What is a “Judaizer?”

A “Judaizer” is someone who says that one must become Jewish to be saved. In the first century, the School of Shammai taught that a non-Jew must be ritually circumcised to be saved (Acts 15.1). The Jerusalem Council decided that they did not, but that a non-Jew who believed must obey the Torah as it applies to them (Acts 15.26-27). As we can see, it has nothing to do with teaching the Torah to anyone. Every believer should have a desire to keep the Torah, or you are not a true believer (1 John 2.3-4). A Judaizer is one who says you must be Jewish to be saved, and the very name alludes to that. This would include man-made ritual circumcision. This concept is wrong and it was dealt with in the Book of Acts and the book of Galatians. There were people coming to the non-Jews saying that they had to convert to Judaism to be saved, and this involved ritual circumcision and the book of Galatians makes it clear that one does not. Ritual circumcision should not be confused with Abrahamic circumcision which is commanded by God to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Gen 17.9-14). Paul did an Abrahamic circumcision to Timothy in Acts 16.1-3, but not a ritual circumcision to Titus (Gal 2.3).

The commandments apply to both Jews and non-Jews (Num 15.14-16), and both groups have a place in the Olive Tree of God (Rom 11.16-24), but both groups don’t always do the same things (1 Cor 7.19-21). A non-Jew does not need to be ritually circumcised to become Jewish to be saved. We are, however, commanded to teach the Torah and this is not “judaizing.” It is telling the people the truth and to obey God. Does a person “judaize” when they tell someone to tell the truth? Does a person “judaize” when they tell their children not to steal? Does a person “judaize” if you tell someone not to murder? Does a person “judaize” if they tell people not to make or worship graven images? Of course not, and neither are you “judaizing” when you tell someone they should keep the other commandments that apply to them either.

There is a false doctrine that says if you keep the commandments you have fallen from grace. In other words, one demonstrates his faith in God by NOT keeping the commandments. This is a ridiculous doctrine. It does show how deceived these people are. People actually think they show God their faith by disobeying his commandments, and that it demonstrates that you believe him! In truth, you obey God because you love him and want to please your father, and that is what demonstrates that you believe in him. Many “believe in God” but they don’t believe “believe him.” Faith is action, and that action has to be consistent with his word, not what we think we should do. We are to obey the commandments that apply to us, and this goes for every man (Ecc 12.13). Any teaching that tells you that you don’t have to keep the commandments and that you are “free from the law” should be rejected and you need to find another teacher. They are showing a great ignorance about what these terms even mean.

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