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Are We Jewish, Christian, or Both?

If we’re Jewish and we believe in Jesus, are we Jews or are we Christian?!

Let’s start with some definitions.  According to the Bible, we’re Jewish if we can trace our lineage somewhere along the line to the biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  When God called and chose Abraham to be the starting point of a particular people, He said, “Through and your seed, all the families of the earth will be blessed” (The book of Genesis, chapter 12, verse 3).  Two generations later, God confirmed that call to Abraham’s grandson, Jacob.

Later, God changed Jacob’s name to Israel and gave him twelve sons — the sons of Israel, who later became the founders of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Simply put, we’re Jewish by birth, heritage, history and culture.  By contrast, no one is a Christian by birth.  In fact, people aren’t Christians because they attend a particular church or follow certain traditions.  Being a genuine Christian is something much more personal than that.  People become Christians by believing a particular message, and by asking forgiveness from a particular Person. 

The particular message is called the Gospel, or the Good News – Jesus the Messiah died as the payment for all of our sins, just as the Hebrew Scriptures said that He would.  He was buried, and then He rose from the grave on the third day, once again, according to the Hebrew Scriptures. 

The particular Person is Jesus Himself.  When we ask Him to forgive us for all the wrong things that we’ve said, thought and done, when we resolve to repent or turn away from our former ways in order to live according to His ways, then He does indeed forgive us, and He give us the gift of eternal life – a vibrant, personal relationship with now and for all of eternity.  That moment when we repent and when he forgives is the moment that we become “Christians” — a title based on a Greek word which means a follower of the Messiah.

Simply put, each one of us is either Jewish or gentile (non-Jewish) by birth.  And each of us, whether Jewish or gentile, becomes a Christian by faith.  No one is born a Christian.  We have to have a second birth or be born again.

Questions?  Ideas?  Tell us wat you think.

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