What characterizes our beliefs as Messianics?
To our Sunday brothers & sisters, true Messianic Judaism can seem foreign and unfamiliar. Many assume that Messianic Judaism is Church with a few Jewish symbols thrown in, a little Hebrew to spice things up, and some really good music. That is exactly what we strive not to be.
There are many Messianic groups who do fit the above description, so why are we different? The difference is much deeper than symbols, some Hebrew and music: it is about a lifestyle.
We do not believe a Congregation can call itself a Messianic Synagogue if they do not advocate a Torah observant lifestyle. Thus Congregations where people wear Tzitzit, kippa, play Paul Wilbur, and blow Shofars are not Messianic Synagogues if they do not recognize the Authority of the Torah. Additionally, beyond recognizing the Authority of Torah, there needs to be an emphasis on living out the mitzvah (commands). Why is living out the mitzvah important? It is not, as some say Messianics teach, "To be saved"; as salvation is a gift from Adonai. It is following the words of Messiah Yeshua, and keeping His commands. The commands He gave were the Torah.
So why is Torah so important? In a single word - Holiness. We are called to "be Holy for I am Holy". Messiah said, if you love me, keep my commands.
* 1st Yochanan (John) Chapter 3:4-6 says "Everyone who keeps sinning is violating Torah - indeed, sin is violation of Torah. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and that there is no sin in him. So no one who remains united with him continues sinning; everyone who does continue sinning has neither seen him nor known him."
So G-ds word clearly identifies belonging to Him with keeping Torah, and the Master said the very same words!
So keeping the Torah, observing the mitzvah, are not for salvation, as we know from the Shaliach (Apostles) and from the Tanakh itself. This can be clearly seen in the Yom Kippur Prayers, where we pray 'we have no deeds' that reconcile us to G-d. It is for a life of Holiness, as it is said "It's ways are ways of righteousness, and all it's paths are peace."
Blessings - Rabbi Gavri'el
Audio Teaching Messianic Lifestyle - Holiness