Messianic Jews accept Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach) as the Messiah yet retain a Jewish lifestyle. After conversion, they continue to observe Jewish holidays, rituals, and customs. Theology tends to vary widely among Messianic Jews.
Messianic Jews' Beliefs
Baptism - Baptism is done by immersion, of people who are old enough to understand and accept Yeshua as Messiah, or Savior.
Bible - Messianic Jews use the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, in their services, but also use the New Covenant, or B'rit Hadasha. They believe both are the inerrant, inspired Word of God.
Clergy - A rabbi, which means teacher, is the spiritual leader of a Messianic congregation or synagogue.
Circumcision - Messianic Jews hold that male believers must be circumcised, since it is a part of keeping the Covenant
Communion - The Messianic worship service does not include communion or the Lord's Supper.
Dietary Laws - Some Messianic Jews observe kosher dietary laws, others do not.
Gifts of the Spirit - Many Messianic Jews are charismatic, speaking in tongues. They believe that the Holy Spirit's gift of healing also continues today.
Holidays - Holy days observed include those recognized by Judaism: Passover, Sukkot, Yom Kippur, and Rosh Hashanah.
Jesus Christ - Messianic Jews refer to Jesus by his Hebrew name, Yeshua. They accept him as the Messiah promised in the Old Testament, and believe he died an atoning death for the sins of humanity, was raised from the dead and is alive today.
Sabbath - Like traditional Jews, Messianic Jews observe the Sabbath starting at sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday.
Sin - Sin is a transgression against the Torah and is cleansed by the shed blood of Yeshua.
Trinity - Messianic Jews vary in their beliefs about the Triune God: Father (HaShem); Son (HaMeshiach); and the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh). Some accept the Trinity while others say God is not (or cannot be) a man (Jesus).
Practices of Messianic Jews
Sacraments - The only sacrament practiced by Messianic Jews is baptism.
Worship Service - The nature of worship differs from congregation to congregation. Prayers may be read from the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, in Hebrew or the local language. The service may include songs of praise to God, canting, and spontaneous speaking in tongues.
A Messianic congregation may include Jews who carefully follow Jewish laws, Jews who have a more liberal lifestyle, and Christians who do not follow Jewish laws. Messianic synagogues follow the same design as traditional synagogues. Some Messianic Jews worship at evangelical Christian churches.
Traditional Jews consider Messianic Jews to be Christians. Messianic Jews see themselves as completed Jews, since they have found their Messiah. In Israel, sporadic persecution of Messianic Jews has occurred.
(Sources: ReligiousTolerance.org, LawUs.com, iamcs.org, messianic.com, shema.com)