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Messianic Foundations

 

Messianic Foundations
Artwork by Steve Grier © 1997 RBC Ministries. Used by permission.

This being the first installment on Messianic Foundations, it seemed prudent to first ask the question, “Why?” Why study the Scriptures from a Messianic perspective, or more appropriately, from a Messianic Jewish perspective?

A lengthy dissertation could ensue on the theological reasons and potential benefits to be derived. But rather than get bogged down in those details, let’s keep it simple. The Bible is not nearly as complex as man often makes it out to be. Instead, let’s take a look at the euphemism, “To know where you’re going, you must first know where you’ve been.” Hindsight it is said, is always 20/20, but this is true only if you stop long enough to take an introspective look into the past. It is by design of the Almighty that the word “remember,” appears 31 times in the first five books of the Bible. Twenty-one other times we are commanded to “make a memorial.” Without constant repetition and review of biblical principles and history, we forget.

Ask many Christians today what the full blessing of the legacy of Abraham is, and you would probably witness a set of shrugged shoulders.

Alongside the commands to remember, the Lord built into His system a cycle of daily, weekly, monthly, and annual events to keep the memory alive as “perpetual statutes,” to never forget that it was God who redeemed His children out of slavery—a foretaste of an even greater redemption to come.

Galatians 3:29 states that believers who are not Jewish-born are adopted children of Abraham, “heirs according to promise.” Obviously, the lion’s share of that inheritance is our justification through faith in Jesus. Yet an inheritance often encompasses so much more—the passing on of a legacy. Unfortunately, ask many Christians today what the full blessing of the legacy of Abraham is, and you would probably witness a set of shrugged shoulders.

In many ways, we have become like the prodigal son. We have left our Abrahamic legacy to pursue other matters, but with unrelenting hope, our Father vigilantly watches the horizon waiting for our return to His inheritance. Not in some legalistic fashion, to take up the yoke of a works-oriented faith, but rather to understand the fullness of what has been preserved for us, and to reclaim it as our birthright.

God does nothing in a vacuum. Everything came out of something. This is true throughout the Word of God, from Genesis through Revelation. In the beginning, the Spirit of God hovered over the waters and light was created. Every step of creation grew out of the one before it. Even man, created out of the dust of the earth, had a pre-existent form or quality. Likewise Eve, was formed—not out of thin air—but out of Adam. There is always some element in place that God works through, whether creating the earth or feeding the multitudes with fishes and loaves. It is likewise true in our Spiritual life. We had a being before coming to Christ, and now we are a new creation—formed out of the old one.

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Category: Biblical Studies, Winter 1999

About the Author: Kevin M. Williams, Litt.D., H.L.D. has served in Messianic ministries since 1987 and has written numerous articles and been a featured speaker at regional and international conferences on Messianic Judaism.

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