Excited About Messianic Believers
(Editor's note: this letter and the following one are in response to a letter in the June issue.)
My beautiful, dear Mrs. Rosenberg: I am so excited to hear of the growing number of Messianic believers! I truly love you even though I don't know you...because Yeshua loves you fiercely. That thrilled my heart to realize that He heard that name when He was on the earth! I shall cherish that thought.
Of course, I do not know of all the Jewish practices. There is no way I could, not having been raised in that culture. But I know it's certainly a rich and varied one. I would be very interested and pleased to learn more of all the elements of Judaism. However, not because it is necessary to keep these practices to please Yeshua. We are Gentile believers; we do eat ham and cheese, and regrettably do have all the fences that we erect as denominations. And as much as I think it does not please Him that we have all these boundaries, His true concern is how much we love Him and yield to Him on a daily basis.
The only references to being great in the Kingdom of Heaven are to those who are humble as little children; those who are servant of all, and those who are least in their own eyes on earth.
As much as we are to be holy because He is holy (living a sanctified life), we cannot be humble and little and servant when we are so concerned and proud of keeping certain practices (especially those many of us would never even know about).
I do believe Mr. Barber has a wonderful heart and definitely does not have an anti-semitic bone in his body. He loves the Jews for the same reason I and all the rest of us Gentiles do!
Response to Messianic Believer
Why are we Christians so afraid of the word Law? We obey laws of the land every day and don't feel as if the grace is taken out of our lives by observing them. Law and grace can and do abide side by side very compatibly .
God's law and His grace were not intended to be an either/or but a both/and proposition. We are saved by grace, through faith, and that not of ourselves lest any man should boast (Eph.2: 8-10) but, how do we continue on our way? In both grace and law.
In the natural we are born by grace in the sense that we had nothing to do with it . However we are soon expected to take on certain rules of behavior. We are to learn to eat by ourselves, dress by ourselves; begin to take on responsibilities in the family, and later in society . In other words we are beginning to also observe laws and rules, not just rest in the grace by which we came into being. These don't negate the grace that brought us into being, but indeed, these rules and responsibilities are meant to enhance our lives and the lives of the community.
If we learn proper behavior, rules, and laws after receiving the gift of life through our Savior, Jesus, does it mean we are throwing the grace of God back in His face? No, it means we are listening to our Parent as He instructs us on how we may have that abundant life He wishes us to have .
Who told us that we had to get rid of one part of the Bible in order to embrace the other part? Two different but necessary parts make a whole (husband & wife) in the natural in order to fully form a new creation. The same principle holds true in the spiritual. We need both parts of God's Word in order to see the fullness of the new creation He intends us to be.
The Lord is a God of continuity. He is continually unfolding His will and adding to it. It is both/and. It is Law and Grace working together to bring about the full, mature man unto the measure of the stature of Christ (Eph. 4:13) who
said He came not to overthrow
the law, but to fulfil it (Matt.5: 17). It means to fill up that which is missing
The ingredient "grace by faith" had to be added to law so that it could be properly administered in its fullness
. By the work of grace the Holy Spirit can now work from the inside out to complete the new man, and cause him to conform to all of the will of the Father as revealed in the Word.