Congregation Shuvah Yisrael Articles of Faith
1. We believe in one God, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, and the creator of heaven and earth. From the hidden depths of the Av (Father) who is Aiyn Sof (the eternal one) emanates eternally the Ben (Son) and the Ruach (Spirit).
2. We believe that God created humanity in His image to serve as creation’s priest and sovereign and to share in the Divine glory, but through disobedience human beings have forfeited the immediacy of that glory, and have become subject to their yetzer hara (evil inclination) and to the power of death.
3. We believe that God chose Israel – the Jewish people – to be the harbinger and first fruits of a renewed humanity, living in perpetual covenant with Him. Though often straying, Israel has not been disinherited, but remains a holy people, abiding in the covenant love and faithfulness of the One who continues to work out His purposes for her and through her. We believe that in His gracious love God gave to Israel the holy Torah as a perpetual sign of His covenant with her, and the holy Land of Israel and Shabbat as a pledge of the World to Come.
4. We believe that in the fullness of time the Divine Son, the eternal Word and Wisdom of God, became a human being, Yeshua the Messiah, a true and perfect Israelite and a fitting representative and one-man embodiment of the entire nation. Through miraculous birth into the House of David, the Messiah has effected a perpetual and indelible connection between the nation of Israel and the malchyot hashamayim (Kingdom of Heaven). We believe that He lived as the consummate holy tzaddik (righteous man), fulfilling without blemish the mitzvot (commandments) of the Torah and bringing to perfection the human expression of the Divine image. We believe that He died in atonement for the sins of Israel and of the entire world, was raised bodily from the dead, and ascended to heaven; and that He will return in glory at the end of the age to judge the world, to save those who belong to Him, and to accomplish the final Tikkun Olam (Mending of the World), the ultimate consummation of creation.
5. We believe that forgiveness of sins, spiritual renewal, union with Messiah, the empowering and sanctifying presence of the indwelling Ruach HaKodesh, and the confident hope of eternal life and a glorious resurrection are now available to all, Jew and Gentile, who put their faith in Yeshua, the Messiah. He is therefore the Mediator between God and all creation.
6. We believe that the Body of Messiah is a community chosen and beloved by God, a marriage of two equal but not identical parties, the Messianic Jewish Synagogue and the Gentile Christian Church, united in a common acknowledgment of Yeshua as Adonai (LORD), Redeemer of Israel and the Nations. This one kahal (assembly) existing as two differentiated kehilot (communities) is called to a life of mutual support and encouragement, and to sacrificial service and public testimony to Yeshua. Its unity and love is a sign of God’s purpose in Messiah for Israel and the Nations, and a confirmation of Yeshua’s role as the One sent by the Father. Messianic Tevilah (Immersion) and HaZikaron (Memorial Meal) are messianic mitzvot, which ritually and mystically enjoins members of the Body of Messiah to one another in the Messiah.
7. We believe that the Messianic Jewish Synagogue is an essential part of national Israel, and as such lives in accordance with the Torah and participates in the wider life of the Jewish people. As Israel’s Messianic first-fruits she is a prophetic sign to the Jewish People of its ultimate destiny in history – salvation in Yeshua – and also a sign to the entire Messianic community of its ineradicable Jewish roots.
8. We believe that the Gentile Christian Church becomes part of an enlarged multi-national Israel through union with Yeshua, the one-man Israel, and through union with the Messianic Jewish Synagogue. The Gentile Christian Church is now part of a holy, priestly people; a renewed eschatological Israel founded on Yeshua’s twelve chosen Emissaries, and participates in the fulfillment of Israel’s mission to be a light to the nations. At the same time, neither the Gentile Christian Church nor the Body of Messiah as a whole is a replacement for national Israel (the Jewish people), nor does the Gentile Christian Church inherit fully the promises given to national Israel. Likewise, the Torah, which serves in all its particularity as the constitution of national Israel (the Jewish people), does not function as the fundamental rule of life for the Gentile Church, though it does provide spiritual nourishment as a witness to Messiah and essential life principles that are of universal application.
9. We believe that the Hebrew Scriptures and the Brit Chadasha (renewed covenant) Writings are divinely inspired and are of supreme and final authority in all matters of faith and life. We also believe that Rabbinic Judaism is the living link that ties contemporary Jews with their biblical past, and that Messianic Judaism can and must draw upon the wealth of that tradition in developing its way of life and thought. Furthermore, we affirm the riches of insight into the mystery of Messiah and His will, which may be found in the Christian theological tradition, and acknowledge the need for the Messianic Jewish Synagogue to draw also upon this wealth.