The Acceptable Christian Sin of Gluttony #11



TEXT: Genesis 3:1-6

1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

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This is an uncomfortable subject for many of us, but if you listen and take heed, this particular series can not only change your life spiritually, but it can save your life physically.

According to Bible Study Tools, “Gluttony is a sin that many Christians find easy to laugh about and accept as harmless while sins such as being a drunkard or adulterer are quickly dealt with. The sin of gluttony is idolatry — it is a choice of self-love, comfort, and control through food.”

In this, our tenth message on the topic of gluttony, I want to pause to make something clear: Food is not the enemy. Eating is not the enemy. And enjoying your meals is not wrong. We must guard against such thoughts because the devil specializes in taking people to extremes, mentally-speaking. Right now, he has many of us at the extreme of gluttony. If he can’t keep us here, he will try to take us to the opposite extreme where we hate food, hate our bodies, and hate the fact that we have to eat to live. That is how many people become anorexic and bulimic.

If we look at Scripture, we see that God is not against eating. He provided Adam and Eve with a garden of abundant fruits and vegetables to choose from and to eat as they pleased. (They, of course, lived in a perfect environment, and had perfect bodies with perfect metabolisms, and they had not developed a sin nature, so there was no chance of gluttony there.) After the Fall, God gave man permission to eat meat provided by animals. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we read of people feasting in celebration or serving elaborate meals. Jesus feasted at wedding parties and the Gospels show Him eating many times with His disciples. Revelation tells us that, in Heaven, we will dine at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

So, don’t make food the enemy. (Throughout this series, we will learn that the foods people ate ‘back then’ are quite different from the foods we eat today which are a major cause of gluttony.) The real enemy is our flesh and our lack of self control in culinary affairs. It is not food which makes us gluttons, but our flesh and its inordinate, earthly desires. It is our flesh which sets our minds on earthly things. The battle of gluttony is not just in the body, but in the mind. It is in the way we think. We must pray that, as we strive to conquer the sin of gluttony, our minds would be transformed and we would have a thought life of restraint and contentment when it comes to our flesh and its desire for food.

PRACTICAL STEP: In “The RAVE Diet and Lifestyle,” by Mike Anderson, we continue to learn why we should cease eating refined foods. He writes, “Refined foods are every bit as bad for your body as animal foods and should be eliminated from your diet. A plant-based diet is about eating natural, whole foods. The health benefits of dieting or changing your eating lifestyle (including weight loss) will be greatly diminished if refined foods are not eliminated from your diet.