• 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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Statement of Faith

This Statement of Faith is adapted from the “What We Believe” page from The Crossroads International Church of The Hague, The Netherlands.  While I agree with the bulk of its content, I have changed some minor points to more accurately reflect what I personally believe.

The Written Word of God: The Bible   The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are given by divine inspiration, and are thus the written Word of God (without error in the original writings);  They are the final authority for the lives of believers in every culture and age (showing how people can come to faith in Jesus and live God-pleasing lives), and the infallible rule of faith and practice.  They are to be interpreted according to their context and purpose in reverent obedience to the living Lord who speaks through them in power by the Holy Spirit.  The primary purpose of Scripture is to restore mankind to a restored relationship with God through faith in Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:15-17;  1 Thessalonians 2:13;  1 Peter 1:21)

One Living and True God   God exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – equal in power and glory.  He has revealed Himself to be perfect in love, holiness and righteousness.  He created all, upholds all, and governs all.  (Deuteronomy 6:4;  Isaiah 43:10-11;  Matthew 28:19;  Luke 3:22)

God the Father   God has revealed Himself as a Father Who is an infinite, personal Spirit – perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love.  He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men.  He hears and answers prayer;  And He saves from sin and death all who come to Him in faith through Jesus Christ.  (Deuteronomy 32:6;  Psalm 103:13-15;  Jeremiah 3:19;  2 Corinthians 6:18;  John 14:9)

Jesus Christ   Jesus Christ is God’s one and only Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and both true God and true man.  He was born of a virgin; lived a sinless life; fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah; performed miracles as evidence of His Messiahship;  died a substitutionary atoning death for our sins; rose bodily from the dead; ascended into heaven; and offers continual intercession for His people.  (Matthew 1:23;  Hebrews 1-3;  Acts 2:22;  2 Corinthians 5:21;  Colossians 1:15-20;  1 Corinthians 15:4)

The Holy Spirit   The Holy Spirit came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgement, and to regenerate (bring back to life spiritually), sanctify, and empower for ministry all who believe in Christ.  The Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and is an abiding helper, teacher, gift-giver, and guide.  The true believer receives the Holy Spirit and is baptised into the Body of Christ at conversion.  I believe that the gifts of the Spirit are in operation in the Church today and should be submitted to the direction and instruction given in 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14, with the underpinnings of chapter 13 (Interesting how God plopped the chapter on love right in the middle of one of the more divisive issues in the Church, eh?).  (John 14:26; 16:5-15;  Romans 8:12-17;26-27;  1 Corinthians 12;  2 Corinthians 3:17;  Galatians 3)

God’s Plan to Save Man   Man was created in God’s image, tempted by Satan, and subsequently rebelled against God.  Men and women became corrupted in their nature, expressing that in sinful deeds (the “sin nature” passed down to all mankind by the original disobedience of Adam).  They have come under God’s just condemnation and sentence of death.  God regenerates (restores to a position of spiritual life) those who repent of (turn away from) their sins, adopts them as His children, baptizes them with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of their future inheritance with Christ, incorporates them into His Body, and empowers them for His service.  No one comes to the Father except through Jesus.  I believe that salvation is by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone.  (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:17; 3:6;  Romans 5:12-19;  Ephesians 2:1-10;  Titus 3:5-7)

The Believer’s Authority   The believer possesses great authority, through Christ, over the powers of spiritual darkness, which are led by Satan, the ruler of this world.  We actively exercise this authority as we pray, walk by faith, exercise spiritual gifts, and progress towards spiritual maturity in Christ.  Furthermore, the Holy Spirit brings a present, though partial, reality of the Kingdom of God on earth as He acts in and through our lives with sovereign, supernatural power.  In other words, we don’t follow Christ just so we can have eternal life when we die.  Eternal life begins now!  (Matthew 18:18-20;  28:18-20;  Ephesians 2:4-7;  6:10-18;  1 John 4:4)

The Church   The Church is the living, spiritual Body of Christ, of which Jesus is the Head and all regenerated persons are members.  The local church is the primary instrument of God for the extension of His Kingdom today.  While the Lord Jesus Christ committed two ordinances to the Church, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, I believe neither of these are a means of salvation.  The Church, in addition to promoting worship and mutual edification, is to witness in word and deed to the reality of Christ as Savior and Lord, taking the Gospel to all peoples, making desciples, baptizing and teaching all that Christ has commanded.  (Ephesians 1:22-23;  2:22;  Hebrews 12:23;  1 Corinthians 11:26;  Matthew 28:19;  Romans 6:4)

The Visible, Bodily Return of Christ and God’s Fair Judgement   Jesus will return to the earth physically to raise the dead, judge the world, consummate His glorious Kingdom, and bestow eternal blessing on those declared righteous through faith in Jesus Christ – this is the hope of the Church.  The wicked, rejecting Christ as Lord and Saviour, will be fairly judged for their sins and will be banned from God’s presence forever, along with Satan and his angels.  (1 Thessalonians 4:16;  Romans 8:23;  Titus 2:13;  1Corinthians 15:51-52;  2 Peter 3:13;  Matthew 25:46;  Mark 9:43-48;  John 3:36;  Revalation 20:11-15;  21:8 )

Regarding What I Believe . . .

In the core, indisputable issues of the faith we are to have unity.   “There is one Body and one Spirit . . . there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all . . .”   “. . . For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified . . .”  (Ephesians 4:4-6;  1 Corinthians 2:1-5)

In the disputable, secondary matters, we are to show deference to each other.   “Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgement on disputable matters . . .”  We, as the Church (the Body of Christ) are to put into practice passages like Romans 14 and 15.  Two believers of opposing views on secondary disputable matters in reality view the other as the weaker brother.  In which case we are to show deference to one another.

Denominational lines have too often been drawn as battle lines instead of areas of preference within the circle of secondary, disputable matters.  It’s okay to gravitate and worship with those who are like-minded (as long as that’s where God has directed you to be), but we need to remember that the Church should be about relationship – first and foremost with God – and then with each other.  That’s relationship with the whole Body of Christ, not just among those who agree with each other on every point of a systematic theology.

We as the Body of Christ need to walk in the model of 1 Corinthians chapters 12, 13, and 14, recognizing that differences in the Body of Christ in the form of giftings and talents are part of God’s design for the functioning of the Church.  If some of the “parts” are more focused on their “pet theology” than on loving God or their neighbor, then there’s a problem.  But the design of the Body of Christ as God has set it up is one of necessary differences, (talents and giftings), rooted and grounded in Christ, with the underlying framework being love.

What about error?  Should we stay silent for the sake of “unity”?   If a doctrine or systematic theology results in the diminishing or cancellation of the Gospel, one must speak out.  Likewise if there is any doctrine or teaching that seeks to put believers under a yoke of bondage, one must speak out.  The epistles to the young Church are full of admonition and instruction and at times, downright rebuke!  Jesus and the restored life and freedom He purchased for us must never be minimized.  Scripture does not support any Jesus + (insert pet formula here) theology.  For an excellent excellent excellent article on how to lovingly exhort and what exhortation really means, click HERE.

The Solid Rock

My hope is based on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness, alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ, the solid, Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

Edward Mote ~ 1837

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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.

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15 Responses

  1. A more realistically applied version of the lyrics–

    “My hope is based on nothing less
    Than Scofield’s notes and Scripture Press!”

    • Ah, Mishkan. Unable to deal with the statement of faith itself, you come up with that?

      My hope is based on nothing less
      Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
      I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
      But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

      Nope, I’m not seein’ the connection there. And FYI, I don’t have Scofield’s notes and I don’t even know what Scripture Press is =o).

      -JGIG

  2. In an attempt to find like-minded blogs, I came across yours. Your “statement of faith” was refreshingly simple and to the point. I would probably have to go over it with a fine-toothed comb to find anything with which I would disagree.

    I am going to be working on the draft of a book this next year. The subject will be, more or less, the destructive power of legalism, regardless of denominational labels. I’m gonna keep your site in mind as I write. Hope you will let me quote you in the future.

    May God bless our efforts to preach the glorious gospel of grace!

    • Hi A. C. Baker!

      I hope you will accept my tardy welcome to JGIG =o). Let me know when that book comes out!

      Every blessing,
      -JGIG

  3. Your site is wonderful and your remarks are well-stated. Thanks for sharing what you know and believe. I have been scouring the Net for writings that give credible information that the NT and Gospels are what we need to be living by as Christ replaced the Law… thank you for all you have shared…

  4. I don’t know how long this site will remain active. You may one day have events you your life and choose to discontinue it. I hope not. I come to it often to get a handle on what seems to be even more HRM groups popping up on Christian online forums. It is my hope you will take all your research here and write a book. Please let me know when that happens as I will be among the first to buy it.

    God bless you for creating this website.

  5. I have only begun to explore your site, but am glad to have found it. I am a Jewish believer in Jesus, and I repeatedly find myself in the ironic position of correcting these errors in Gentile believing friends. Actually, I would like to correspond with you privately if you have a little time. Like you, I am a wife and mother (and grandmother!) with a keen interest in and love for theology (mostly the reformers and the Puritans). BTW, I know people at Crossroads! Small world.

    • Thanks for your kind words about the site, Fagel. I welcome private correspondence with you; feel free to email me at joyfullygrowingingrace@gmail dot com.

      Grace and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ,
      -JGIG

  6. Can you prove me the verses where Jesus calls himself God? How about where the Holy Spirit calls himself God? Please do not assume I am not a Jehovah’s Witness.
    Here are some verses that debunk the trinity.
    Deuteronomy 6:4
    Isaiah 43:11
    Mark 10:18
    Mark 12:29
    Here are the only two verses that actually support the trinity.
    1 Timothy 3:16
    1 John 5:7
    So we cannot ADD to scripture by saying Jesus was God. I am not saying he is NOT God, but only that saying he is would be ADDING.
    Remember the warning in Revelation 22:18-19
    I will pray for you and everyone who reads this blog.

    • My favorite is:

      John 8:58
      Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

      Jesus was not being ambiguous with the “I am” statement =o)!

      This article covers it pretty well, and a Google search brings lots of Scriptures to study on the ‘Jesus is God’ issue.

      Regarding the Holy Spirit being God, this article is good from Answering Islam: The Holy Spirit is God

      • Ok thank you so much I will have articles responding to these verses later if you are willing to continue to debate on this topic. Or is this “dogma” with you as it is with the Catholic church?

        • Jesus being God in the Flesh and the concept of the Triunity of God are core issues of the Christian faith. If you are willing to throw out the concept of the Trinity, Who loses their deity? God the Father? Jesus the Son? The Holy Spirit? Let’s think about that for a minute:

          -If it is Christ Who loses His Deity, then the work of the Cross cannot be, as the blood shed there had to be sinless, and if Jesus was not God, then He could not be without sin, and the cross counts for nothing. That’s why the Virgin Birth is also a core issue (making Christ the ‘Last Adam’, see Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15).

          – If it is the Holy Spirit Who loses His Deity, then verses like this one must be thrown out:

          2 Corinthians 3:17
          17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

          And this:

          Acts 5:3-4
          3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

          -If it is God Who loses His Deity, then everything for everybody falls apart and nothing matters anyway!

          So yes, the concept of the Trinity is an established fact for me. You, of course, are welcome to believe as you wish, but it’s not a topic I’m willing to debate here at JGIG.

  7. delete that last one.

    Can you prove me the verses where Jesus calls himself God? How about where the Holy Spirit calls himself God? Please do not assume because I am NOT a Jehovah’s Witness.
    Here are some verses that debunk the trinity.
    Deuteronomy 6:4
    Isaiah 43:11
    Mark 10:18
    Mark 12:29
    Here are the only two verses that actually support the trinity.
    1 Timothy 3:16
    1 John 5:7
    So we cannot ADD to scripture by saying Jesus was God. I am not saying he is NOT God, but only that saying he is would be ADDING. Also saying that the holy spirit is God is wrong because the Holy spirit never actually speaks in the bible, holy spirit is the holy ghost or comforter, but this is another name for God’s breath of holiness which gives new life to our heart and guides us in life.
    Remember the warning in Revelation 22:18-19
    I will pray for you and everyone who reads this blog.

  8. Dear JGIG,

    Thank you so much for this thorough and succinct site! I am a Christian who enjoys the depth and context that Hebrew feasts and Davidic forms of worship bring to my walk but by NO means do I buy into the legalistic hype. However, I hadn’t heard of the HRM until some friends lent me literature on it that was sending up red flags left and right. I decided to see some critiques of the movement and found this site! I pray that I can use the resources you have provided here to lovingly discuss the errors with my friends and pray that your ministry here be blessed!

    Shalom in Christ!

    P. S. So inspiring that you are a wife and mother and still find time to maintain an awesome website! Right on!

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