Friday, 20 July 2012
Messianic Jewish Lifestyle
What Is The Importance Of Messianic Congregations?
Just as Messianic Judaism is not new, neither are Messianic synagogues new. Biblical and historical records demonstrate that there were Messianic synagogues throughout the Roman Empire and beyond as early as 50 AD (James 1:1, James 2:2; Hebrews 10:27). Messianic congregations help foster community life. They enable Messianic Jews to worship the God of Israel within a biblically Jewish context, observance and heritage. Messianic congregations help us to nurture and maintain our Jewish identity and pass it on to the following generations.
Do Messianic Jews Believe They Should Keep The Law Of Moses?
The covenant upon which the Torah is based is the Old Covenant that God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. It is impossible to keep all the laws of the Mosaic Covenant today since the Temple was destroyed, along with the proscribed sacrifices of the Mosaic Covenant, by which Israel was able to draw near to God and obtain eternal life. Today we have entered into the better New Covenant through the promised Messiah of Israel, Yeshua. We read in the book of Hebrews that this New Covenant was ratified through the willing sacrifice of Yeshua, the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 (see Hebrews 10:1-4). Nevertheless, the laws that are part of the covenant mediated by Moses, which we are able to keep, are still relevant for the Messianic Jewish Believer to observe. The Torah continues to inform and guide the life and practice of Messianic Jewish people. The Torah enables us to live an authentic Jewish lifestyle that the early Messianic Jews were zealous to keep (see Acts 21:20-26). History documents that Messianic Jews continued to live a distinctly Jewish, Torah-based lifestyle for centuries after the arrival of Messiah Yeshua, as it is today. We recognize that all Believers (Jewish and Gentile) are in some sense to fulfill the Law (see Romans 8:4), but that the Gentile Believer is not obligated to fulfill the same requirements of the Law as the Jewish Believer (see Acts 15:5,19-20).
Do Messianic Jews Celebrate The Jewish Holidays And, If So, Why?
Yes, most Messianic Jews celebrate the Biblical holidays such as Passover, Shavuot (Pentecost), Rosh HaShanah (the traditional Jewish New Year, but actually the Feast of Trumpets), Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles), Chanukkah (the Feast of Dedication) and Purim. We celebrate the holidays because it is written in the Torah for Israel to observe these festivals forever (Leviticus 23:21, Leviticus 31, Leviticus 41; Exodus 12:14). Yeshua observed these festivals, as did the early Messianic Jews and the apostles such as Paul (Acts 20:16, Acts 27:9; 1 Corinthians 16:8). We also believe that when Messiah Yeshua returns to Earth, some of these holy days will be reestablished worldwide (Zechariah 14:11-21). As Messianic Jews celebrate the holidays, we do so with the understanding that Yeshua is the fulfillment of each of them. For example, He is our Passover Lamb, who died on Passover. He is the Firstfruits of the resurrection, who came back to life on the holiday of Firstfruits. He is our Atonement on Yom Kippur, etc.
Can Gentiles Be Members Of A Messianic Synagogue?
Yes, and most Messianic congregations are blessed to have Gentile members. To be a member of a Messianic synagogue, a Gentile Believer should have a love for the Jewish people, an understanding of what God is doing with the Jewish people, and have a "Ruth-like" calling to the Chosen People.
Are Messianic Jews Zionists?
Yes, most Messianic Jews strongly support Israel, not only because we believe the Jewish people need a national homeland, but also because we believe the reestablishment of Israel is an awesome direct fulfillment of ancient Biblical prophecies (Ezekiel 36:24, Ezekial 37:1-14, Zechariah 12).