Our last study addressed thanksgiving for the measure of faith God apportions to members of Christ’s Body, i.e., those who are Called Saints, Romans 12:3 - 83 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
. As we approach the day when many throughout the world celebrate the birth of Jesus, it’s good to contemplate His faith and God’s provision for eternal life; how He planned it and how it’s received. Simply put, salvation is imparted by God’s Grace and comes “through” faith. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8 - 98 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
. “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.” Hebrews 11:66 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.
. All have sinned, Romans 3:2323 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
, however, two men and one woman came into this world sinless and therefore equipped to live in perfect relationship with God forever: Adam, Eve and Jesus. God created Adam and then made Eve from Adam but they both lacked faith and died; Jesus was born sinless and kept and finished faith.
The Man Jesus was always a member of the Triune Godhead from eternity past; He was the Word of God, John 1:1 - 21 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
. Everything that exists in this Universe, including the earth and all life therein, were made by Him, John 1:33 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
; Acts 17:2424 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
; Colossians 1:16 - 1916 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
; Hebrews 1:1010 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
. He made all this through faith: “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:33 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
. He created Adam and Eve in His image, Genesis 1:26 - 2726 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.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
; Genesis 2:77 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
, each with their own will; they were not mere robots. They possessed intellect and could do whatever they wanted and believe what they wanted to believe. God (The Word) told Adam he would surely die if he ate fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Genesis 2:1717 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.
. Ultimately, Eve, while well aware of God’s command, was deceived/beguiled by Satan into eating the fruit; Adam was not deceived but ate the fruit Eve gave him, Genesis 3:1 - 61 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
, both demonstrating their lack of faith in God’s Word by willingly disobeying God, 1 Timothy 2:13 - 1413 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
. They both died spiritually and ultimately, physically and sin and death were passed on to all born after them, i.e., all have been in Adam’s blood line, Romans 5:1212 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
; 1 Corinthians 15:2222 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
It was the second person of the Trinity, the Word of God Who walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden, Genesis 3:88 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
. And after they sinned, it was He Who foretold that Eve’s seed would bruise Satan’s head while Satan would bruise her offspring’s heel, Genesis 3:1515 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, Hebrews 11:11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
so it was by faith that the Word of God foretold that about 4000 years later, after He came into the world as the Man Jesus, born of a Virgin, John 1:1414 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
, Satan would bruise His heel by working through Israel’s leaders and the Romans to crucify Him on the cross. But He would bruise Satan’s head and seal his fate by His own death and resurrection, Hebrews 2:99 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
; Hebrews 2:1414 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
; 1 Corinthians 2:6 - 86 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
, which will be consummated when Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone for eternity, Revelation 20:1010 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
It was necessary for God to come into the world a sinless Man to defeat Satan and save mankind from death. To accomplish this, He could not inherit the bloodline from Adam because it was tainted with sin. (Life is in the blood, Geneses 9:4; Leviticus 17:11 - 1411 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
12 Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.
13 And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust.
14 For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.
; Deuteronomy 12:2323 Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.
.) Therefore, when he made Eve, He designed a system so the blood of an infant while in the womb does not come from the woman who, like all men, carries the sinful bloodline of Adam. A woman is impregnated when the man’s sperm fertilizes her egg, resulting in a fetus, i.e., an unborn human being. However, the fetus develops his/her own blood, just like it does all its organs and body members. The mother’s blood never enters the fetus. God created a placenta that facilitates nutrients, gas and waste exchange between the physically separate maternal and fetal circulations. (Wikipedia states, “Mammal placentas probably first evolved about 150 million to 200 million years ago” and if you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you.) Therefore, because of God’s design for procreation, when the Holy Spirit fertilized the Virgin Mary’s egg, Jesus Christ’s blood was sinless and not fouled by either a man or Mary’s blood, which was tainted with sin. Jesus Christ was born every bit a Man because He was born of a woman, but He was without sin; He didn’t have the taint of Adam’s sin in Him. He was God and Man at the same time. As The Word of God, He had inspired all Scripture, 2 Timothy 3:1616 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
; John 19:2828 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
, and as a Man, He lived a life in perfect faith in God’s word. This despite the fact He was tempted/tried every which way possible, He was without sin, Hebrews 4:1515 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Scripture informs us: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our (“our” not in original) faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:22 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
. The Greek word translated “author” is only found 3 other places in the King James Version (KJV) New Testament (NT), twice translated “Prince” and once “Captain.” It means “the chief leader, one that takes the lead in anything and thus affords an example, a predecessor in a matter, pioneer.” Jesus is the captain or chief leader Who completed/consummated/finished faith. By His life of faith, He imparts righteousness to all who believe: “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:” Romans 3:2222 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
. Many Bible teachers and preachers substitute the word “faithfulness” for the word “faith” here and in other similar passages. However, the word in the original is “faith” and although our Lord Jesus Christ is certainly “faithful,” it was His faith that is the righteousness of God. See also: “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.” Galatians 2:1616 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.
. “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” Galatians 3:2222 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
. Note we are required to “believe” to appropriate the righteousness which is by His faith. To believe is to have faith.
When people today believe the Gospel, which is that Christ died for their sins, was buried and rose again, they are saved, 1 Corinthians 15:1 - 41 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
. Some may be weak in the faith, Romans 14:22 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
, all are exhorted to stand fast in faith and be strong, 1 Corinthians 16:1313 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
; to use the shield of faith to ward off the fiery darts of the wicked/evil, Ephesians 6:1616 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
and finally, like the Apostle Paul, to be able to say: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” 2 Timothy 4:77 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
. Therefore, regardless of whether an individual believer’s faith is weak or strong, he/she still stands righteous before God because of the faith of Christ.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” 1 Corinthians 13:1313 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
. Some day in the future, what is hoped for and cannot be seen by the believer today, will be seen up close and personal: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16 - 1716 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Jesus Christ was by far the greatest man who ever lived; however, He is the only great man whose birthday is celebrated as a baby; all others, kings, presidents, athletes, musicians, artists, doctors, etc., are celebrated for what they accomplished during their lives. Therefore, let’s celebrate Him as Almighty God Who created everything that is, the Author/Captain and finisher of Faith when He came as Man, died on the cross, was raised from the dead and who is now the Lord Jesus Christ seated on the right Hand of God waiting until His enemies are made His footstool, Hebrews 1:1313 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
; Hebrews 10:13 - 1413 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” 2 Corinthians 13:1414 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.