When wanting to build any structure, it is best to do so on a solid foundation. For us at Following Messiah (FM), there’s no stronger foundation than the Word of God (see Matthew 7:24-27). Based on our study of His Word and God’s calling on our lives, we have formulated the following foundational principles.
IT’S TIME TO RESTORE
Religious tradition and liberal ideology are stripping away these foundational principles from God’s people. It’s our calling as a ministry to restore these principles back to His people.
PRINCIPLE #1: TO RESTORE A FOCUS ON THE KINGDOM OF GOD/HEAVEN (GOD AND HIS KINGDOM). Yeshua (Jesus) spent His years of ministry proclaiming “the good news (or “Gospel”; Heb. besorah; Gk. euangelion) of the Kingdom of Heaven/ God. He did not proclaim a religion – but a Kingdom, and it is time that we return to this original focus. As King, God is the One who determines what is right or wrong, not us, and it is His plan and purpose for our lives that we need to seek and live out (Matthew 6:33). There’s more to biblical belief and living than “getting saved,” and it is found in the Kingdom.
PRINCIPLE #2: TO RESTORE A FOCUS ON THE HOLINESS OF GOD & HOLY LIVING. Many Americans have fallen away from acknowledging the holiness of God and reflecting that reality in their lifestyle. Numerous articles have been written and published by a variety of authors discussing the sad reality that there’s no difference in lifestyle and the amount of sin being practiced between those within the God’s people and those who are not. People who are not in a relationship with God see this and talk about the “hypocrisy” within the church. God is a holy God, and He has commanded us numerous times in His Word as His people to live holy (or sanctified) lives before Him, and so it is time for us to restore a biblically-centered understanding of holiness and holy living.
PRINCIPLE #3: TO RESTORE A FOCUS ON THE COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF THE OLD & NEW TESTAMENTS. There are many ministers today who do not believe that “All Scripture” is “God- breathed” or that it is “profitable” to the lives of believers today. Unlike these ministers, we do not believe that any part of the Bible has been “annulled,” “done away with,” or “set aside,” but like Paul writes Timothy,
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:26-17)
Notice that Paul does not write, “All scripture was profitable before the cross, but now that Yeshua (Jesus) has died and rose again, now only parts of it are profitable.” Yet if you listen to many ministers today, this is exactly what they are teaching. We need to return to a fully comprehensive view and study of the Scriptures that involves both Testaments (from Genesis to Revelation), not the “buffet style form” we see being taught today.
PRINCIPLE #4: TO RESTORE A FOCUS ON DISCIPLESHIP AND MINISTRY TRAINING. An unhealthy perspective of ministry has been in the church for a number of centuries, and it is time to address it: that only the pastors in the church are “called to ministry.” The fact is that every believer who is part of God’s kingdom has been called to engage in the Kingdom at some level, whether we’ve been called to minister to our family and friends; to those in our neighborhood; to people at our job; to people at a local group or congregation; to people in our village, town, city, state, or country; or to minister in another country. God has placed His commission in every believer’s heart, and so it is our desire to reach out and to educate and train people so that they can be fully equipped to do whatever level of ministry God has called them to do.