Jesus, The Author & Finisher of FaithVolume 3, Number 9
Created Date: October 28, 2008
Posted Date: October 28, 2008
The Faith of Jesus:
God's relationship with man has always been through His Word. Man's role has always been through faith in God's Word whether it was in innocence (Adam); conscience (after Adam's fall up to the flood); human government (from Noah until the promise to Abraham); the law (given through Moses) up until this age of Grace (as revealed to the Apostle Paul.) Thus throughout the Bible in ages past and present faith connects man to God, the created with the Great Creator. "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.".
The eleventh chapter of Hebrews has been our general guide to the study of faith. There we read about many who triumphed by faith: Enoch was taken up and did not see death; Noah built an ark by which he and his family were saved from death; Abraham left his country and went to the promised land where he and Sarah had a child when they were past child bearing age; the baby Moses was saved from death and went on to lead his people out of slavery from Egypt; others conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight and women received back their dead by resurrection,a. When people think of faith today most give those just described credit for their strong faith, which resulted in the great accomplishments described. It is only natural to think of the benefit of faith in terms of what these men and women did.
On the other hand, people usually don't consider that the very first man mentioned by name in Hebrews 11, Abel, was murdered because of his faith by his own brother,. Furthermore, there are few sermons preached about the suffering faith in God's Word can bring: "... and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth." b - 38. From these illustrations we come to understand that faith, in and of itself, does not necessarily guarantee what are usually considered positive/ miraculous accomplishments. With this in mind we turn to the faith of Jesus.
It is in vogue today for some to ask: "what would Jesus do?" when faced with a situation requiring a decision on which direction to take in life. However, we must consider that it was/is impossible for any man or woman to do what Jesus did or otherwise it would not have been necessary for Him to do what He did. Therefore I submit that our focus should rather be on: "what has Jesus done, what did He accomplish for us?"
During His three years earthly ministry Jesus performed true miracles: He healed the sick and lame; gave sight to the blind; exercised complete control over the elements of nature and even raised the dead to life and it is upon these accomplishments that people naturally focus attention. Less attention is given to the fact Jesus was truly a Man of sorrows throughout His ministerial life. David prophesied this fact many times in such passages as: "The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.". Jesus began His ministry on earth in the wilderness for 40 days, with no food, surrounded by wild beasts, while being tried/ tempted by the Devil. During His three years ministry He walked the dusty roads of Palestine in an environment of oppression, sorrow and misery. He chose 12 disciples who, along with other chosen men and women accompanied Him, but even they did not understand His true purpose during the three years they were with Him. He was totally alone with the knowledge of what He was about. He was the perfect Man, living in a world of imperfect sinners. Then He suffered the most horrible, agonizing death one can imagine, alone. It was only after his death and resurrection that He began to make His mission and purpose known to His disciples, .
It is then asked, why was it necessary for Him to go through this? Why didn't Jesus just come and set things straight? By using His miraculous powers why didn't He destroy Satan? Some may ask why God didn't just "zap" Satan a long time before when Satan stepped out of line? The answer lies in the fact that God is totally righteous in all His ways. He did not create Satan and man as robots, but as individuals, with free wills. In spite of man's rebellion and sin; because of His love for us, He made provision to be saved for all who believed and now believe His Word.
The Bible does not reveal everything about Satan's creation, existence and fall but we know the conditions put on man when first created: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.". "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." . Concise, straightforward and easy to understand, but, Satan gained an upper hand by deceiving Eve and then Adam broke faith in God's Word and so death came upon him and all his progeny. In the process Satan became the god of this world, 2 Cornithians 4:4, the prince and the power of the air, .
Because of God's Holy Righteousness there was only one way to save mankind and remove Satan from his position. He Himself, in the form of His only Son, the Word of God became incarnate and became the only Man to live a life of perfect faith in total obedience and subjection to God. In that same faithful obedience He went to His death to satisfy God's righteous judgment of sin. Jesus was willingly delivered for our offences (sins) and He was raised again for our justification,. In the following passage from Galatians I have added the words in italics in parentheses to emphasize the references to the faith of Jesus the Man.
"But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ (not our faith in Jesus, but the faith of Jesus Himself) might be given to them that believe. But before faith (the faith of Jesus) came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith, (the faith of Jesus) which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith (the faith of Jesus) is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (This is the faith that resided in Jesus, not our faith in Jesus.) For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.". Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!