Monday, October 22, 2007

Our Relationship to the Torah

I was recently reading Messianic Congregation Leader Derek Leman's Blog (Messianic Musings - In the last several days he has been addressing the relevance of Torah to Gentiles. As I was reading his blog, I thought it worthwhile to state our view, as a Synagogue, on this important subject.

So who should be Torah observant, and how Torah observant they should be? How do you personally fit into this picture?

There are (in my opinion) 5 groups of people in the world:

* Non-believing Gentiles,
* Believing Gentiles (We refer to these as former Gentiles as they are now part of the Common Wealth of Israel per Rabbi Sha'ul),
* Ger Toshav (sojourners at the Gate),
* Ger Tzaddik (Righteous Gentiles),
* Convert / native born Jews.

Each of these groups has a ordained relationship and method of obeying the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Let's take a look at each one of these groups and try to define what level of obedience they were initially called to. Please make sure you understand, we are not talking about Yeshua's sacrifice, or forgiveness of sins; but only what defines sin and to what level is the person to walk at.

Groups of people and their required level of obedience to G-d

* Gentile non-believers - Noachide laws are the only measure they are held to.
* Believing Gentiles - Significant parts of Torah, based on the light given. This is based on 1st Yochanan 3, and Yeshua's own words, "if you love me, you'll keep my commands". Some may call this the "Law of Messiah, or Law of Christ"; either way, it relies heavily on Torah.
* Ger Toshav (sojourners at the Gate) - originally resided within Israel, and thus where subject to many of the so called "civil" commandments due to being in the land.
* Ger Tzaddik (Righteous Gentiles) - These are the G-dfearers, following all commands of B'nai Israel (children of Israel) except circumcision. These Gentiles would keep kosher, keep Shabbat, go to Synagogue (from exile on), etc.
* Converts / native born Jews - Torah is the measure (note converts take on the entire Torah).

So how does this affect you and I? As part of a Messianic Synagogue, we will predominately come face to face with the last 4 groups, believing Gentiles - Jews. Each of these has a unique relationship to Torah. To understand, let's discuss 1 group at a time. To be continued next week.

Blessings - Rabbi Gavri'el

No comments: