Friday, 21 January 2022
The longstanding and great misunderstanding of the relationship between Law and Grace is at the root of the Jewish evangelism problem. The first evangelist to non-Jews was Peter (when he was called to go to Corneliusâouse). The issuue caused Peter, himself, quite a bit of concern. God had to give him a vision, and then provide understanding of the meaning of the vision (and it wasn't to make "Miss Piggy" kosher). Acts 10:28 He (Peter) said to them, "You yourselves know that it is not permitted for a Jewish man to associate with a non-Jew or to visit him. Yet God has shown me that I should call no one (no man) unholy or unclean."
I may be making a great understatement by using the word "misunderstanding." For 500 years the inquisition imposed non-Jewish practice (and forbade Jewish practice) for Jewish followers of Yeshua. The inquisitor would torture unto death any person suspected of maintaining Jewish culture or tradition (even biblical standards) AFTER becoming a follower of Messiah. If the victim repented for keeping kosher or lighting Shabbat candles, the inquisitor would kill them quicker. I don't like discussing such a gory topic, but I'm not making this up. Look up the term "conversos" or click here ...
If we could develop a right understanding of Law and Grace, we might be able to start declaring the gospel accurately, and that could open the door to effective Jewish evangelism. Why do we even need Jewish evangelism? The Bible plainly states ... Romans 1:16-17a For I am not ashamed of the Good News, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who trusts - to the Jew first and also to the Greek. In it the righteousness of God is revealed.
The revelation of the righteousness of God is called the "Good News" (Gospel), which is the "power of God for salvation." That sounds like something that we must get right. Yet we find it is wrongly preached in many communities today. That this would happen is even prophesied ... 2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not put up with sound instruction, but they will pile up for themselves teachers in keeping with their own desires, to have their ears tickled. And they will turn away from hearing the truth and wander off to myths.
What's the most common mistake today? Hyper-grace! After all ... 2 Corinthians 12:9b My grace is sufficient for you. Many churches leave out the call to repentance as an important first step to salvation. Repentance from what? Sin, of course! After all, it isn't "seeker friendly" to tell people that they are sinners. And is sin anyway? Without God's righteous standard (the Torah) with which to measure ourselves, the term "sin" has no meaning.
Let's give Paul (aka Rav Sha'ul) the last word today. Romans 3:31 Do we then nullify the Torah through faithfulness? May it never be! On the contrary, we uphold the Torah.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,