Personally, as a Gentile-American-Christian, I enjoy some of the Messianic-Jewish culture, music, and traditions. Learning about the various Old Testament feasts and their spiritual and prophetic meaning provides some tremendous insight for understanding the larger context of both of the Testaments of scripture. Learning about the prayer shawls that they wore through the generations and the meanings tied to the tassels is a wonderful and enlightening experience.
It is very easy for any of us, “Jewish” or “Gentile,” to begin to see the style of our gatherings or our church services as being more than just the good culture that they are. Whether it’s the order of service, (pass the offering plate or mount the offering box by the exits), the kind of music (Messianic-Jewish, Hillsong, Hymns, or Calvary Chapel), the way we pray (kneeling or standing, hats off or prayer shawls on, hands clasped at our chest or open handed toward heaven), the special days we celebrate (Sabbath or Sunday, Hanukah or Christmas, Day of Feasts or Super Bowl Sunday… Sorry, maybe that last one isn’t a good example), each element does serve a good purpose, but that purpose must not be elevated higher than it is intended by Jesus Christ, our Messiah.
While I encourage every Christian to learn as much as they can about the Old Testament practices and laws, I must also caution against elevating these things to a significance that God has not intended for His New Testament church. Participating in these things does not impute or increase any righteousness or make one holier. Neither the Messianic-Jewish-Style nor the Messianic-Gentile-Style are “more saved” or “more blessed” or “closer to God” than the other.
“… foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith… Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified… because ‘the righteous will live by faith.’ The law is not based on faith… He redeemed us in order that the blessing… might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus… by faith we… receive the promise of the Spirit.”
~ Galatians 3:5-14
We are one body (see Romans 10:12-13), saved through faith alone in Christ alone and through Whom alone we are made righteous to approach our Heavenly Father. Surely, let’s enjoy whatever style we are in, but let us keep our style in perspective. Our own righteousness-through-style practice produces filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), not more righteousness or a closer proximity to God.
#PastorsTip #Galatians3 #Messianic #Jewish #Gentile #Style #ChristAlone #Perspective