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A Discussion of Messianic Judaism, the Emerging Messianic Jewish Paradigm, and Related Leadership Issues from the Preoccupied Mind of Rabbi Stuart Dauermann, PhD.

All Contents ©2004-2007 Stuart Dauermann - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Hashivenu Core Principle #3 - On Yeshua, The Fullness of Torah

Hashivenu is an educational foundation established in 1997 by myself and a group of friends. This is the third of seven core principles which help to define those commitments we most deeply hold in common.

Hashivenu Core Principle #3 states: Yeshua is the fullness of Torah.

As long as theological statements have been codified, the Torah has been viewed against Grace. This phenomenon has colored the perception and understanding of many generations of people regarding Torah. People who have seen the world through the Christian worldview have, along with the many advantages, accepted a distorted view of Torah. To them, the Torah is bad, the Gospel is good. Gospel is life and freedom; Torah is seen as slavery and death. With this view as their starting point, it would have been impossible to avoid the inevitability of a negative view of the Law.

With the birth of the Messianic movement, Jewish believers began to have a new self-perception in which their Jewishness was something good and positive and not something to be "saved from." Yet the misperception of Torah persisted as that which was, at best, a "schoolmaster to lead one to Christ" and, at worst, "the temptress who seeks to seduce its victims from salvation by grace through the lure of a salvation of works righteousness."

The real problem with the Torah is not the Torah but the human misunderstanding of Scripture. The Torah was given by G-d at Mt. Sinai. Yeshua was more than a latter born Moshe. He is the Word who was in the Beginning, through whom the world was created. He is the G-d of Israel, the G-d who gave the Torah to the sons of Israel through the hand of Moshe. The commandments of the Torah are Yeshua's commandments, not an arbitrary set of rules or rituals. They are a revelation of the heart of G-d; they are a reflection of Yeshua's heart. They cannot be understood to be G-d's lesser commands. Yeshua's teachings do not permit such a view. Those who wish to be more like Him must follow the Torah's teachings because they are His very heart. This is the true meaning of the Torah as a schoolmaster to lead us to Messiah. The Torah is not a divine introduction service, arranging blind dates, after which its usefulness is completed. It is a schoolmaster, a teacher -- to guide and train us to become more like Him because this was how He lived and what was in His heart.

The Torah is not a lesser revelation of Yeshua, like an uncompleted puzzle. Simply attaching an addendum to a prayer or commandment does not make it any more complete than it was prior to the addendum. The mitzvah is already complete in that it reflects the heart of Yeshua. When a mitzvah is completed as it was intended when given, it reflects the heart of G-d. Our goal should not be to amend every prayer, commandment, and ritual with Messianic nomenclature. Rather, our goal should be to follow Torah, having faith and a desire to connect with G-d through the act of following. Surely, this was the life Yeshua lived and the life He desires His people to live. Every act of observance is an opportunity to connect with Him. He is the fullness of Torah. Our lives should be so