Q. The leader of a Bible study I attend group is a Messianic Jew. He said the early church for the first 300 years celebrated the feasts of Israel. I have been around a few Messianic Jews and know that they do continue to celebrate the feasts. My question is – when Paul penned the Galatian Epistle and talked about the keeping of the Mosaic Law vs. Faith in Christ – was he also including the feasts?
I strongly feel from scripture that there really should not be any distinction between Jew and Gentile because Ephesians and other Epistles make it very clear we are one in Christ and should be in Christ. While I certainly believe Hebraic teaching and understanding the old testament is vital to our walk with God – are we going back under the law in observing the feasts of Israel as Christians?
A. I don’t know where your Bible study leader got his information from, but the New Testament clearly made the observance of the Feasts of Israel optional for the Church long before 300 AD. Their primary value for us lies in their historical and prophetic significance. Both can be greatly enhanced by observing the feasts, but we’re under no obligation to do so.
In Romans 14:5 Paul wrote:
One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.
And in Colossians 2:16-17 he said:
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
In saying these things he made all religious celebrations optional, subject to our individual convictions.