• What JGIG Is:

    Joyfully Growing In Grace engages in an examination of beliefs found in the Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism, and Netzarim streams of thought and related sects.

    The term “Messianic” is generally understood to describe Jews who have come to believe in Yeshua/Jesus as their Messiah. Jews who are believers in Jesus/Yeshua typically call themselves Jewish/Hebrew Christians or simply, Christians.

    Many Christians meet folks who say they are ‘Messianic’ and assume that those folks are Jewish Christians. Most aren’t Jewish at all, but are Gentile Christians who have chosen to pursue Torah observance and have adopted the Messianic term, calling themselves Messianic Christians, adherents to Messianic Judaism, or simply, Messianics. Some will even try to avoid that label and say that they are followers of "The Way".

    These Gentiles (and to be fair, some Messianic Jews) preach Torah observance/pursuance for Christians, persuading many believers that the Christianity of the Bible is a false religion and that we must return to the faith of the first century sect of Judaism that they say Yeshua (Jesus Christ) embraced. According to them, once you become aware that you should be 'keeping' the edicts and regulations of Mosaic Covenant Law, if you do not, you are then in willful disobedience to God.

    It has been my observation that Christians who adopt the label of Messianic identify more with the tenets of Judaism than they do with the tenets of Christianity. Many reject the label of Christian altogether and some eventually even convert to Judaism.

    1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 says, "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil."

    Joyfully Growing in Grace examines the methods, claims, and fruits of the Hebrew Roots Movement, Messianic Judaism, and Netzarim streams of thought and related, law-keeping sects.

    To borrow from a Forest Gump quote, “Law ‘keepers’ are like a box of chocolates - ya never know what you’re gonna get!” The goal of JGIG is to be a resource to help those affected by the Torah pursuant movements to try and sort out what they’re dealing with. Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.

    Be sure to click on the many embedded links within the posts here - there's lots of additional and related information for you to access that way, as well.

    Welcome, and may God grant you wisdom and discernment as you consider all of these things.

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    Do you find it frustrating when you're directed to a link that does not exist? Me too! My apologies for any broken links you may find here.

    JGIG occasionally links to to sites that sometimes move or remove content, forums that periodically cull threads, sites/posters that appear to 'scrub' content from their sites (or YouTube posts, pdf files, etc.) when that content receives negative attention, and others that over time simply cease to exist.

    Please let me know via the 'Contact JGIG' drop-down menu item under the 'About' tab at the top of this page if you come across a link that is broken so that I can try to repair or remove it. Please include the name of the post/article where you found the broken link as well as the link itself. You may be able to find content specified by doing a search and viewing a relocated or cached page/post/video.

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Hebrew Roots Movement – Man’s Righteousness or God’s Righteousness?

Law-keepers will often quote Romans 2:13 out of context to claim that righteousness can come through the Law. They claim that the keeping of Law does not earn salvation, but that after salvation one’s own righteousness (lack of sinning, in their view) is determined by how well one obeys Old Covenant Laws.  Let’s take a look:

Romans 2:12-13
12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;

filthy rags

What Law-keepers refuse to acknowledge is that righteousness cannot be credited to any account that is not completely faultless according to the Law as it was given.  That means TOTAL obedience, ALL the time (see Ex. 23:13, Deut. 8:1, 12:27-28, Jer. 7:21-26, Josh. 1:6-9 for verification).

Anything short of perfect obedience all the time is a fail.

That’s why in Romans 3:21-26 says this:

But now 

—> the <—

righteousness of God

—> apart from the law <—

is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even

—> the <—

righteousness of God

—> through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.<—

For there is no difference;

—> for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, <—

being justified

***freely by His grace***

through the redemption that is

*** in Christ Jesus,***

whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood,

*** through faith,***

to demonstrate

—> His righteousness <—

because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time

—> His righteousness <—

that

—> He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. <—

Wow!

That is so powerful when it’s taken piece by piece!!!

The only ‘righteousness’ you could ever hope for through the Law is your own, and that would require your perfect obedience, all the time, which is an impossibility.

God offers you HIS Righteousness

IN CHRIST!

BY GRACE!

THROUGH FAITH!

Why?

To demonstrate   \o/ \o/ \o/   God’s   \o/ \o/ \o/   Righteousness!

Wow!

Now check this out in Romans 10:1-4:

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.
For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.  For they

—> being ignorant of God’s righteousness, <—

—> and seeking to establish their own righteousness, <—

—> have not submitted to the righteousness of God. <—

—> For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. <—

Why is Christ the end of the Law? Because the righteousness that is by the Law is

  1. unattainable, for it requires perfect obedience, all the time, and
  2. is not God’s perfect righteousness, but man’s imperfect righteousness (if it could be attained), a righteousness existing only until one’s next sin

Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness – which can only be man’s righteousness, because God’s righteousness is a righteousness apart from the Law – because in Christ we have a superior righteousness -

 God’s Righteousness!

i_am_gods_righteousness

2 Corinthians 5:21 says

For He [God] made Him [Christ] who knew no sin to be sin for us,

——> that we might become the righteousness of God <—–

——> in Him [Christ]. <——

Wow!  I know, I keep saying that, but WOW!  This just really struck me today during a Facebook exchange.  Any righteousness that could be attained through the Law (even if it could be attained) is man’s righteousness; God offers us HIS Righteousness in Christ!  (Wow! That’s HUGE!)

\o/ \o/ \o/    Glory to God!!!    \o/ \o/ \o/

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Other articles of interest:

For more resources regarding the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movements see the Post Index and the Articles Page.  General study helps, discernment, and apologetics sites can be found HERE.  Good, foundational studies with a special emphasis on Old Covenant/New Covenant Truths can be found HERE.  Be sure to check out the Testimonies Page, as well.   Make use of the tabs with drop-down menus found at the top of this site – there’s tons of info there, and it’s very navigable.

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20 Responses

  1. What? A Law keeper who takes scripture out of context! Say it isn’t so! lol
    Galatians is also a good read on this subject.

    Gal 2:21(NKJV) I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

    And

    Gal 3:21 (NKJV) Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.

    Both very powerful scriptures.

    There was a recent exchange over on E2R that got me thinking. Many seem to want to cling to the “10 Commandments”. What they fail to see however is that the 10 Commandments are actually only “part” of The LAW as a whole. Some can debate the differences between ceremonial vs moral law but there are many moral “laws of God” directed in the Bible that are outside of “The Ten Words” I always like to mention Leviticus 15(I know a broken record lol) which also happens to be part of The LAW and not ceremonial. I am sure most believers rather they be law keeper or plain Christians who tend to cling to their understanding of the 10 Commandments have no intention of following the commands in Lev 15.

    I would suggest they think about this obedience they are trying to follow. Are they really being obedient by following the LAW or 10 Commandments or are actually being Disobedient by following them?

    As a long time Christian I have come to an understanding about Righteousness. Most of the Christian world hear the word Salvation perhaps more than anything but rarely hear the word Righteous or Righteousness. I think rather than seeking Salvation it is really Righteousness we should be seeking or understanding. And more precisely His Righteousness. Once we realize this Right Standing(Righteousness) with God that eternal salvation is just a by product.

    • Leviticus 15 is part of the ceremonial laws. The commandments to love God and neighbor, is a summary of the 10 commandments.

      • The Laws given by God to Israel at Sinai are a comprehensive unit. Break one, you break them all, ceremonial or otherwise.

        As for the ‘Big Ten’, those were written on tablets of stone by the finger of God, and here’s what we read in 2 Corinthians 3:

        Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

        4 Such confidence we have through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

        7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!

        12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

        We who are in Christ have died to the Law; not just parts of it – ALL of it. Why? So that we could be joined to another, who is Christ, so that we could bear fruit unto God (Romans 7:1-6).

        This is from a recent post at the JGIG Facebook page:

        ____________No Longer Under the Law____________

        Excerpted from ‘No Longer Under the Law’, Part 4 in the ‘Clear Message of Grace’ series located at the link below:

        “You may have discovered this already, but many Christians still believe that we’re under the Law. And they freak out when you try to tell them that believers have been released from the Law. They argue that, though we aren’t saved through the Law, they believe we’re still under the Law and have to keep God’s commandments. Many Christians unfortunately believe that keeping God’s Law is what keeps them right with God. Many Christians also believe that their level of Law-keeping will directly affect the level of God’s blessing or punishment in their life. And finally, many Christians, unfortunately believe that the Law of God is our on-going source of moral guidance. That we need it to keep our behavior good, and prevent us from doing bad.

        The Bible, however, teaches something completely different. It teaches that through faith we are justified and made right with God. And it teaches that once we come into Christ, through this faith, we’re no longer under the supervision of the Law. That the Law no longer has any bearing on our right standing with God. And that the Law has nothing to do with how we live our lives for God now.

        Galatians 3:23-25
        23 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

        And perhaps some of you who have never heard this teaching before, I want to give you a few Scriptures for you to write down and perhaps study at home:

        In Colossians 2:13-15, talks about that in Christ, the Law is cancelled and taken away.

        Hebrews 7:18-19, it basically says that the Law is set aside to make way for Grace.

        Hebrews 8:6-7 says the Law has no more place in us, now that we’re in Grace.

        Ephesians 2:13-16 says that in Christ, God abolished the Law.

        Galatians 3:1-6 says the Law plays no part in your ongoing Christian walk.

        And Romans 7:1-6, that we read before [earlier in the teaching], says that we have died to the Law to belong to Grace.

        Now I know that the next obvious question is, if we are no longer under the Law, then what’s to stop us from running out and just sinning?

        Without the restraint of the Law, won’t Christians go into sin and passivity? Or if we’re not under the Law, what is our moral compass? But it has to do with a changed heart. It has to do with a new nature. It has to do with a new identity. It has to do with the empowering life force of the Holy Spirit living inside of us. These things are far greater and superior to the Law.

        [This part following is the part I really wanted you to see =o)]

        The Law cannot produce love in a person.

        It can only tell you what you must do that looks like love.

        Don’t kill your neighbor! Don’t steal from your neighbor! Don’t commit adultery with your neighbor’s wife! Don’t lie to other people! And when you do all these things, it looks like you’re loving, but the only reason you’re doing them is because you’re scared of God’s judgement. You’re not motivated by the true love of God, you’re motivated by fear.

        Love is the fulfillment of all the Law. When you have the love of God inside of you, when He’s given you a new heart and a new nature, and He’s put His love inside of you, you don’t need someone to tell you, ‘don’t steal, don’t kill, don’t hurt your neighbor’ amen? Because you’re being moved by that true love of God.”

        More here (the above taken from Part 4): The Gospel

        • I agree with everything you said, however, I believe that the law (moral) guides, but it can not put one puff of wind in our sails in our Christian walk. The Gospel does that. God wrote the moral law on every person’s conscience, but only on believer’s hearts. In the law, the righteousness of God is revealed. Christ is Himself “our righteousness, holiness, redemption” (1 Cor 1:30).

      • I’m curious matteo4 but in relation to ceremonial law(s) what would you consider the rite of the blood sacrifice to be? Was not the act of sacrificing the animals to shed blood to cover sins nothing but a ceremony?

    • The commands in the old covenant law are specific to that geo-political theocracy that foreshadowed the universal kingdom of Christ. The verses in Leviticus 15 are focused on God’s act of separating Israel (“clean”) from the unclean nations. It all points to Christ.

      • Oh and speaking of geo-political could it not be argued that “The Law” was only given to the Hebrew nation, National Israel and does not apply to the rest of the geo-political world?

        And with that was Israel, the Hebrews, under any other covenant at the time the Law was given at Mt Sinai?

        • Christ fulfilled the law. Any commandment in Scripture, both the Old and New Testament, are considered law. All of the moral laws are repeated again in the New Testament.

          • matteo4, there are two commmands in the New Covenant; to believe on the One that God has sent and to love one another (1 John 3:23-24). The other instructions in the New Covenant are exhortations; they do not carry the weight of Law (disobey and receive wrath/punishment). Are there natural consequences for sin? You bet. Sin is destructive and distracts us from the will of God in our lives. The ‘moral laws’, often equated with the ‘Big Ten’ minus the seventh-day Sabbath, or replacing it with a ‘Sunday Sabbath’ observance. 2 Corinthians 3 calls the Ten Commandments, those ‘written and engraved on stone’ a ministry of death and condemnation:

            7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.

            We who are in Christ are part of the ‘ministry of the Spirit, the ministry of righteousness’ – that far exceeds the moral Law. Does that mean that we should go out and sin? No . . . If we are loving others (which is a command in the New Covenant), we are not murdering them, stealing from them, committing adultery with them/their spouse, bearing false witness against them, coveting their stuff, or dis-honoring parents. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. If we are loving God, we are not worshipping any other god but Him, we are not making a graven image, we are not taking the name of God in vain, and we are resting in Jesus, our Sabbath rest. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

            Now for the really cool part: While love is a command, it’s also a Fruit of the Spirit. See this post for more on that.

            In a nutshell, the Fruit of the Spirit is produced by the Spirit; we do not produce it; we bear it. If we are led by the Spirit, we are not under the Law – any Law, and we bear His Fruit, love, of which the rest of the Fruits – joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – are ‘subsets’. And love fulfills the Law (Romans 13:8-10). So it’s not by performance of Law that we fulfill or keep Law; it’s by abiding in the Vine, Christ Jesus, being led by His Spirit, by which Love is produced, which in turn fulfills the Law. His yoke is easy and His burden is light!

  2. Hello,
    In the section above titled “What JGIG is”, you borrow a quote from the Forrest Gump movie -“To borrow from a Forest Gump quote,”“Law ‘keepers’ are like a box of chocolates – ya never know what you’re gonna get!”” I would like to point that that the same is true of Non-law keepers, When encountering “Christians, you never know what you’re going to get. Remember that there is somewhere in the range of 6000 Christian denominations. Kind of hyprocritical of you don’t ya think?

    • Fair enough, Angela. When you write your own blog, you can use the Forrest Gump quote there to make your point =o).

      As for the numbers of denominations out there, I consider myself a part of the Body of Christ. As long as believers share the core essential issues of the faith, they should be considered (and I consider them to be) brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ. Matters of secondary conviction or preference or tradition should not be dividing factors, though because of pride, they often become just that. I’ve been fortunate in my life to become familiar with lots of different believers from different traditions and am happy to count them as brothers and sisters in Christ, even though we disagree on some issues. We walk in unity because we love each other in Christ above our secondary beliefs.

      The following diagram gives a good presentation of how we should prioritize what we believe and how tightly we should hold onto those beliefs. If beliefs from the outside of the circle get moved inappropriately toward the center, then there is division. When the core beliefs are held to, and deference is shown to each other in the Body as we practice our faith in according to preference and/or conviction indicated by the outer rings of the diagram, unity can exist even if there are disagreements. In other words, when pet doctrines or practices get moved from an outer ring to an inner ring, the Gospel and Christ get booted out of the essential center. And where He isn’t, unity will not exist.

      Hope that helps to give a clearer perspective on that.

      And that’s all I have to say about that =oD.

  3. Amen! And this is why grace is so amazing!

  4. Having spent more than 10 years attempting to “keep the laws of Moses” in earnest I can attest to the fact that I didn’t even come close reaching a state of righteousness. I was just as much a sinner when I was a “law keeper” as I was before I accepted Jesus Christ. I used to live in a constant state of guilt because I would think an evil thought on the Sabbath or because I wasn’t able to make it to a Feast of Trumpets or a Feast of Tabernacles gathering one year or another like a “good” law-keeper should. However, I was quick to point my finger at biblical Christians for failing to “keep the law.” What a self-righteous (self-unrighteous) bore I was!!

    I’ve come to accept the fact that I am saved by grace through faith and that it’s not due to any works of the law.

    According to the early Christian church it was more important to “abstain” from the following 4 things than it was to keep the 613 Torah Commandments (http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm):

    Acts 15:20, “But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.”

    Acts 21:25, “As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.”

    Are we going to listen to the Mosaic Lawyers (modern Pharisees) or the Word of God as it’s written in the Holy Bible?

    John 6:17, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

    • Amen!

    • This was meant for new believers as a minimum requirement, that if they abstain from these things then they can join the congregation on the Sabbath day and hear the words of Moses spoke to learn from the Torah.

      Matthew 5:17, Jesus did not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

      John 12:26: If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.

      Galatians 3:1: O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth,

      Romans 6:16: Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

      John 12:26: “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me. And where I am, there My servant also shall be. If anyone serves Me, the Father shall value him.

      John 15:10: “If you guard My commands, you shall stay in My love, even as I have guarded My Father’s commands and stay in His love.

      I Corinthians 11:1: Become imitators of me, as I also am of Messiah.

      I John 3:4: Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law.

      Revelation of John 12:17: And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to fight with the remnant of her seed, those guarding the commands of God and possessing the witness of Jesus the Messiah.

      Revelation of John 14:12: Here is the endurance of the saints, here are those guarding the commands of God and the belief of Jesus.

      I could go on, but the fact of the matter is that Jesus kept the commands of His Father, and we are to be imitators of Him – and we are to keep the commandments as well. Anyone who teaches differently teaches lawlessness.

      II Corinthians 6:14: Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness? And what fellowship has light with darkness?

      Titus 2:14: (Jesus) who gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people, His own possession, ardent for good works.

      I John 3:4: Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

      James 2:18: But someone might say, “You have belief, and I have works.” Show me your belief without your works, and I shall show you my belief by my works.

      The fact of the matter is “faith without works is dead.” You can confess Jesus and continue in sin, but that nullifies your confession. If you don’t like that – well, that’s your problem. Approach Him, pray over it, and open your bible and read what it says.

      Acts 15 has guidelines for the babes in Messiah – it is not a standard for the entire body. If you don’t know that Messiah came to free you from your debt of sin – not the law – he came to release you from bondage to sin which is transgression of the law – then you don’t truly know Him yet, do you. Pray to Him that He opens your eyes.

      • Now for some context:

        Here are God’s commands after the Cross:

        1 John 3:23-24
        23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

        The fruit of the Spirit is that which faith produces. Fruit comes via the Spirit, and if we’re led by the Spirit, we are not under the Law (Gal. 5:18).

        You wrote, “You can confess Jesus and continue in sin, but that nullifies your confession. If you don’t like that – well, that’s your problem.”

        Sin nullifies confession? Got Scripture? No. You simply made that up. The fact is that in Christ, ALL of our sins are forgiven; God counts none of our trespasses against us (1 Jn 2:2, 2 Cor. 5:18-19). Here’s what Scripture says about making Christ of no effect in one’s life:

        Galatians 5:2-6
        2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

        So do we continue in sin so that Grace may abound? Of course not! (Rom 6) Sin brings destruction and distraction to our lives and hinders the Gospel going out from our lives. Law is not the solution, however, for the Scriptures tell us that Law stirs up sin, is the power of sin, and produces fruit unto death (Rom. 7, 1 Cor. 15:56).

        Acts 15 was about Gentile believers coming into Christ not offending Jewish believers. No edicts beyond the four were given, as indicated by the language of the letter from the ‘Jerusalem Council':

        Greetings.

        24 Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law” —to whom we gave no such commandment— 25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.

        Farewell.

        That’s it. No exhortation to ‘continue in Torah’.

        • Amen JGIG. Many Messianics/Hebrew Roots folks are hung up on exactly what “the commandments” of the New Covenant are. They confuse the commandments of the Old Covenant with the Commandments of the New Covenant. The Apostles of Acts 15 clearly state that the Mosaic laws were a “yoke” that they and their “fathers” were not “able to bear” (Acts 15:10 KJV). The Bible also makes it very clear that the Old Covenant has been replaced by a “better Covenant” built upon “better promises” (Hebrews 8:6 KJV). The Old Covenant no longer exists! Should we still study the Old Testament? Certainly! It pointed towards Christ but the specific regulations of that Covenant were part of a conditional agreement between God and a specific people — the Israelites.

          The Commandments of the New Covenant are not grievous like the Commandments of the Old Covenant were. Matthew 22:37-40 (KJV): “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Jesus Christ even numbered His Commandments for us: “First” and “Second.” Note that Christ said that “all the law and the prophets” hand on those two commandments. Note what else He said about the “law and the prophets”: Luke 16:16, “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.” The law and the prophets “WERE” until John … “Were” is past tense!

          Hebrews Roots fails to adequately explain how, on the one hand, none of the “jots and tittles” of the law have been erased while, on the other hand, state that it is no longer necessary to sacrifice goats or stone adulterers to death. Either all the “jots and tittles” are in place or they are not. According to James if folks “keep the whole law” but “offend in one point” then they’ve broken the entire law. It’s all or nothing baby! James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” No picking and choosing allowed.

          I challenge any Hebrew Roots member to present Christ or the Apostles “commanding” anyone to keep the feasts or to rest on a particular day of the week. Jesus Christ, Himself, specifically states that it’s “lawful” to do good on the sabbath. Doing good takes on many forms including picking corn/grain for food; collecting wood to build a fire to keep warm; working in a soup kitchen to help feed the hungry & needy, etc.

      • Hi Matt. I re-read Acts 15 and couldn’t find anything about a “minimum requirement!” Either I simply missed it or someone added something to Scripture that just isn’t there. The Apostles reiterate the exact same sentiment later on in Scripture yet their exhortation remains constant and unchanged:

        Acts 21:25, “As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.”

        This comes 7 chapters after Acts 15. That’s probably a span of several months if not a year or two. What’s truly notable is the word “only” in the above verse. There is no stipulation that there will be more to come or that the list of regulations would expand at some future time. The Scriptures would have to be stretched and twisted to reach that conclusion.

        One would expect the Apostles to add more rules and regulations (musts) at some future time in the New Testament epistles. It’s true that they encourage good behavior and brotherly love vs. poor behavior and self-centeredness but never do they command anyone to follow the laws of Moses.

        You said, “… Messiah came to free you from your debt of sin – not the law – he came to release you from bondage to sin which is transgression of the law …”

        If I am “free” “from my debt of sin” and “from the bondage to sin” then what is the penalty if I choose to ignore the feasts of the Old Covenant? Where in Christ’s Gospel message does it state that it is sinful to abstain from the Mosaic feasts or the Mosaic sabbath? What if I choose not to wear the “tzitzit” spoken of in Numbers 15? By the way … read Numbers 15. It’s full of “jots and tittles” of the Mosaic law. Are we to pay heed to the commandments presented in that chapter?

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