I am a Jewish believer in Jesus (Yeshua). Whatever you want to call me is up to you. Being Jewish, though, means that I am not a Gentile, a non-Jew. As an unbelieving Jewish person, I lived like those who did not know God, meaning that I lived as a heathen or pagan or a Gentile, in this sense. One who is a Christian may be a Jew or a Gentile, but is called and chosen to live as one who personally knows God His Father and the Lord Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah. I desire to be a genuine disciple of the Christ/Messiah to whom I belong and follow, and not merely a professing believer.
I am an evangelical, meaning that I believe that we must proclaim the gospel/the good news to unbelievers — including those within our own families — so that they, too, may be saved by repentance and faith as we were. There is salvation only through living faith in Yeshua/Jesus, and He is the only way to the Father. There are many ways to Jesus, but only one way to the Father. One must be born-again from Above by the Holy Spirit in order to enter the Kingdom of God.
I was baptized in the Holy Spirit when I repented and believed that Jesus really is the Messiah, the Son of God, the Lord and Savior, who died on the cross for my sins, and for all people and their sins. He died, was buried, and rose again. He is coming again to make this world that He made right. So, for me, I am also pentecostal.
I have certain gifts of the Holy Spirit, but certainly not all, and not certain ones. But I do have what I have, and seek to use them to build up the believers and to encourage others to believe. I think that makes me charismatic, even though I may be lacking in certain qualities and characteristics. Praise the Lord for His grace and mercies!
I believe that the whole of the Bible is the Word of God. Some of it is written literally, some figuratively, some in prose, some in poetry, some symbolically. It is all God-breathed, and therefore the Word of the living God for our instruction and admonition. It nourishes us, and also chastens us, as children of God, for those who receive it. I suppose this makes me a fundamentalist — like being a constitutionalist in U.S. legislation and jurisprudence — for the Word of God is authoritative in all that it speaks of and to whom all that He speaks. Our governance and way of life are grounded upon the whole counsel of God. It, and He, will judge us in that day. He, and it, will be found justified and true. (Ps 51:4; Jn 12:46-50; Rom 3:4; Heb 4:10-13)
The Bible is written to Israel as a testimony for all peoples and cultures: “All Scripture is God-breathed, and profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, that the man/woman of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”. Paul is writing for believers from every time and culture and background.
We must not allow our own or adopted culture to determine God’s intentions or meaning, but rather judge our culture by the standards of God, and repent and live by His Kingdom laws and acceptable customs. While the Law of Moses was particularly for Israel and the Jewish people before Messiah/Christ came and died and rose again, the teachings of Jesus and of His Apostles are for all believers, whether Jewish or not. Shavuot/Pentecost brought in a new and living way for those who know that their sins are forgiven.
Most of YHVH God’s commandments, laws, precepts, testimonies, and judgments are clear and straight-forward, so that a child can understand. They do not need to be “interpreted”, but believed on and lived by. (Ps 19:7-14; Mt 18:1-4)
All Scripture is written for us living at the end of the age; i.e., for our own times and generation. (1Cor 10:11) The Bible is relevant today. God knows that there is sin, and a desire to sin. He knows the end from the beginning, and He knows what is in man. The end of the age will be marked by a fulness of the manifestation of the sinful nature.
The God of Truth can not, and does not, lie, therefore His word will abide forever as truth. It is reality, meaning it will always be found to be true, even if believers or angels should claim that the Bible — the living written word of God to man and angels — is wrong or unreliable, and therefore not authoritative for our knowledge and understanding and wisdom. Has not God said that the wise of this world will be confounded, and the wisdom of this world is foolishness!? (1Cor 1:25-29; 3:18-21)
Yes, there are many questions that we can ponder and meditate upon, yet not discover the satisfying answer this side of the return of the Lord. Child-like faith believes God. His word will be found to be right and true, and as children who honor and respect their heavenly Father, we know that He does not lie, but always tells the truth. He knows about everything! We wonder at the astounding amazement of His creation, both in the skies and heavens and upon the Earth and in the seas. (Gen 1) We are blessed beyond measure about all that is good, and sickened by the depths of evil and violence. How can it all be!!? We humbly and adoringly and fearfully bow down and worship Him who alone can and did do and made possible all this. This One who came down to us, as if one of us, yet is uniquely holy — the Holy One of Israel — so that we could “see God” — who is Spirit — and live, especially those who believe in and call upon His name given under Heaven to mankind that anyone might be saved. (Jn 4:21-24; 14:6-11)
He told Israel not to do what the heathen were doing within Canaan and among the people all around the Promised Land, nor what they were doing in Egypt; that is, not to be like these people who did not know the one true living God. (Lev 18:1-5) He told them that He is holy, and that they were to be holy. We are HIS people, and HIS witnesses; and His expectations of us are higher than of those who are not. We are supposed to be teaching them who the God Most High is and of His marvelous works. We will be judged more severely, for to whom much is given, more is required; and we have known Him and the power of the world to come and the cost of our redemption and salvation in the shed blood of our Lord and Savior.
This is an excellent summary of God’s plan of salvation through Jesus, and a wonderful proclamation of His power and goodness toward us his children! Thank you for blessing us with these beautifully spoken and powerful words!
I could not reply on Kehila, so I will reply here. This may be your very best column, and that is saying a lot for the gifted writer and thought provoker that you are. I have shared this with many others, including my brothers, family, and small group folks. Your electrons are not going to waste in the stratosphere!
Thank-you, Peter. Glad to be in God’s family together!
Thank you, Howard, for your good witness and this summation of the faith. Except for not being Jewish I can personally confirm all of it. Bless you! May our Lord Jesus give you everything you need for the coming days as many you are to serve here.