Christians in the new covenantal faith hold the belief that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ, not through adherence to the Jewish law or customs, especially first-century Judaism.
One of the direct oppositions to the teachings of the Apostles of Christ in the early Church was known as the Judaizers, a group of early Christians who believed that adherence to Jewish law and customs was necessary for salvation. The Apostle Paul addressed the issue of the Judaizers in his letters to the Galatians and the Colossians (and in the other epistles of the New Testament). In Galatians 2:16, he writes, "yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified." Similarly, in Colossians 2:16-17, he writes, "Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ."
The early Church Fathers and Councils also addressed the issue of the Judaizers. The Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15), which took place in the first century, declared that Gentile converts to Christianity did not need to adhere to Jewish customs in order to be saved. The early Church Father Irenaeus, writing in the second century, stated that the Judaizers were promoting a false gospel that was at odds with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
In addition, the Church Father Tertullian wrote in his book "Against Marcion" that the Judaizers were promoting a "reversion to Judaism" that was incompatible with the Christian faith. He also pointed out that the Jewish law was given to the Jews, not to the Gentiles, and that Christians were not required to observe it.
The followings are some quotes from the early Church Fathers that condemn Judaizing Christianity:
Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35-107): "It is absurd to profess Christ Jesus, and to Judaize. For Christianity did not embrace Judaism, but Judaism Christianity" (Letter to the Magnesians 10:3).
Justin Martyr (c. 100-165): "If you, who are the sons of Abraham, have indeed done the works of Abraham, you would not seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the works of your father" (Dialogue with Trypho 121:5).
Tertullian (c. 155-240): "The Jews are the most miserable of people. They are not only abandoned by God, but cursed by Him. Theirs is a defiled religion, an obstinate blindness, a sordid and abominable superstition. They are Judaizers, a perverse sect, enemies of the truth" (Adversus Judaeos 10:6).
Origen (c. 185-254): "We have already shown, in the course of our remarks, that the Jews do not have the truth. They are Judaizers who have been cursed by God" (Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans 5:5).
Cyril of Alexandria (c. 376-444): "We must beware of those who are Judaizers, who claim to be Christians, but still follow the practices of the Jews. They are enemies of the cross of Christ, and their end is destruction" (Commentary on Galatians 5:12).
The quotes above did not mean that the early Church Fathers and Apostles were anti-semitic, but against Judaizing Christianity.
Today, Christians in the new covenantal faith continue to reject the teachings of the Judaizers. We believe that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ, and that adherence to Jewish law and customs is not necessary for salvation. We affirm the teachings of the early Church Fathers and Councils, and we hold fast to the biblical teachings of the apostle Paul and the other New Testament writers.
Christians in the new covenantal faith are against the Judaizers, who promote adherence to Jewish law and customs as necessary for salvation. We affirm that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone, and we reject any teachings that are at odds with the biblical and historical teachings of the Christian faith.
Read why Christians follow the Christian liturgical calendar instead of Jewish liturgical calendar.