Saturday, June 2, 2012

Is this Legalism?






Should I Use Only The Hebrew Names of Our God?


Question : Dear Pastor Israel, I am writing you because you are the only one I feel I can ask about this...I was recently asked to join a group...it's fine..I enjoy the fellowship...then, they asked me to be an Administrator of one group...it was nice...then, one person who is in charge told me that I needed to only use the Hebrew Names of FATHER GOD, JESUS CHRIST, and the HOLY SPIRIT...she said that it was manditory...I felt that it was legalistic, but not sure about it Pastor...please tell me if I have to use only Hebrew Names of our GOD? I feel pressure, but comply with their rules..it's not that big a deal, but I want to know if I'm just overreacting...or is this legalism? I'm not mad, nor do I feel like retaliating...just feel pressured. Thanks for listening.

Answer : Greetings to you in Jesus name! It is good to join in a group on the internet to fellowship because this is a great privilege that God has given to all of us in this generation which nobody in the previous generations had. Praise the Lord that you are enjoying the fellowship in it. Ok, making a believer and an active member participant of a online group to be an Administrator is fine as long as it is done with the good motive of doing a expanded team ministry.

In this case it seems like you have been made in to Administrator so that you can comply with their belief dogmatically. This is one way of gaining people in to a group and make them bound in it. All Christian groups should be free from such manipulative ways of gaining God's sheep in to fellowship because it will not bless them and also the one who has joined in their group.

There is a sect of believers who are forming in the Church saying that all believers must go deep in to the Hebrew roots and follow the law to be really blessed. One of the biggest mistake these people do is, they forget that we are the Church of the living God which neither considers a Jew or law keeping person as some one higher than a person who is a baby in Christ Jesus, but considers all believers at the same level without distinction because all are saved by faith only and not by their works
(Gal 3:28; Col 3:11; Titus 2:5-6). They also reason it out that Jesus was Jewish and He followed the law. Yes Jesus followed the law not to get saved as He had no sin but kept it so that God could consider Him and qualify Him to become sin and carry the sin of all of God's people and become a perfect lamb of God for them so that they can be made righteous in the eyes of God (2 Cor 5:21; John 1:29; Rev 4:5-7). Actually Jesus kept the law to fulfill it because no human on earth before that were able to fulfill it one hundred percentage without breaking one of the law which is equal to breaking all the law in the eyes of God and therefore had no possibility of getting saved by their own works, let alone save others (Matt 5:17-18; Eccl 7:20; Jam 2:10).

There are three types of people in the world today, they are the Jews, Greeks and the Church of God
(1 Cor 10:32). Once a person comes in to Christ Jesus, even though they have their own choice to follow the law if they want to, like some of the first century Jews did, but it cannot be for their salvation as it is received only by grace through faith as it is a gift of God (Acts 21:15-25; Eph 2:8-9). If any person tries to still follow the law to get saved from sin after receiving salvation, Christ is useless to him and therefore though he may say that he is a believer in Christ, he will not be able to experience the fullness of abundant life which Christ has promised to all believers, and therefore they will also miss the eternal rewards that God has in store for them (Gal 5:2; John 10:10; Rev 3:11).

So every believer should be careful not to get in to this legalistic trap of the so called Messianic Jewish cult that is arising in our times. I have no problem with them as long as they stick on to their belief with themselves and do not dogmatically try to convinece other believers to follow their ways and methods when all other believers around the world are freely following Christ by the Spirit
(Rom 8:14). Some of the Messianic believers are very good believers but being misguided in to it without knowledge of the Bible which says that "if we died with Christ from the basic principles of the world [i.e. religious and political rules and traditions which includes biblical ones which were given to the nation of Israel]...why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to [external]regulations [rather than the internal regulation of the Spirit of God (Rom 8:2)]." (Col 2:20). The people of God in the Church belong to spiritual and a universal nation of the Kingdom of God which rules from heaven theocratically (Matt 21:43; Heb 12:22-23), and therefore are citizens of a higher order than the world system of human governance. The Messianic Jews are only a small group in the Church and there are whole a lot of believers in all other nations of the world who are more than these small group, who are walking by the Spirit in their own culture.

When a person says that we should use the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit only in the Hebrew, without doubt it is legalistic. Do not be a part of it and lose the liberty which Christ has given you to freely serve Him empowered by the Spirit in your own way and culture. Jesus did not come to convert our culture and the way of living, but to transform us back in to the image of God which was marred by sin
(2 Cor 4:4; 3:18). Many uneducated saints who do not know the ABC of Hebrew or even to read the Bible in their own language, have been great and exemplary saints who lived in purity and devotion towards God and I have seen many of their lives personally and have been challenged by it. God knows all our thoughts which has no language and judges us according to the motivation of each of our thoughts (Psa 139:2; 1 Cor 4:5). Our God connects to us beyond our culture and limited knowledge we have. It is good to study the Hebrew names of God and know the nuances of it to have great understanding about the word of God if you have interest and time. But you are free to call Him and write His name in the language you know thoroughly, because our God "reigns over the nations" (Psalm 47:8) and is greater than the limited understanding of many people who try to make the people of God to act Jewish and as Hebraist. Therefore the Verse I give you to keep in your mind regarding this is, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." (Gal 5:1). In other words, maintain your Christian liberty which Christ has already given you by rejecting anyones religious dogma that try to keep you under its bondage.

Much Blessings......






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