man hunger, LET HIM EAT at home, that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come”: 1.Cor.11,34.
The Greek word for “cat” is the same in each verse. I thought it best to group them together rather than one at a time. There are three categories mentioned that affected believers about eating:
- Those who didn’t work were not supposed to sponge off of others; that is, ask for free food. There verse in 2.Thess. speaks of those who can’t work because of a broken bone, sickness, etc. The Christian teaching is that all able bodied people should work to pay for their expenses.
- There was a tremendous problem, at Corinth and other places that contained heathen temples, with food that had been offered to idols. Were Christians to eat of that food? Paul had to lay down some rules for them to follow:
- What was sold in the market place could be eaten. Nobody knew if it had been offered to idols.
- You could not eat meat that was definitely known to have been offered to idols. One important reason was so that the conscience of a weaker Christian would not be further weakened: 1.Cor.8,10-13. Meat in itself is not unclean, but if a brother believers it to be unclean, to him it was unclean. We are not to put stumbling blocks in the way of our weaker brethren. Please study: Rom.14,13-15.
- Paul soon discovered that the communion service was being abused by some of the believers. Paul received instructions from the Lord Jesus Christ on what to do and what not to do the communion service. This memorial was to be observed by the church, but Christians were to examine themselves and were to eat their regular meal at home instead of indulging foolishly at this sacred service, thereby risking the judgment of God upon them.
- “And when He had given thanks, He brake it and said, Take, eat. This is My body which is broken for you. This DO in remembrance of me”: 1.Cor.11,24.
- “After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood. This DO ye as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me”: 1.Cor.11,25.
“Do” means “to carry out, perform.” The believers were commanded to carry out these instructions, and I believe we should do this, too.
- “But let a man EXAMINE himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup”: 1.Cor.11,28.
“Examine” means “to test, prove, scrutinize.” Before we partake of the communion service, we are commanded to examine our hearts and our lives to see id there are any hidden sins and desires that could be harboured there.
- “Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, TARRY FOR one another”: 1.Cor.11,33.
“Tarry for” means “to look for, expert, wait for.” This command looks back to verses 20-22. The believers were bringing some of their food to church and eating it there. Back in those days, they had what they called “love-feasts.” These were fellowship suppers where believers got together to share with others. Some probably tried to call them the Lord’s supper. But Paul had to put a stop to all the insulting things they were doing, and issue Divine regulations about how to rightly observe the communion service. The command in verse 33 means they were to wait for one another, and eat together in an orderly manner.
- “And when He had given thanks, He brake it and said TAKE, eat. This is MY body which is broken for you. This do in remembrance of me”: 1.Cor.11,24, (only in Berry’s text).
This command speaks for itself.
- “But let a man examine himself, and so let him cat of that bread and DRINK of that cup”: 1.Cor.11,28
This command speaks for itself. In summing up, there are nine commands given to the Body of Christ concerning the communion service, telling us what to do so we can glorify the Lord rather than come under the judgment of God.
267, 268. “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, FEED him. If he thrist, GIVE him drink. For in so doing thou shalt heap colas of fire on his head”: Rom.12,20.
There are two commands in this verse and they seem impossible to obey. Only a Spirit-filled believer can fulfil these instructions . The Greek word for “enemy” speaks of one who is actively hostile. There are a number of opinions on the phrase “heap colas of fire on his head.” The one that seem reasonable is that if refers to an oriental custom of giving somecone of fire after their fire had gone out. These coals of fore were usually transported in a container that was carried on the top of the head. So a favour was being done for the one who had need. Hence, this phrase could mean kindness and love exhibited in feeding and giving drink to one’s enemy. Paul, who wrote this, tried to be all things to all men, that he might save some: 1.Cor.9,22.
269, 270. “Let not him that eateth DESPISE him that eateth not. And let not him which eateth not JUDGE him that eateth. For God hath received him”: Rom.14,3.
There are two commands in this verse that have to do with Christian liberty. “Despise” means “To utterly despise, to make of no account, to treat with contempt” “Judge” means “to pronounce an opinion concerning right or wrong.” This verse looks back to verse 2-the one who could eat anything, and the one who would eat only vegetables-both based on religious convictions. The one who is a vegetarian. And the vegetarian is not to criticize the one who can eat everthing. This is a principle that we should be aware of. In today’s society, there are those who have to be on special diets because of health problems and there are also those who would include various health foods and food supplements in their diets to keep themselves healthy. The important thing is, we should be in good health all the time. We should take care of our bodies because we belong to Him and try live for Him.
- “But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou charitably. DESTROY not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died”: Rom.14,15.
“Destroy” means “to put out of the way entirely, abolish ruin.” This a strong word, and it makes this command a command we should all try to obey. If you are causing a brother or a sister, any member of the Body of Christ, to lose interest in spiritual things by your abuse of Christian liberty, you should be ashamed of yourself! You can ruin a believer for life with your sinful habits being done in the name of Christianity. The affected Christian is still saved but will remain a babe in Christ until he dies. This is tragic! We need to walk in love before everybody: Eph.5,2.
- “For meat (food) DESTROY not the work of God. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence (stumbling)”: Rom.14,20.
Destroy” means “to demolish as a building, overthrow,” and is not same Greek word used in the last command, number.
- This subject is so important, Paul had to repeat it and command the brethren not to tear down the work of God. The work of God is the church He is building, a holy temple composed of all saved Jews and Gentiles in this Dispensation of grace: Eph.2,21-22. Eating food indiscriminately without thinking of others is sin when it becomes a stumbling block to other believers, and this is true with other habits, also. We need to show restraint and to exhibit the love of God I these matters.