Sunday, September 20, 2015

Add Israel to Your Church's Belief Statement, part 4

On the Extremeter scale below, the average Christian Church scores close to the Torah Ignorant side. Before a Church can honestly add Israel to their Belief Statement, they need to become Torah Friendly. In the following recommended Belief Statements, each one will need an education piece. Whether it be through a Church’s sermon series, Sunday School curriculum, or library, not to mention personal enrichment through reading, the Leadership and membership of a Church needs to inform themselves about the Hebraic background to the Christian faith. This does not mean that I eventually want/see/expect Gentile believers to become Torah Observant. I just want to see the pointer moving to the Friendly mark.

Here then are possible additions to a Church’s Belief Statement:

History of AntiSemitism
Knowing that the centuries tell a tragic tale of Jewish persecution by members of the Christian church, we repent of this sin and, through a change of heart and education, seek to better understand the divide this has caused between us. We are aware that this hostility has caused Israel to have a distorted view of Who the Messiah is and we repent of that as well. We seek to better present to the world that His followers love all people, especially his own people, that is, Israel. 

Israel is Still God’s Chosen People
We believe that the nation of Israel is still God’s Chosen people and that believing Gentiles are grafted into the Olive Tree that is Israel. Through this faith, we are part of the commonwealth of Israel and share in its promises and blessings. We will never preach or believe Replacement Theology, which teaches  that the Gentile church has replaced Israel. God’s promises to Israel still stand and we await the fulfillment of His Kingdom to Israel. 

Israel Today
This church seeks to bless Israel and we pray for the peace of Jerusalem and support it in every way possible. We encourage the nation of Israel by supporting its territorial rights, including making Jerusalem the capital city. We feel God has made it clear that He does not want Israel’s land divided,including its capital Jerusalem. We believe that the founding of the nation of Israel in 1948 and the capture of the Old City in 1967 are fulfillments of Bible prophecy and we pray for Israel’s acceptance of Yeshua as their Messiah to hasten the Kingdom of God on earth. We encourage Israel to manage its country and people, including non-Jews, according to Biblical values, and we support Israel’s right to exist, which is the goal of Zionism. We look forward to the day when the Kingdom will be restored to Israel and the Torah goes forth from Jerusalem, as stated in Isaiah.

Israel and the Bible
We believe that the Bible is inspired by God, including the Torah, Prophets, Writings, and New
Testament. We seek through education to better understand God’s commandments. While the
obligations of the Gentile members to the Torah are different than those of the Jewish believers, the wisdom of the Torah is nevertheless common to all. We endeavor to interpret the New Testament in light of the truths that are in the Torah. We believe we are all saved by faith and not by works, and that the Spirit is greater than the letter of the Law. Yet, this does not obviate us to follow the principles in God’s Word. We know that the Apostle Paul has encouraged us to establish the Torah. (Romans 3: 31)

Israel’s Salvation

We believe that the Biblical God came to save all people through His plan of salvation that is presented throughout the Bible. This was promised in the Torah, Prophets, and Writings and finds its fulfillment in the New Covenant, where God says He will write the Torah on people’s hearts. Jeremiah 31:33 “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My Torah in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” He has done this through Yeshua the Messiah.

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