• 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 Forrest 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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About “Law Keepers” – Part 1

It’s been an interesting past several months, spiritually speaking.  There is an online forum that I subscribe to and on which I post every now and then, geared for moms of many young siblings.  We have six children, aged 11 and under, and the forum of which I speak has been a HUGE blessing on so many levels.  I have been stretched and challenged, gotten many well used tips, and had many good laughs along the way for the past 3 years I’ve been subscribed there.

Shortly after I subscribed, there was a discussion about Grace vs. the Law.  That issue, (along with others) is one that comes up periodically on that forum.  The discussion that brought it out at that particular time was a rhetorical (or so I thought, and in reality for most it was a rhetorical discussion) about being “unclean” during one’s menses and the pros and cons of carrying out the Mosaic Law “back in olden times” regarding such.  Some of the posts were quite funny, fantasizing about not having to be on mommy or wife “duty” for one week each month!

Then one mom wrote in about how she actually keeps nidah, the edicts of the Mosaic Law in this area.  She also wrote a lengthy post on her interpretation of the book of Galatians, which I found to be a very curious and involved interpretation, one that had NEVER occurred to me, and one with which I disagreed with quite a bit.  Call me slow, but at this point I still did not grasp that there are several moms and their families on that forum that actually adhere to and observe Torah.  The online discussion became quite a large one.  That was three years ago.  The following is what was my first post regarding the Law vs. Grace on that forum.  Looking back and knowing what I know now, it’s kind of cool to go back and read it again .  But at the time I really had no idea how deep the issue was . . .

About Galatians and the Law

OK, ladies.  I’ve been reading posts till my eyeballs bled about the Law and Galatians and historical context etc., etc., etc.  May I offer this rhetorical question?

Was not ONE of the purposes of the Law to show us that we COULD NOT fulfill it, thus making us acutely aware of our NEED for the SAVIOUR?!  I will concede that the Law has God-given boundaries and wisdom, which culturally I do not have the benefit of wholly understanding.  When I read about the “clean” and “unclean” issues surrounding our monthly cycles it serves to prove to me that by our very PHYSICAL nature we are bound by the Fall and that we need the Saviour whom God in His infinite Love and Grace has provided for us, ALL PRAISE AND THANKS TO A LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER!  (For those of you who think way too much, I don’t mean to imply that our cycles are a result of the Fall . . . I really don’t have any idea if cycles even existed pre-fall or not . . . does it really matter . . . just going by what God says about being “clean” and “unclean”.  Our cycles do not fall into a category of choosing to sin or not . . . it’s part of our physical existence, hence my above conclusion.)

Deep breath.  Sorry if my “caps” are coming on a little strong!

Galatians 3:21-25 “Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God?  Absolutely not!  For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.  But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.  “Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.  So the law was put in charge to LEAD US TO CHRIST [caps mine] that we might be justified by faith.  Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.”

This is by no means a simple issue.  I don’t mean to imply that it is.  One thing that God has taught me through my children is that God is the God of the complex, and also the God of beautiful simplicity.  He appeals to the highest intellect in His complexity regarding lofty streams of thought such as Predestination, Sin, the Law, Free Will, etc., and can communicate His principles of Grace, Love, and Forgiveness to the developing mind of a child! [Wish I had added here in this post that God actually tells us that we need to come to Him as a little child!]  Most of us fall somewhere between those two ends of the spectrum, and WHEREVER we fall on that spectrum, God can reveal His truth relevant to us and our life circumstances and cultural background, equipping us for our place of service in the Body!

One more thing I would like to add, though I wish to tread lightly, so as not to offend, so here goes.  I think we need to be very careful not to communicate that one can only understand Scripture if they have all the background and cultural information, history, original language, understanding, etc.  Not to in any way denigrate those things.  They are valuable in understanding more deeply the amazing Word God has provided for us.  At the same time, God’s Word is for everyone . . . and it is the Holy Spirit Who reveals that which He wants to impart to us.  For anyone to be discouraged from going to Scripture because they might not “understand it correctly” would deeply grieve the Holy Spirit, in my opinion.

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Ephesians 3:14-21 “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in you inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen.”

Amen! =o)

The Grace vs. Law issue has come up from time to time since then, but there was a kind of mushrooming of posts by “Law Keepers” this past Fall and then again after the first of the year.  In the Fall I kind of tuned the Law posts out . . . didn’t have the time to really try to understand them.  Then there was a lull, and a bunch more Law posts in January.  I tried to stay out of it, really I did, but the Holy Spirit would not let me rest until I wrote in response to the Law point of view.  Stay tuned for Part 2 . . .

For a complete listing of posts at JGIG regarding the Hebrew Roots Movement, click HERE.

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Other articles of interest:

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.

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In 500 words or less . . .

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