• 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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  • Broken Links – UGH

    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.

    Thanks,
    - JGIG

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Comments Policy

Comments are welcome at JGIG!

Unfortunately I did have to go to moderated comments back in 2009 when some abusive stuff came through =o( .  So here’s the scoop, as it’s become evident that a Comments Policy at JGIG is needed:

  • Please comment on issues related to a specific post.  Some like to vent their frustration with this blog by picking a post and then letting loose with an ad hom tirade, not addressing ANY points in the post under which they’ve chosen to ‘comment’.
  • The commenting option here is not a soapbox.   Some who are in the Hebrew Roots/Messianic Judaism stream of thought like to pontificate on their entire belief system in the comments section.  Comments are for discussion.  If  you have that much to say, start your own blog.  I’ve gotten comments here as long as 6000 words.  Seriously.  Added 1/6/14 – No, seriously.  I continue to get comments that are several thousands of words long.  Please limit your comments to 500 words or less.
  • Think of commenting as part of a conversation.  Would you talk non-stop for 6000 words in a discourse?  Well, maybe you would, but don’t do it here =o).  Again, think conversation, not pontification.
  • Dissent is welcome here.  Dissent will be approved.  Even ad hom stuff will be approved.  Just keep it of a reasonable length (500 words or less) and related to the content of the post on which you’ve chosen to comment.
  • Obviously no abusive language or vulgar personal attacks will be entertained here at JGIG.  There is no profit for anyone reading that stuff.
  • No plagiarizing.  If you want to quote something or use another source to make your point, that’s fine.  Just cite your source.  Note that HRM and other teaching links submitted may or may not appear at my discretion.
  • Comments building on the content of the post and edifying comments will be approved =o).
  • Encouragement to the author also will be approved =o).
  • Note that this page (not including the cartoon and links) is less than 500 words long.

Cartoon courtesy of xkcd – ‘Duty Calls’

Thanks guys,

- JGIG

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If you’re someone in the HRM or a related Law-keeping sect or just a believer questioning what you believe and why, a clear presentation of the Gospel can be found HERE.  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.  May God guide and provide you with discernment as you seek His Truth.

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Other articles available at JGIG:

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10 Responses

  1. Love the cartoon.

  2. Interesting and valuable site! Speaking of plagiarism though, should probably cite xkcd as the source for the cartoon ;)

  3. Is your theology Calvinist? Thank you.

  4. Rick—A reading of the salvation portion of any statement of faith is a simple way to determine whether they lean “reformed” (what some call ‘Calvinist’) or not. The JGIG statement says, “God regenerates (restores to a position of spiritual life) those who repent…” I.e. those who repent, God regenerates. Those who do not repent, God will not regenerate. Repentance comes first. You are saved because you do something. This is salvation by works and is a tenet of Arminianism.
    Calvinists, on the other hand, teach that you repent/believe because you are saved. That you were chosen for salvation before you ever existed [Eph 1:4-6], that God drew you [Jn 6:44] and then gave you the faith to believe. [Eph 2:1-10] This is salvation by grace, because if justice were served we would all be condemned.
    Curiously the Eph 2 passage is also used to defend JGIG’s position that belief precedes regeneration. Guess you’ll have to slug it out for yourself.

    • Sigh.

      As if there are no positions other than Calvinism or Arminianism.

      I disagree with both stances.

      Repentance is the changing of one’s mind in response to the goodness of God. When presented with the Gospel, one has a choice to make – to believe or not believe.

      What does God require? For us to believe on the One He has sent (Jn. 6:28-29 and 1 Jn. 3:23-24). It’s a response, not a ‘work’.

      Predestination refers to the corporate Body of Christ, not to the picking of some individuals for salvation while choosing others for damnation. You can read more about my viewpoint on Calvinism here: http://joyfullygrowingingrace.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/the-spring-feasts-of-god-crumbs-in-your-peanut-butter/#comment-6311

      And if you spend any time at this site at all, it will become clear that I’m no adherent to Arminianism, either (see this post).

      • “Sigh”? Then I’ll make this as brief as possible.

        Any choice or decision is a deliberate act. Either you do it, or you do not do it. Any action you take, whether physical, verbal or mental, is ‘works.’ In Mt 5 Jesus says that a lustful thought—a “response” to seeing a beautiful woman—makes a man guilty of adultery. Yet you will argue that he cannot be guilty because he hasn’t “done” anything because it was only “a response, not a work.”

        There are two possibilities: either you are saved because you believe, which is what you and the Arminians teach, or you believe because you are saved, which is what the Bible teaches. If your belief or lack thereof is what decides your eternity, then you are responsible for your salvation. That’s works.

        Never before have I heard anyone claim that a response is not a work, but I do know half a dozen people who would take your side. I sent out party invitations requesting RSVP’s. Most people responded either by phoning or emailing, but six folks showed up who did not RSVP. Perhaps they thought they responded. . .but they did not DO anything. Consequently I didn’t plan for them because I didn’t KNOW they responded. I guess that’s what you mean by a response without works?

        Birth, whether physical or spiritual, is a peculiarly solitary event, not a corporate one. Whereas a response is an act of the will, birth is not. Hence, via spiritual birth we are saved by GOD’s choice—by His grace—not by our works…lest any man should boast.

        God deals with people personally, not corporately. They are individual names that were “written in the book of life from the foundation of the world.” [Rev 17:8] The Body of Christ is made up of individuals; it is not a corporate mass.

        Yours is a popular but harmful heresy. No need for me to read your site further.

      • You wrote, “Any choice or decision is a deliberate act. Either you do it, or you do not do it. Any action you take, whether physical, verbal or mental, is ‘works.’ In Mt 5 Jesus says that a lustful thought—a ‘response’ to seeing a beautiful woman—makes a man guilty of adultery. Yet you will argue that he cannot be guilty because he hasn’t ‘done’ anything because it was only ‘a response, not a work.’”

        Bad example. Jesus was not talking about the physical response a man has to the sight of a beautiful woman; God created men to be visually stimulated, He’s not going to condemn them for the natural physical response He built into them! No – it’s when one camps there and feeds lustful thoughts toward a woman they’re not married to where a natural physical response turns into a sin.

        You wrote, “There are two possibilities: either you are saved because you believe, which is what you and the Arminians teach, or you believe because you are saved, which is what the Bible teaches. If your belief or lack thereof is what decides your eternity, then you are responsible for your salvation. That’s works.”

        Acts 16:31
        Romans 10:9
        John 3:16

        He who believes is saved.

        Couldn’t find any Scriptures that say you believe because you are saved.

        And it’s not believing that makes salvation possible, it’s forgiveness, already given, that makes salvation possible. The Work of the Cross has already been done; one enters into what Christ has accomplished by putting their faith in Him (Rom. 5, Gal. 3, Eph. 2). It’s the paradox of ‘laboring to enter into His Rest’ (Heb. 4). It’s not our works that accomplish New Life in Christ, but His. We choose to enter in or not (John 3:16-18).

        You wrote, “Consequently I didn’t plan for them because I didn’t KNOW they responded. I guess that’s what you mean by a response without works?”

        Well, it’s a good thing you’re not God! Because He planned for all who would believe to enter in:

        18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.

        And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.

        We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

        21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (from 2 Cor. 5)

        You wrote, “Birth, whether physical or spiritual, is a peculiarly solitary event, not a corporate one. Whereas a response is an act of the will, birth is not. Hence, via spiritual birth we are saved by GOD’s choice—by His grace—not by our works…lest any man should boast.”

        Like most who try to prove a particular theological stream of thought, you’re stretching a metaphor beyond it’s intent. The born-again metaphor has to do with being born the first time from First Adam – in the flesh – into sin, and being born again – in the Spirit – from Last Adam, into His Righteousness. It is an individual experience, yet when we are born of the Spirit, in Last Adam, we become part of the Body of Christ, which is corporate, and was created for good works prepared in advance by the Father (Eph. 2).

        You wrote, “God deals with people personally, not corporately. They are individual names that were “written in the book of life from the foundation of the world.” [Rev 17:8] The Body of Christ is made up of individuals; it is not a corporate mass.”

        The individual parts of the Body and the corporate nature of the Body are not mutually exclusive. That’s why the metaphor of a body is used – and it is clearly described in the Scriptures as having individual members that make up a corporate Body:

        12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

        14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

        21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

        27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. (from 1 Cor. 12)

        You wrote, “Yours is a popular but harmful heresy.”

        You’ve not even come close to proving that.

        You wrote, “No need for me to read your site further.”

        As you wish. Grace and peace to you as you go.

        -JGIG

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