KEY CONCEPTS of MESSIANIC JUDAISM
We believe that Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth is the promised Messiah (anointed one) foretold by the Hebrew prophets long ago. He is the prophet like Moses, priest like Melchizedek, king like David, and servant like Joseph. He is the Word from God who was involved in creation. He is the Son of Man, who while distinct from the Ancient of Days, nevertheless receives worship as only God deserves. He is the true tabernacle and temple, to which all previous structures pointed. He is the ultimate Passover lamb and the firstfruits from among the dead. Among many other things, He is the rightful King of Israel, and from there He will reign over the nations when He returns.
The Jewish people (k'lal Yisrael, community of Israel) worldwide have a perpetual calling as a distinct people (am segulah) unto God. Secularization and assimilation are threats against God's promises that are to be taken seriously. Historically, Jewish acceptance of the Gospel meant abandonment of Judaism, but it was not this way in the beginning. We believe Jesus and Judaism are not and should not be mutually exclusive.
Jewish life is centered around Torah, which means "instruction." Specifically, the Torah refers to the Pentateuch or first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy). But we also use the term to refer to all of God's instructions, because all of the Bible is Torah. We do not use the term to refer to traditional Jewish law (halacha) as these are instructions of man, not God. We do not oppose Jewish law as long as it does not contradict God's written Word.
Following Torah is not always easy, and we do not claim to follow it perfectly. We are always growing in our understanding and application of Scripture, and always have room for improvement. We recognize that the Torah is also full of grace as well as law.
Avodah is an interesting word. The root avad means "to serve", hence avodah means "service". But since the term historically was used in relation to the Temple service, it also became synonymous with "worship". Thus we realize that we are called to both worship and work, service to God and service to Man. There is no veil of separation between the sacred and the secular. All service in this life is done unto God, regardless of who the immediate benefactor is. In light of this we see that g'milut chasadim (acts of loving-kindness) is another form of avodah.