Judaizers...Is That What We Are?
It is not uncommon for us, as 119 Ministries as well as other followers of the Torah, to be labeled as “Judaizers” or for it to be said we are “Judaizing”. Yet how many know what they are saying? What does it mean to be a Judaizer? Are we Judaizers?
What a Judaizer Is
According to one article on NewAdvent.org, judaizers are/were: “A party of Jewish Christians in the Early Church, who either held that circumcision and the observance of the Mosaic law were necessary for salvation and in consequence wished to impose them on the Gentile converts, or who at least considered them as still obligatory on the Jewish Christians.” Another article on biblestudytools.com defines the term “judaizer” to be “Those who adopted Jewish religious practices or sought to influence others to do so” and “Septuagint not only uses ioudaizo[Ioudai?zw]to translate the Hebrew mityahadim ("to become a Jew"), but adds that these Gentiles were circumcised.”
The idea of “judaizing” relates to a Gentile becoming a Jew, or one who follows all of the traditions and customs of those in Judaism in order to achieve salvation. Physical salvation is the concept from Esther 8:17 where non-Jews were converting in order to avoid being slaughtered by the Jews of the time. The concept is brought up again in Galatians 2:14 as “living like a Jew”. We know from the context of Galatians that there was a group of people who were teaching that in order for a Gentile to obtain salvation they must convert to Judaism and be circumcised. If they were not circumcised, then they were not saved. This would appear to be what a “judaizer” of that day was; you may know them by a different name, the Circumcision Party. For more on Galatians 2:14, please see our written teaching by clicking here. We see a related story also in Acts 15; for more on that, please see our video teaching Acts 15: Obedience or Legalism.
Are those at 119 Ministries Judaizers?
If a “Judaizer” is one that believes and teaches others that they need to follow all of the laws and customs of the Judaism faith in order to obtain salvation, then we do not fit into the label of “Judaizer”. This is, in fact, the exact opposite of what we subscribe to. The Word is clear that salvation comes only through the Messiah, Yeshua HaMashiach, not through any works of obedience that we may do. Living a life with the understanding that one can be saved by works nullifies the work of the Messiah as a sacrifice for us and negates the Word of God as a whole. The Bible says we are saved by grace, only through grace, not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9). To state one can be saved by works makes God a liar and His word untrustworthy.
We believe and teach the Word of God is infallible (Psalm 33:4, John 17:17). We believe and teach that salvation comes by grace through faith in Messiah (Ephesians 2:8-9, Acts 16:31). We believe and teach that we obey all of Yahweh’s commandments to the best of our ability to show our love for Him (1 John 5:2-3). We are not, by definition, Judaizers; but instead are more akin to followers of “the Way” (Acts 24:14-15).
We leave you with a final thought from Paul in 1 Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 1:30-31
30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
We hope that this blog has blessed you; and remember, continue to test everything, even us!
Definitions of Judaizers