• 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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Love Goes Where the Law Cannot

As sometimes happens when discussing Law and Grace on a forum, a particular issue will become clear in a really simple way.  I’ve written before about how the Gospel can go where the Law cannot culturally, but tonight God showed me that Love goes where the Law cannot, as well.

A mom who is Torah pursuant asked me this:

Originally Posted by ‘ME
I know you’re a Mother too, so maybe this will make sense:

Q:  Do you become a mother when you first get pregnant or do you become a mother when your child is terminally ill and you never leave its side at a hospital?

A: You become a mother both times.

However, just because you are a mother in the first instance doesn’t mean you ‘do right’ and are even a ‘good’ mother. Read the Ohio story of a woman who killed her child in a way.

The mother who sits by her child’s bedside is also a mother, but reborn in her experiences all those years as a Mom. We would call her a good, faithful mother.

Both, however are and will be to their dying days a “Mother”.

The same can be said of salvation. Once you accept the Savior, He has brought you salvation.

How are you going to show you are worthy of such a calling?

It is a personal thing (just like being a mom) and there is indeed ‘right things’ and ‘wrong things’ you can do until your last breath.

You’re still a Mom, just like You’re still saved – but we aim for faithfulness and truth when we want to do ‘right’. A part of that is obedience to Him [she is speaking of Torah observance here].

We look to the spirit, and we look to His written word.

I thought maybe you being a Mom might help understand this concept. I hope you didn’t think I was rude or overly parochial at all. I help teach children, so I am constantly trying to find real life connections with gospel connections.

My response:
Let me ask you a question, mother to mother:

Do you do the things to care for and nurture your children because state or federal laws tell you to or because you instinctively know and desire to do the best you can for your children because you love them?

If one of your children is teething, is there a law that tells you to comfort them and tend to their pain, even if it means you losing sleep because of it?  Or do you comfort that child and tend to their pain because it is the loving thing to do?

When one is in Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we don’t need to rely on the Law to tell us what’s right or wrong – we instinctively know – the Holy Spirit becomes our conscience and our Guide – He writes the Law on our hearts. Even more than that – the Holy Spirit not only tells us what is right and wrong – He tells us how to love sacrificially.

John 15:12-13
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Titus 2:11-14
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

The Law will not tell you to stay up with a teething baby.  Love, however, will.

In our own family, we have a child with Type 1 Diabetes, so this hits very close to home for me.  The law does not tell me to check my child’s blood glucose through the night, but I do – sometimes 3 or 4 times a night for the past two years and for the rest of the time that she will be in our care. If she runs too high, there is potential damage happening to her nerves and organs. If she runs too low, there is the risk of death.  The law would say that it’s okay to let her run a little high so that I can sleep more without the risk of her going low and dying.  Love tells me to keep her Blood Glucose #’s in a good range ’round the clock and to check through the night to make sure she’s not too high or too low to minimize damage to her body systems so that she can live a long and healthy life.

The law can only go so far.  

Love takes doing the right thing to the next level.

That’s what Jesus taught about in Matthew 5 and exemplified throughout His ministry – right to the Cross where He became the once-and-for-all sacrifice for us because He loved us.

The Law didn’t tell Jesus to go to the Cross – Love did.

I hope this simple example helped you to see the significant truth that Love goes where the Law cannot.  It did me!

Blessings,
-JGIG

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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12 Responses

  1. Wonderful answer, JGIG!

    Love in Christ,
    Herb

  2. Oh that everyone in Christendom could see this beautiful truth!! Thank you so much for this post.

  3. Excellent. Just excellent!

  4. Thanks, guys.

    Sondra, God gave me a heart post =o).

    Love you,
    -JGIG

  5. Good post! I appreciate the things you say! ***smile***

  6. Oh….oh…just…”BOO YA!”.

    Booya.

    You know…the slang expression that, in essence, says, “This is SO DAGGUM GOOD!”

    Booya to ya, and once again keep up the very, very good work,
    Sheila
    http://www.aseasonofharvest.blogspot.com

  7. oh….oh…just…”BOO YA!”

    Booya.

    You know…the slang term that, in essence, means “THIS MAKES ME SO DAGGUM HAPPY!”

    This was a slam dunk. And I horribly mix metaphors with my slang.

    Booya to ya!
    Sheila Atchley
    http://www.aseasonofharvest.blogspot.com

    • Thanks, Sheila!

      I’ve been known to mix a metaphor or two on occasion as well =o).

      Thanks for your kind words about and welcome to JGIG!

      Blessings,
      -JGIG

  8. That has to be one of the most profound things I have read in a long, long time! Absolutely excellent!

    Thank you JGIG!

    In His love,
    Em

  9. Many of the things you wrote above are very moving to me. It certainly is in our nature to want for our own comfort rather than the wellbeing of others, and in that sense when we choose to love despite what we want for our own wellbeing, we are truly fulfilling the law.

    And this is how I see loving God as well. I don’t want to obey him all the time, but Jesus said (paraphrased) “Love your neighbor and love your Maker”. Sometimes I wonder, if all the commandments hang on these two, on which does the commandment to immerse hang?

    • Hi Daniel,

      Immersion – Baptism, is a public proclamation of our faith, though our salvation does not rely on such a proclamation. Sharing one’s faith is part of a natural outflow of loving God and loving others.

      Blessings,
      -JGIG

  10. Daniel Clark wrote, “And this is how I see loving God as well. I don’t want to obey him all the time, but Jesus said (paraphrased) “Love your neighbor and love your Maker”. Sometimes I wonder, if all the commandments hang on these two, on which does the commandment to immerse hang?”

    Thanks, Daniel. Since those two take up all the room, I’d say there is no room to hang anything else. ;-) Jesus said the Holy Spirit would guide us and we cannot predict where we will go. But we can try to always love our neighbor and remain alert to the guiding of the Holy Spirit, whether we want to or not, and we usually do not want to.

    Love in Christ,
    Herb

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