Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
I recently received a blog post from a friend in e-church that was highlighting the point that we are justified by the faith of Christ and not our faith. I explained that I was certain that it is Christ’s faith and not ours and that I had actually written two blog posts myself on this. Now, in this one I want to emphasize that while the newer versions read faith in Christ, they are incorrect.
Further, I want to show why it only makes sense when one sees it as the faith of Christ that justifies. In Hebrews 11 we are told that without faith it is impossible to please the Father and in the gospels we hear announced by a voice from heaven, “this is my son in whom I am well pleased.” We must assume that if it is only possible to please the Father with faith, and if he was well pleased with Jesus, it was Jesus faith that pleased Him… it had to be!
Here is the bottom line, Adam and Eve did not believe God in the garden and their unbelief brought death and sin into the world. The fall was the result of unbelief. Therefore, it only makes sense to have the justifying act be an act of faith. Jesus believed the Father no matter what. Everything that the Father said Jesus believed. That was His perfect obedience. His perfect obedience was the obedience of faith.
Once humanity fell, there was no chance for them to have obeying faith. That is why sin was so prevalent from Adam forward. Sure, there were those who believed God such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses just to name some, but, interspersed with their occasional faith were many times of unbelief and failure. This was merely an example of the human condition, and we see that the scripture shows that all the individuals through the pages of scripture were part of the human condition. Sure, they were heros of faith but none had perfect faith. Only Jesus had perfect faith and only perfect faith is justifying faith.
Now church, there are some broad implications in this. It should make us radically aware that a lot of our pet doctrine is off the mark. Furthermore, when Jesus cursed the fig tree he told his disciples that it merely took the faith of the size of a grain of mustard.
God is ready to impart this mustard see faith to anyone who will simply put faith in the faith of Christ. We need to stop thinking that things are not progressing because of our behavior. We must realize that sometimes things are delayed because we won’t believe that Christ has done it all. That is so hard to believe. It only seems natural that we must add our works but, to exercise the faith of Christ we must believe the report and let that settle the matter.
This is our challenge going forward and our success and favor depends on one thing… believing Jesus finished it ALL on Calvary.