• 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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A Little Perspective Regarding Future “Law Keepers” Posts

Before I post the next installment in the “Law Keepers” series, I would like to do a little housekeeping, so to speak.  As some of you have already figured out, I’m not a theologian =o).  I’m just a simple heart living a simple faith, just like under the title of my blog says.  That said, I believe that “Joe”, or in my case, “Josephine” Christian is able to determine, with the Holy Spirit’s leading and careful study of the Scriptures, whether or not a doctrine, teaching, theology, belief system, etc. which crosses their spiritual path is sound or not.  Not only do I believe that we are able to discern such things, I believe we are CALLED  to do so!

2 Timothy 2:15
My son, preserve sound judgement and discernment, do not let them out of your sight;  they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.  Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble;  when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.  (Proverbs 3:21-24)

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 

Back to the part about me not being a theologian.  I do not know Hebrew or Greek.  I have not read the “great theologians”.  I do, however, have a basic-to-good working knowledge of the major streams of thought in Christendom, including those streams that are considered “Christian Cults” as well as other religions and philosophies.  I’m not afraid to ask questions, even if they seem dumb.  Though I may not know everything about Scripture, history, religions and philosophies, I do have access to (and so do you if you’re reading this!) lots of tools and resources for clarification regarding issues of language or perspective by those who do know a lot more than I do.  On the most basic level, I believe that when a belief system diverts away from or diminishes the Gospel and/or the revealed character of God, it is suspect, and should either be rejected outright or investigated further.  In the “Regarding What I Believe” section of my Statement of Faith I relay what I mean by that in a bit more detail.

The Bible is the plumb line.  I don’t presume to have every interpretation perfectly correct.  I do sincerely believe, however, that God has equipped believers – by His Word and by His Holy Spirit – to discern truth from error.  You can read posts on discernment here at JGIG on the Series page to get an idea how I go about evaluating any “new thing” that comes across my path.

I say all that to say this:  The balance of the posts here at JGIG regarding Law Keepers will be a compilation of observations I have made, along with resources I have come across regarding Law keeping perspectives.  I’ll be encouraging you to listen to/read teaching from a New Covenant perspective on occasion.  There are many facets to the Hebrew Roots and Sacred Name movements.  I am under no illusion that I will be able to “lay it all out” in a totally comprehensive way for you.  There are some things in the Hebrew Roots Movement that I just “don’t get”, but have read enough to know that they’re “off”, doctrinally, and have chosen to not study those facets any further.  I will hit the high points, however, and will try to give you resources for further study.

I am firmly in the “New Covenant” camp.  Good, foundational studies with a special emphasis on Old Covenant/New Covenant Truths can be found HERE.  You can go to the Series page here at JGIG to read “Law Keepers” parts 1-5 of my journey into the land of the Law keepers posted thus far.  I will say that as I was in the thick of the research of the Hebrew Roots and Sacred Names movements, I felt at times as though I was in a swift-running river, and had to hold fast to the Rock of the Gospel and the completed work of Christ at the Cross to avoid being swept into the stream.  I exhort you, the reader, that if you do choose to investigate these movements in any depth, to do so prayerfully and purposefully anchor yourself firmly in the Word and the completed work that Christ did at the Cross as you go.  These movements are very seductive in their appeal and Bible-believing Christians have been led astray by their false doctrines.  I can’t stress enough how persuasive these movements can be. 

Studying these things can be taxing – both spiritually and emotionally.  People who have chosen to put themselves under Torah work really hard at it and work really hard at justifying why they do what they do.  It grieves my heart to see them trading in their freedom in Christ for a life of Law keeping.  I’m not saying that the Law is bad . . . it is God’s standard.  But we can never measure up to that standard . . . hence God’s provision of Redemption and restored life through Jesus.  You will find yourself having to staunchly guard your heart and mind, and for a while, everything you see and hear will be through the filter of the Law.  If you do choose to study these things in depth, rest assured that if you are holding to the Gospel (Good News!), you will come through with a much deeper understanding and an incredible appreciation for what God has done and Who He is . . . in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  There is much joy there!

After posting an overview about Law Keepers, (which will list a few observations I’ve made regarding some basic beliefs as well as a bit of information I’ve gleaned from research regarding the Hebrew Roots and Sacred Names movements) I’m thinking a “glossary” post may be in order.  One of the things that is really important to be aware of regarding these and other heretical movements is that they engage in the re-definition of terms.  Once that is accomplished, those re-defined terms become fields in which seeds of questionable doctrine can be cultivated.

My prayer is that those who have come in contact with or have family members who have been exposed to these false teachings will have a better understanding about where these teachings are coming from, their basic belief system/structure, and resources to which they can go where they can learn more.  Most of all, I pray that “Joe” and “Josephine” Christian will be encouraged in the Gospel as God has provided it according to His Word, and that they will be able to recognize false teachings whenever and wherever they encounter them.

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

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Other articles of interest:

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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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One Response

  1. Hi there, i have just started reading your articles. Thanks so much for putting them down!!
    A good friend of mine is involved in this and i was wondering if you could please email me privately. Thanks and have a great Thursday!

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