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Question #274

Is it a sin to eat blood?

In Gen. 9:4 God told Noah, the ancestor to all after the flood, that it is a sin to eat blood. This was confirmed in Acts 15. Yet some Christians say it is not a sin to eat blood, for example blood sausages. What is your stand on this issue?

The Answer:

There are those who argue that the issues included in the message to the Gentiles were just matters of loving brethren, particularly Gentiles respecting the sensitivities of Jewish believers who generally made up at least a portion of the so-called Gentile churches. See, Lenski’s comments on Acts 15:20. J.W. McGarvey comments seem closer to the truth:

The four things from which James proposed that the Gentiles should be required to abstain had been made unlawful, no by the Mosaic law, but by the revelations of the patriarchal age. From the beginning it had been known to the patriarchs that it was sinful to have any responsible connection with idols, or to indulge in fornication; and from the time of the law given to the race in the family of Noah, eating blood, and consequently eating things strangled which retained their blood within them, had been wrong, and it will continue to be so until the end of the world.

Having made those comments in the text of his commentary on Acts 15:20, McGarvey then added this footnote:

Farrar and Lightfoot, followed by others, hold that these provisions were intended to be temporary and local. Both refer for proof of this to Paul’s subsequent discussion of eating things offered to idols, assuming that he permitted it; and the former appeals to the fact that the Judaizing party in the church afterward disregarded the decree. (Farrar’s Life of Paul, 243, 244; Lightfoot on Galatians, 127 [1].) But the fact that it was repudiated afterward by the Judaizers only, shows that they deserved the stern rebukes which Paul administers to them in the epistle to the Galatians (i. 6-9; v. 1; vi. 12, 13); and in Paul’s discussion of the question, while he admits that to eat meat offered to idols is not sinful when the fact of its being so offered is no know to the eater; and while he shows that, if for no other reason, one should abstain on account of the harm which eating might do to the weak brethren; he finally takes the very position of the decree, forbidding it altogether as a communion with demons. See I Cor. Viii. 8-13; x. 14-22.

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)