Sunset on Lake Michigan
by Adam Major
Compliments of CreationSwap

PART ONE
PART TWO
PART THREE
PART FOUR
PART FIVE

Last week in Part Five, we learned about how the Jewish Tradition has understood the blessing of food before meals.  We learned that in the “Jewish tradition meat and fish, together with animal foods, come last in the list of foods to be blessed, and do not actually receive a specific blessing over them but only a general one. They are not even mentioned by name and come last; in many ways their blessing appears concessionary.”  Then we learned that plant-foods of various kinds come first, each category receiving a specific blessing.

PART SIX

 

5.  A Denial of the Incarnation

Finally, it is also important to note that 1 Timothy 4 comes immediately after the end of 1 Timothy 3. Chapter divisions are not actually part of Scripture, and while often useful for reference purposes, here they end up obfuscating the passage. The verses directly before our chapter, 1 Timothy 3:16, underline the incarnation, and the resurrection, as foundational to the gospel: ‘He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.’ This is in line with the apostle John’s condemnation of those who denied the incarnation:

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world (1 John 4:1-3, NIV).[1]

In this sense, Paul in 1 Timothy 4 is simply continuing what he said in 1 Timothy 3:16: the faith that is ‘departed from’ is the faith in the incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ which he just highlighted, and which the proto-Gnostics strongly denied.

It would appear that instead of applying the apostolic and scriptural test for orthodoxy, namely the incarnation of Christ and belief in Jesus’ death and resurrection, as John, Peter and Paul underlined in their letters,[2] and for orthopraxy, that is, a life of true inner holiness and love,[3] many Christians and churches have created a false dietary test for orthodoxy. Belief in the incarnation of God in Christ and in the crucifixion and resurrection as the foundation of the gospel, and a life of authentic holiness, have been replaced by a legalistic and unbiblical dietary imposition that makes meat-eating the hallmark of a true Christian, a doctrine nowhere to be found in Scripture, and which denies Jesus’ teaching.

 

For those who want to read the entire article:  1 Timothy 4 and Veganism- A Closer Look.


[1] See also 2 John 7.
[2] Paul highlights the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (ESV): ‘Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures’.
[3] 1 John 3:1-19.


Thank you for reading and following our blog; we hope you are blessed by our work and will share it with others!  Stay tuned for Part Seven next week as we bring you the conclusions to Parts One through Six.  ~Marcello Newall

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