|Our Vision - And Your Place in It|
Vice President Dr. H. Bruce Stokes answers the question: What is the UMB, and why be part of it?
The apostle Paul makes it clear in his letter to the Romans that Israel’s hardening toward the Gospel is an act of God for the benefit of the Gentiles. Salvation has come to Gentiles at the expense of Israel. But that does not mean that God has rejected Israel or that the Gentiles can boast of their acceptance. Because, Paul says, ultimately God will save all Israel. In other words, this hardening is a benefit to the Gentile but does not remove hope from Israel. How can this be?
Beyond explaining this mystery, Paul actually enlists the Gentile believers to assist him in reaching out to restore the remnant of Israel. He explains that the Gentiles will be used by God to bring Israel to faith in the Messiah. This happens when the promises made to Israel are being enjoyed by the Gentiles and that provokes Israel to jealousy. Paul actually wants to use his place as apostle to the Gentiles to enlarge this jealousy. This means that the faith and practice of Gentile Christians must in some way reflect the profound truths of the Torah and the Prophets, so that the unbelieving, or assimilated, or religious Jew will see a righteousness based on faith as the basis of salvation. And that saving faith is in Yeshua, the Messiah.
This then is the purpose of the UMB. Not another Jewish- Gentile group. Certainly we don’t need another organization to compete for our time, money, and effort. We are all busy enough. But we do need a channel of communication and a strategy that will allow us to facilitate the relational unity of Jews and Gentiles in the Messiah and, more importantly, to engage in a ministry of provoking Israel to jealousy so that they will see and desire what is rightfully theirs. After all, the Gospel is to the Jew first, not to reject or remove Israel, but in order that all Israel might be saved. To accomplish this, we must work together as Jews and Gentiles committed to the restoration and salvation of all Israel.
Individuals, families, and congregations who join with the UMB have an opportunity to participate with believers in Israel, America, and around the world from every possible background united by a common theme – demonstrating God’s faithfulness through the remnant of Israel. We are united in belief that God is bringing Israel to faith in her Messiah Yeshua, and that the Church is not truly complete without this emerging and authentic expression of Jewish faith in Messiah.
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