Do I have to become Jewish in order to be Christian?
I have seen a trend in many Christians today that deeply concerns me. I’m in good company because many of the Apostle Paul’s writing dealt with the many issues I’m seeing 2,000 years ago.
The trend, Christians wanting to go back to their Jewish roots.
Head coverings, shofars, observing the feasts, and oh so much more.
There are three primary errors the Apostle Paul dealt with in the New Testament.
1. Legalism- Christians are still under the law, and should abide by them. 2. Galatianism - Starting off in the spirit ending up in the flesh. 3. Antinomianism- This error says because we are not under the law, we no longer have any law to abide by. We can do whatever we want because we have already been forgiven. This blog we will look at the error of Galatianism.
What is Galatianism?
Those poisoned by the teachings of Galatianism are believer’s who have received Christ by faith but then try to become righteous by living under the law. The Apostle Paul speaks very strongly against this in the book of Galatians.
Galatians 3:1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
Paul calls this belief system a type of bewitchment, a type of witchcraft. I have met many believers who start off in relationship with Jesus just to end up back under the yoke of religion in order to “become more holy.”
They begin to get caught up more in the types, shadows and ceremonies until they eventually feel the church has “lost it’s Jewish roots, and if they want to “get back to the bible” then they need to.. Fill in the blank with something under the Mosaic covenant.
What’s Paul say about this?
Colossians 2:16 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.
Take notice of the progression of Paul’s writing;
1 Let no one judge you in regards to food or drink etc.
2 These things are just mere shadows the fulfillment is found in Christ.
3 Let no one defraud you with how pious they are, and all the encounters they have had that actually come from their own fleshly minds.
4 These people don’t hold fast to the head, which is Christ, and because of that remove themselves from the body of Christ.
These groups very often isolate themselves from the rest of the church using the terminology such as remnant or, ”we are the true church.” This forms an almost cultish loyalty towards one another, because they share the “real truth.” Be careful of churches or any types of groups that use this type of language. Any “traditional” church won’t cut it for these folks because none will be able to measure up to their standards.
Examine the fruit of the lives of those teaching these messages.
1 Does the message seem to be bringing unity in the body or division? 2 Are you the only ones that have the whole truth? 3 Is the group healthy? Marriages, family, men, women, children, of all ages? These types of groups usually target a certain demographic and that demographic only.
Is it ok to study the Jewish roots of Christianity?
Is it wrong to celebrate the feasts, blow shofars, and observe the Jewish calendar. No, of course not but for what purpose? Is it to become more holy? If so, then you have been deceived already. However if it’s to study types and shadows in order to see Jesus concealed in the Old Testament scriptures, then go for it. Just don’t get mad at me when I’m eating a pulled pork sandwich on a Saturday during the day of Atonement. My observation with these groups have been if you don’t participate in these festivals or holidays then you are less then, not experiencing the fullness of your Christian experience.
I personally have attended Sadars and studied deeply the meanings of each type and shadow and was blown away at how beautifully the scriptures have always pointed to Christ.
It’s important hear to understand that if you are a Gentile that you never had an old covenant.
As a Gentile you where never under the Law
Ephesians 2:11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
Gentiles where not at Mt. Sinai in Exodus 19 receiving the Mosaic Covenant. We are “strangers to the covenants of promise”. We where grafted in the vine through FAITH in Christ Jesus, and have received the blessings of Abraham by FAITH in Christ Jesus.
Is what we are believing and teaching Jesus plus something makes us righteous before God? Or is our righteousness found in Christ and Christ alone. Jesus plus nothing thats the good news.
I leave you with a quote from Bill Johnson, Senior Pastor at Bethel Church Redding, "Why would you want shadows when we now have the One who cast the shadow?
To read the next few blogs on Detoxing Religion go to www.IvanRoman.org
Ivan Roman, Senior Pastor of Empowered Life Church and Author of The Heart of the Prophetic.