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What is it to be a Believer?

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What is a Jew? What is a Christian? What does it mean to be these things?

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What does it mean to be a Jew or Christian?

Sometimes as we live one may wonder what we are all about. What does it mean to be a Jew or Christian? What makes us really different? Why should we pursue these things and put forth the effort it takes to live a life of obedience and humbleness? If we summarize most of the Holy days they basically can be expressed as “ They tried to kill us. They failed. Let us eat.” So from all appearances we are a people of survivors. Is that it though? Are we simply a people that are known for escaping tragedies or is their anything else? There is absolutely more to being a Jew and a Christian. That is what we will review today.
To begin with we will read in B’resheet to set this up here we see Adonai speaking with Abram. Abram is trying to establish his descendant. Adonai tells him Eli’ezer will not be his descendant but someone from his own body. Then in verse 5 we read this:

5 Then he brought him outside and said, “Look up at the sky, and count the stars—if you can count them! Your descendants will be that many!”

To begin with we will read in B’resheet to set this up here we see
David H. Stern, Complete Jewish Bible: An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B’rit Hadashah (New Testament), 1st ed. (Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications, 1998), .
This is you, this is who you are. You are an answer to a promise made by the creator of the universe to one whom he loved dearly. When Adonai made this promise to Abram he was thinking of you. You are one of the stars in the sky that night many thousands of years ago as Adonai and Abram sat outside the tent and looked in to the sky. Abram was promised he would be made into a great nation. We are that nation. We are the children of promise. Sha’ul affirms this in
The Scriptures Chapter 4

28 And we, brothers, as Yitsḥaq was, are children of promise.

So consider this for a moment listen to these words and contemplate them in your heart. You are part of Adonai’s promise to Abram.
Baruch Hashem it is enough that we are a promise but his has also made us the bringers of light. So what is this light? It is good to say and beautiful to read but what does it mean? How are we the bringers of light. We bring light in several ways.
The light of hope is carried by us the hope of justice to all peoples. We have the prophecy of Yesha’yahu in
my chosen one, in whom I take pleasure.
I have put my Spirit on him;
he will bring justice to the Goyim.
2  He will not cry or shout;
no one will hear his voice in the streets.
3  He will not snap off a broken reed
or snuff out a smoldering wick.
He will bring forth justice according to truth;
4  he will not weaken or be crushed
until he has established justice on the earth,
and the coastlands wait for his Torah.”
David H. Stern, Complete Jewish Bible: An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B’rit Hadashah (New Testament), 1st ed. (Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications, 1998), Is 42.

42 1  “Here is my servant, whom I support,

my chosen one, in whom I take pleasure.

I have put my Spirit on him;

he will bring justice to the Goyim.

2  He will not cry or shout;

no one will hear his voice in the streets.

3  He will not snap off a broken reed

or snuff out a smoldering wick.

He will bring forth justice according to truth;

4  he will not weaken or be crushed

until he has established justice on the earth,

and the coastlands wait for his Torah.”

We bring the hope of justice with us. We bring a message that our God is just and righteousness is rewarded by him. This prophecy is more than hope because it actually has come true. We read it in

17 This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Yesha‘yahu the prophet,

18  “Here is my servant, whom I have chosen,

my beloved, with whom I am well pleased;

I will put my Spirit on him,

and he will announce justice to the Gentiles.

19  He will not fight or shout,

no one will hear his voice in the streets;

20  he will not snap off a broken reed

or snuff out a smoldering wick

until he has brought justice through to victory.

21  In him the Gentiles will put their hope.”

In Isaiah we can continue to read how this light or hope is not just limited to justice. This light opens the eyes of the blind. In other words this light is the cure to despair.

5  Thus says God, ADONAI,

who created the heavens and spread them out,

who stretched out the earth and all that grows from it,

who gives breath to the people on it

and spirit to those who walk on it:

6  “I, ADONAI, called you righteously,

I took hold of you by the hand,

I shaped you and made you a covenant for the people,

to be a light for the Goyim,

7  so that you can open blind eyes,

free the prisoners from confinement,

those living in darkness from the dungeon.

8  I am ADONAI; that is my name.

I yield my glory to no one else,

nor my praise to any idol.

9  See how the former predictions come true;

and now new things do I declare—

before they sprout I tell you about them.”

There is a disease that has gripped the world since the garden and it is called SIN. This SIN corrupts all things and ruins all things. Well if you are corrupted by the SIN can you remove or fix the SIN. No you cannot. If that is where the sentence ended what would you have? If you where given a prognosis of certain imminent death and you had the false understanding that there was nothing that could be done and nothing was coming after that death what might you feel? Despair. This world is infected with SIN and when one doe snot have the light then they are also infected with despair. We bring the light of truth to fight the darkness to open the eyes of the blind and to defeat the despair.
Another light we carry is the light of freedom. We bring the light that sets captives free. This is both the slaves physically and spiritually. We have a witness of this in our freedom from Mistrayim. In D’varim we remember:

6 “ ‘I am ADONAI your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, where you lived as slaves.

and again we remember in chapter 6 verse 12.

then be careful not to forget ADONAI, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, where you lived as slaves.

As a people we where slaves and freed from slavery. It was this freeing of the people from slavery in Egypt that sets the pattern of freedom found through out the scriptures. Slaves where freed at specific times, slaves to debt where freed from that debt, as a people enslaved by other countries we have been freed time and again. Perhaps today the most relevant and needed type of freedom is freedom from SIN the spiritual freedom. Yeshua addresses this plainly in Yochanan

31 So Yeshua said to the Judeans who had trusted him, “If you obey what I say, then you are really my talmidim, 32 you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered, “We are the seed of Avraham and have never been slaves to anyone; so what do you mean by saying, ‘You will be set free’?” 34 Yeshua answered them, “Yes, indeed! I tell you that everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin. 35 Now a slave does not remain with a family forever, but a son does remain with it forever. 36 So if the Son frees you, you will really be free!

How can we recognize SIN or how can we not SIN. We have freedom from SIN in that we follow a Torah of freedom. We see this in Ya’akov

23 For whoever hears the Word but doesn’t do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror, 24 who looks at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But if a person looks closely into the perfect Torah, which gives freedom, and continues, becoming not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work it requires, then he will be blessed in what he does.

If we look at this the light we bring is the Yeshua and the light he shines is the Torah. Yeshua is like the sun in that he shines. The Torah is like the rays of the sun that it brings vision. One cannot look at the sun directly one must look at the rays. Yeshua is the great light and he emits the light that is Torah. We carry those lights.
One is also what they do we just read not to be mere hears of the word but also doer’s. One is also defined by what they do. What is it that we do? We are witness of what Adonai has done in our lives. We are witness of what Adonai has done for the world. How can we witness this through doing and not just hearing. James also spoke about this in chapter 2 verse 12
The Scriptures Chapter 2

12 So speak and so do as those who are to be judged by a Torah of freedom.

1  The Spirit of Adonai ELOHIM is upon me,

because ADONAI has anointed me

to announce good news to the poor.

He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted;

to proclaim freedom to the captives,

to let out into light those bound in the dark;

2  to proclaim the year of the favor of ADONAI

and the day of vengeance of our God;

to comfort all who mourn,

3  yes, provide for those in Tziyon who mourn,

giving them garlands instead of ashes,

the oil of gladness instead of mourning,

a cloak of praise instead of a heavy spirit,

so that they will be called oaks of righteousness

planted by ADONAI, in which he takes pride.

4  They will rebuild the ancient ruins,

restore sites long destroyed;

they will renew the ruined cities,

destroyed many generations ago.

5  Strangers will stand and feed your flocks,

foreigners plow your land and tend your vines;

6  but you will be called cohanim of ADONAI,

spoken of as ministers to our God.

You will feed on the wealth of nations,

and revel in their riches.

By living out Torah in our actions and in our speech we are a witness to the world about Adonai. This is also our duty and privilege. Adonai choose Israel to be the nation of priests to deliver his message to the whole world. In we have an often quoted set of verses. They are often quoted cause they are true and accurate.
A promise, a hope, a witness

1 1 From: Kefa, an emissary of Yeshua the Messiah

To: God’s chosen people, living as aliens in the Diaspora—in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, the province of Asia, and Bythinia—2 chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obeying Yeshua the Messiah and for sprinkling with his blood:

Grace and shalom be yours in full measure.

9 But you are a chosen people, the King’s cohanim, a holy nation, a people for God to possess! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; before, you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

What are we a witness of the prophecy in Hosea 2:25(23)
Peter is writing God’s chosen people, Israel, who are

I will sow her for me in the land.

I will have pity on Lo-Ruchamah [Unpitied];

I will say to Lo-‘Ammi [Not-My-People], ‘You are my people’;

and they will say, ‘You are my God.’ ”

We are a witness of the goodness of our God. He loves us, he forgives us, he wants good for us, and we are his .
A promise, a hope, a witness
We are the promise fulfilled by the creator of all things to a man on a starry night. We the light bringers to a dark world in desperate need of true sight. We are the witness to the goodness of the creator for all his children. We are Jews and Christians.
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