A Voice in the
Wilderness

site navigation

free newsletter

" the Faith of Christ "

    "For by grace you are saved through faith; and that [faith] not of yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Eph2:8)

    "and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the Law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith" (Php3:9)

    "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus." (Ga3:26)

    "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those believing into His name" (Jn1:12)

    "strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith" (Ac14:22)

    "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be like men, be strong." (1Co16:13)

    "and being fully assured that what He had promised He is also able to perform." (Ro4:21)

    "And Jesus answered and said to them, Have faith in God. For truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will be done, it will be to him, whatever he says." (Mk11:22-23)

These verses just quoted represent several different aspects to the word "faith". In the course of some studies and Q/As about the fact that faith for Salvation is the faith "of" Christ (not "in"), a subscriber e-mailed the following...
    "God, ie, Jesus see [sic] all things, nows [sic] all things, is aware of everything, doesn't hope anything.

    "Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    "So God does not have, and canot [sic] have faith!!"

First of all, we can do a search on the expression "faith of..." and we find Ro3:22,26, 4:12,16, Ga2:20, 3:22, Php3:9, Re14:12; all these having to do with the "faith of...Jesus/Christ"; thus, if Scripture says so, we know it is true. Certainly, most of the modern perversions have changed these to say, "faith -in- Jesus/Christ", and as such would likely make this person, with his postulation, more content.

However, let us remember something about Jesus Christ: He was born as "flesh and blood" (Heb2:14, 1Jn4:2; 1:2, Jn1:14) in order to pave the way for Salvation for humanity. When God provides the Resurrection for those who have died "in Christ" (1Th4:16), He paved the way by experiencing death first and then rising.

    "But now Christ has been raised from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep." (1Co15:20)
And as Christ did, so do the Believers...
    "For as in Adam everyone dies, even so in Christ everyone shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christís at His coming." (1Co15:22-23)
As flesh and blood Jesus had to also learn obedience to the things of humanity. (Heb5:8) When He hung on the cross His humanity cried out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Mk15:34) And near the end before He is crucified it says, "Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He was come from God and was going to God" (Jn13:3); such a statement suggests that Jesus' -humanity- did not start out being assured of His Deity. It was prophesied of Him, "For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good" (Is7:16) He did not pop out of Mary's womb fully developed and mature. And He also spent time in the wilderness to be tempted. (Mt4) If Jesus' humanity had not been 'capable' of sinning, such temptation would have been futile on satan's part. But the proof of His perfection was the fact that He was tempted "in all points" as we are "yet without sin" (Heb4:15) The taunt on the cross was, "He -trusted- in God" (Mt27:43) Jesus had been claiming "Before Abraham came to be, I AM" (Jn8:58) Does it not require an incredible amount of -faith- for a person born of a -human- woman to make such a claim! Faith is not -imagination-, but -substance-, truth and -evidence-.

Jesus taught "have faith in God"; if you have sufficient faith, you can tell this mountain to be moved and be tossed into the ocean, and it will happen. Jesus demonstrated His own faith, wherein he claimed "I always do those things that please [the Father]" (Jn8:29), by performing many works of power: healing people, casting out demons, calming the stormy seas, multiplying bread from a handful of bread and fish to feed multitudes, withering up a fig tree by the -word- of His mouth. All the "signs" He performed. (Jn12:37)

If a person does a search on all the passages that speak of the faith "of" Christ, the context is that part of Salvation which -God- 'provides'. Saving faith is "not of ourselves" but is a "gift" from God. Wherein does that gift reside? In the One who went before. Jesus in faith knew He was the Son of God, and in faith went to the cross, knowing the Father had given Him the authority to lay down His life and take it again. (Jn10:17-18)

While we are not Deity, this same faith that Jesus had is given to us. As we "abide in the vine" (Jn15), whatever the Vine (Jesus) has is passed on to the branches (the Believers). Otherwise, how could Paul say...

    "..we have the mind of Christ" (1Co2:16)
If we are "in Christ" (2Co5:17); our salvation is described as "Christ in you the hope of glory" (Col1:27); then what sort of Faith would ours be if it did not come -from- Jesus Christ? If our faith did not come -from- Christ, it would be a different kind of faith. Such a faith would not have come from the birth "from above" of the Holy Spirit. (Jn3:3,8) If Saving Faith comes from our own 'piety', or whatever it is the source that people claim to get their 'faith' apart from Christ, then it is NOT "saving" faith. It is "works".

Furthermore, if Saving Faith required us having -enough- faith, none of us could be saved. Even of something relatively simpler like the healing of his son the father responds to Jesus, "I believe, help my unbelief" (Mk9:24) If he was unsure of his own faith for healing, how could he be sure of his own faith for Salvation. That is why, even though Babylon of Rome engages in penances and masses, when asked, a typical catholic will admit that they are NOT SURE they have DONE -ENOUGH- to get to Heaven. That is because they are -hoping- their faith is 'enough'. That's because it is -their- faith, not Christ's. Their faith has never been 'tested' through death and resurrection.

But Jesus, being the "firstfruit"... Job was asked by God...

    "Have the gates of death been disclosed to you? Or have you seen the gates of the shadow of death?" (Job38:17)
Humanity, by itself, has NO WAY OF KNOWING what lies beyond the grave. Even if he were to try to conjure up an imagination of eternity, entertaining with shows like Ghost Whisperer, Dead Like Me, and the various angel/demon themes; the fact of the matter is, mankind of his own wisdom has NOT A CLUE.

But Jesus does. His faith when He went to the cross, His humanity needed to -believe- whatever had been given to Him by the Father. His humanity had not been to death's door and back, but in faith He "became obedient unto death" (Ph2:8)

It is -that- faith which God gives us. If we are "in Christ", we are part of the totality of God's realm.

    "yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through Him." (1Co8:6)
So, what do we -do- with this Faith given to us? Do we -become- 'little gods'? That's what today's apostasy teaches. It is what the world's "spirituality" teaches. They teach to HAVE FAITH "in yourself".

This is where "in" (or "upon") comes into play. The jailer was told to, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" for Salvation. (Ac16:31) We are exhorted to "trust in Jehovah with all your heart" (Pr3:5) When we "trust in Christ" we are "to the praise of His glory" (Eph1:12)

A couple of things here:

First of all, when the Faith of Christ is offered to us, we "receive Him" and become "children of God" (Jn1:12) When we receive Jesus, we are receiving everything about Him: His faith, His new nature, His promise of Eternal Life.

And then, where we might be lacking in strength for living we also "trust" in Him. That is, we 'lean' on Him. We understand that He went first, and all we need to do is follow Him. We trust that He is -able- to carry us through.

    "For in that He Himself has suffered, being tested, He is able to help those who are tested." (Heb2:18)

    "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses." (Mt8:17)

    "I have strength for all things in Christ who strengthens me." (Php4:13)

It is not as most translations have messed up this verse by suggesting, "I can -DO- EVERYTHING"; as if to say "look at meeee!". No. We have Christ's Faith, we have Christ's strength. Everything we are and have comes from Christ.

Initial Saving Faith also naturally carries into life. Saving Faith is likened to the faith of Abraham. It says of Abraham...

    "and being fully assured that what He had promised He is also able to perform. And therefore it was accounted to him for righteousness." (Rom4:21-22)
And as such, the Faith that follows through into the life through one's actions proves the initial Saving Faith. As Jacob says, "I will show you my faith from my works" (Ja2:18)

This is why the Christian life is called being "IN THE FAITH". (Ac14:22, 16:5, Ro14:1, 1Co16:13, 2Co13:5, Col1:23, 2:7, etc)

Yes, being "in the faith" is an expression that connotes for most, being versed in Doctrine. When people speak of "the faith" of the Church, they typically think in terms of Doctrine, Statements of Faith, Creeds, Catechisms, denominations, pantheistic religions. But those expressions, while being true insofar as they go, are terribly limited. Being "in the faith" for Biblical Christians is to be "IN CHRIST".

    "The just (one who is justified) shall live by faith" (Rom1:17, Ga3:11, Heb10:38, Hab2:4)
Perhaps we can now better understand why Salvation is not from Sola Fide; i.e. Faith Alone. Our -own- faith, whatever we might think to conjure up from within ourselves, is inadequate to the task. The only Faith that is sufficient is that demonstrated by the Firstfruit, Jesus Christ. As long as we are trusting in our own faith, we are not trusting in Jesus Christ. As Jesus said, "No one is able to serve two masters" (Mt6:24) If a person trusts their -own- faith, -they- are their own master...not Christ.

But Jesus said the one who was justified was the one who repented, "God be merciful to me a sinner!" (Lk18:13) As Job, when he saw God's grandeur repented, "I despise myself" (Job42:6) I cannot save myself. Understanding what True Faith is, I know that it is not within me to have enough faith. All I can do is repent of my own inadequacy. Even what I thought was good about myself is as a smelly dirty "menstruation cloth" (Is64:6) I have NOTHING to offer. I don't even have Faith.

In addition, I don't even know -where- to look. The blind man had been healed, had argued with the synagogue leaders and was kicked out of the temple, and Jesus finds him...

    "Jesus heard that they had driven him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, Do you believe into the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is He, Lord, that I may believe into Him? And Jesus said to him, You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you. And he said, Lord, I believe! And he did homage to Him." (Jn9:35-38)
So God responds by providing the COMPLETE PACKAGE. Jesus went ahead first and shows the Way. He said,
    "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (Jn14:6)
Part of that "through Me" includes -His- FAITH. And so, when a person has humbled themself to receive Him, His Faith does the rest. In the very opening verse, God's -grace- is the response to the sinner's repentance; and once the door has been thusly opened (Jn10:9), God provides (gives) Salvation through Christ's -Faith-.
    "For -OF- Him and -THROUGH- Him and -TO- Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen." (Ro11:36)

Return to: Articles