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April 30, 2016 / Jerry L. Sherman

Message to the Messianics

May 2019

Did you ever wonder just what God requires?

There’s a Dylan song that answers that in an oblique way, but everyone all the time is answering it in one way or another, even if they aren’t asking the question. Everyone needs to be “right with God” even if by being sure He does not exist. More often, we hold up some version of His rules and think we have obeyed them, or close enough. We promise to do better and reassure ourselves that God is not too fussy.

None of this has much connection to reality, of course. God requires a lot, and He provides all that He asks of us. By grace you have been saved, through faith, and that is not your own doing, not because of works, lest any man should boast. He asks for faith, and He gives us the grace to make that happen. He asks for perfection, and He makes us perfectly righteous, by grace, through faith, not because of works.

This great work of God’s does not happen in a vacuum, on auto-pilot; it happens in scripture and in our hearts If and When we hear the truth about how God justifies us and sanctifies us.  So some people never hear this or come close to understanding it, and many in the churches and synagogues of the Judeo-Christian world hear it on one level but don’t understand, really, and don’t bear the fruit of it.

Born-again, Spirit-filled believers do understand this salvation, to a degree, because to understand it is salvation itself. Still, the problem above, trying to keep on looking good and minimizing God’s requirements, keeps most believers in a powerless compromise between self-effort and faith.

One kind of biblical believers are especially in position  to understand what God requires because on the surface they seem to be flirting with legalism, that is, trying to be good enough for God through religious effort. These are believers in Yeshua Messiah who are Jewish and still practicing some form of the Jewish religion. In fact, legalism is everywhere and has almost nothing to do with Jewish practice. But Messianic Jews (and the gentiles worshiping alongside them) do struggle with the fine points of how to follow Jesus and” keep Torah.”  That struggle is also the opportunity for a wonderful appropriation of the amazing salvation God has given to us.

There are many entrances into the kind of thinking that sets us free from guilty self-effort and releases the power of the Spirit in our lives. The one I will begin with is the word “rest.”  What does God require of us? That we rest in His perfect salvation. What does Torah tell us to do? Rest in Him: Realize our impotence and His Power, because, once we see these facts clearly, we are walking in the Spirit.

To see the whole message in my book, follow this link. Message to the Messianics

But I will develop it point by point here, and also notice from time to time what people are saying about Entering Rest.