The Vital Role of Messianic Congregations
In Jeremiah 31:35-37 God has made a gracious commitment to preserve the Jewish people as an identifiable nation:
“Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for light by day, and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The Lord of hosts is His name; “If this fixed order departs from before Me,” declares the Lord, “then the offspring of Israel also will cease from being a nation forever.” Thus says the Lord, “If the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out below, then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done,” declares the Lord.
A Messianic congregation is an expression of God’s gracious commitment and is essential to His Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Yeshua has “all the authority in heaven and on earth,” and with that authority He has commanded us to make disciples (Matthew 28:18). If we are convinced of His Lordship, we must therefore be committed to His discipleship, for He said, “Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).
This means raising new believers in the faith so that they will live out God’s faithfulness in their circumstances. It starts with immersion, which testifies publicly to what the Spirit did at salvation: identifying the new believer with the Lord (Matthew 28:20).
However, discipleship is not only the one time act, but it is the ongoing activity of growing as believers in all that Yeshua has commanded. We are to teach the truth, not merely transfer information, so that believers will observe all that Yeshua commanded.
The primary function of any congregation is as a disciple-making center. It is healthy disciples, not larger numbers, which is the goal of the congregation. What does this have to do with a Messianic congregation? Well, the undiscipled believer is an unfaithful believer. If a new Jewish believer understands his or her Jewish identity in Messiah, then this same God who promised that He would not “leave nor forsake our people” is seen in the eyes of the Jewish community, and to all who are looking, as the same faithful Lord who said, “I am with you always to the end of the age” (Joshua 1:9; Matthew 28:20). Also, as Gentiles are saved through the evangelistic work of Messianic congregations (“also to the Gentile,” right?), they will be grounded and grow in the same faith, by the same discipleship. This makes their own communication of the Good News more clear and meaningful to the Jewish people and all people.
Also, every Messianic congregation demonstrates the absolute equality of Messianic Jews and Messianic Gentiles as one Body in Yeshua. God doesn’t want non-Jews to become Jews any more than He wants Jews to become non-Jews. It is this unique unity in our diversity that demonstrates God’s faithfulness to His Word. Thus the Messianic congregation demonstrates the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham, “In your seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed (Genesis 12:3; 22:18; Galations 3:8). The Messianic congregation’s normative celebration of the Biblical Feasts is the very testimony of God’s redemption of Jews and Gentiles in Messiah that was divinely established to be the Body’s witness of Yeshua (John 1:29). Thus, the Gentile believer can more fully demonstrate God’s faithfulness through the Feasts of Israel as the Biblical witness that Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel.
When Yeshua’s faithfulness is demonstrated in His followers, then His fellowship with us is seen through Messianic communities (Matthew 18:20). Messianic congregations are the living testimonies of God’s triumph in Messiah. They reveal God’s faithfulness in Messiah Yeshua to eyes that see, ears that hear, and hearts that desire after Him.
We need to bring the Good News to all people and see them come to faith in Yeshua, but never leave them undiscipled. Discipleship is the means by which new believers are enabled to grow in their relationship with God, to develop spiritual understanding of the truths of God’s Word, and to gain wisdom for living faithfully for the Lord.
Faith in Yeshua makes you a child of God, discipleship is God’s way for you to mature as His child. As there is no salvation without faith in Yeshua, so there is no proper spiritual growth without proper Scriptural discipleship.
Please pray for us and stand with us as we boldly move forward so that the greater Jewish community and all people will clearly hear the Good News of Israel’s Messiah who is therefore the Savior of the world.