So many folks misunderstand why I do certain things in my life, and the things I do, they are so benign, so inoffensive, so harmless! In fact, they are positive, helpful to me in my walk, beneficial to those around me, and joyous! Further, they do not understand why I do not do certain things I used to do. Some of them get very belligerent, even hateful in their logic as to why I should not be being changed. Some allow Antisemitism to spew, simply because some of what I do looks “Jewish.” I am a Jew inwardly, more than I am “outwardly” by genetics. I am a Jew by “circumcision of the heart,” as commanded in the Torah: Deut 10:16, 30:6. The circumcised heart in Romans 2:29 is an echo of the past, not a new doctrine. What is a circumcised heart? One that no longer fights against the commandments of God. [see previous references]
First, I do not do what I do to appear more righteous than others. I do not do what I do because I think my “deeds” will save me. I do what I do simply because He said to do those things. The things I now refrain from, I refrain from because He said to, including all the Torah infractions listed in Galatians 5:19-21. I am delivered from the guilt of my sin by one thing alone, just as the Shlikhim [Apostles] declared when they told the world the “Good News”:
“This very Yeshua, Elohim has raised up, and we are all His witnesses. It is He who is exalted by the right hand of Elohim, and has received from HaAv the promise of The Ru’akh HaKodesh, and has poured out this gift which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, because he himself said, ‘ יהוה said to My Adon, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your foes your footstool.’ Therefore let all Beit Yisra’el know assuredly that Elohim has made this very Yeshua, whom you have executed, both יהוה and Mashi’akh.” When they heard these things, their hearts were sorrowful, and they said to Shimon and the rest of the Shlikhim, “Our brethren, what shall we do?” Then Shimon said to them, “Repent and be immersed, every one of you, in the Name of יהוה Yeshua, for the remission of sins, so that you may receive the gift of The Ru’akh HaKodesh. For the promise was made to you and to your children, and for all of those who are far off, even as many as the very Elohim shall call.” And he testified to them with many other words and besought them, saying, “Save yourselves from this sinful generation.”
To “repent”, in the minds of these 3500 Jews of Yisra’el 2000 years ago, meant to turn back to the Torah, the “Instructions” of God. And that is exactly what they did.
Sin is defined in the Brit Khadasha [New Testament] as breaking Torah commandments:
“Everyone who sins breaks Torah; indeed, sin IS breaking Torah.” I John 3:4
Love for God is defined by Yeshua as keeping His Commandments. It is also defined by Yokhanan [John], my favorite Shaliakh [Apostle, “sent one”].
“For this is the love of God, that we keep HIS mitzvot [commandments, instructions of the Torah]: and His mitzvot are NOT grievous.” I John 5:3
So, I do NOT try to save myself by keeping commandments. I obey Him, because I love Him.
Ya’akov [Jacob, Yeshua’s brother, known as James] tells us that our keeping His Commandments proves that we belong to Him:
“Trust without righteous deeds is death. Show me your trust without righteous deeds, and I [Ya’akov] will show you my trust BY MY righteous deeds.”
So, the things I do that make me seem “strange” [ I Peter 4:4 ] I do out of sheer love for Messiah. No other reason. I wear tzit-tziyot [Num 15], I eat biblical food [Lev 11], I observe the 7th Day, HIS Sabbath, and Passover, First Omer, Bikkurim, Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot, [Lev 23] and not s-nday church, Easter [Pagan Ishtar], Halloween [night of the dead], Christmas [birth of 1/3 of the trinity “Mithras”]. I refrain from eating meats He said are not food. I refrain from all manner of sexual impurity. I refrain from mixing His ways with the ways of this world. And for that, I am “weird”. Count me in that number, I’m nuts for Mashi’akh!
“He that says he abides in Him ought himself also so to walk His Halakha [walk as He walked.].” I John 2:6
Yeshua is Jewish, and so I do the same things He did, and that He still does! And this does make me look a bit Jewish. But, I am simply emulating Him, the King of the Jews. “Halakha” is a Jewish term that Yokhanan used in that verse to tell us that Yeshua is our Rabbi, the one who teaches us how to keep the Torah properly. Halakha means “how one interprets Torah”, literally, how one ‘walks’ out the Torah. There were teachers in the 1st century who all had different “halakha”, and the Brit Khadasha mentions some of them, and alludes to others: Hillel, Shammai, and Gamliel. Each of these men is quoted in the 2nd century document called “Mishnah”, and their “halakha” is taught in that book. Yeshua’s “halakha” is revealed in the gospels, and taught through correction and ‘halakhic commentary’ in Romans-Jude. And it does not violate the Torah of His Father. [Matt 5:17-19]
I understand it is strange in this western society so long overshadowed by papacy and religion. But, I also know that HIS instructions are eternal and sure, and beneficial to my life on every level. To find a way around them is being “stiffnecked”, EVEN IF one thinks they are relying on grace! Circumcision of the heart is agreement with His Word. Without adding to it, OR taking away from it. [Deut 4:2, Rev 22:19, speaking of the same books!]
It is the enemy of God that wants to deter His people from keeping His Commandments, NOT GOD:
“And the dragon [the adversary] was wroth with the woman [Yisra’el, the Kahal/Congregation], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, AND have the testimony of Yeshua HaMashiakh.” Rev 6 !!
Trust/faith without righteous deeds is death. I have found LIFE in trusting Him, and OBEYING Him. Call me weird. Deride my character. Say I’m in bondage. Those who do could not be further from the truth! Neither have they ever known the JOY of simple obedience! They do not know the Word of our Master, but follow deceieved men.