UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but this is my one aim:
to forget everything that's behind, and to strain every nerve to go after what lies ahead.
I press on toward the finish line, where the prize waiting for me is the upward call of God
IN KING JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14)
#10-1620
by – Stuart H. Pouliot
December 22, 2016
Faith of Jesus
In Christian circles, the word faith is used to describe believers as people of faith and their leaders as faith leaders.
Frankly, when I hear the word used in this manner, to me, it reeks of religion. I put it in the same group with "Jesus
is the founder of the Christian religion." Putting religion aside, faith, particularly the expression the faith, has
profound spiritual meaning, especially when we discover its source.
Frist, let us briefly consider faith in general as defined in Hebrews 11:1 from two translations: Faith is the confidence
that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1 NLT).
Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the existence of things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1 GW).
Faith, hope, and love go hand-in-hand. As Paul wrote: But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest
of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13). With the consummation of the ages, faith and hope will give way to love that
will fill all of God's creation. However, until then, faith and hope, which work in tandem with each other, are
paramount to us. Simply, faith is what could be called expectant confidence , not a dream, a wish, or a maybe, but
a knowing that what the spirit of God has revealed to us through God's rhema will actually happen. Faith is based
on fact, not, as some would have us believe, fiction, imagination, superstition, fear, doubt, or any such thing. Faith
always remains in the realm of what we cannot see. Although we do not see things expected, we have full assurance
of their existence—an expectant confidence—of these things one day manifesting.
Now, let us move to another dimension of faith called the faith, which speaks of the very faith of Jesus Himself, a
faith that He gives to all so that they may believe and enter His kingdom. In other words, Jesus is the source of faith
when it is called the faith. It is His faith that we receive, and our whole life in Christ commences and continues on
this ground alone. Once we are given His faith, we believe and His faith becomes our faith. To make the point, let
us consider some scripture from various translations. Translations with similar but not always exact renderings are
included in brackets to reveal there is agreement on this point among some of the translators.
Turning [our] eyes away from other things and fixing them (looking away) into Jesus, the Inaugurator (First
Leader; Prime Author) and Perfecter (Finisher; the Bringer to maturity and fruition) of the faith, Who, in place
of (over against) the joy continuously lying before Him, remained under a cross — despising shame (disgrace)
— and has sat down, remaining in the right (hand or part) of God's throne. (Hebrews 12:2 JM-NT)
Jesus is where faith begins and is perfected in the believer. He is the author or inaugurator of faith, which means it
starts with Him. Jesus required faith when He came to earth to face the cross. His faith looked beyond the disgrace
that He would endure to the joy that was on the other side. Though He knew He would face the agony of death, He
also knew or had the faith that His Father would raise Him from among the dead. And, now that He is seated at the
right hand of God, He gives this same faith as a free gift so that those called and chosen may believe.
By that favor [by grace], indeed, you have been saved through the faith; and this not from you; it is God's gift
[a gift of God] … (Ephesians 2:8 Diaglott [NASB])
Most translations leave out the article the and simply state through faith ; however, some manuscripts insert the.
As I have read various commentators over the years, it seems that many, if not most, do not see the faith as part of
the gift of God. They see grace alone as the free gift and faith as the channel through which grace flows. In other
words, man must still muster up faith on his own in order to believe. Under the new covenant, which solely relies
on God and not on man, this cannot be correct. Grace through the faith of Christ is the full gift. It is His grace and
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Faith of Jesus
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His faith that saves. Any other way and man has to do something, that is, a work, to be saved and consequently
man has a boast in himself. This is not the gospel. Fortunately, there are other verses that support that His faith
saves.
Consider Paul's testimony. Take note that, for Paul's conversion, the faith came from Christ: He filled me with the
faith and love that come from Christ Jesus [which is in Christ Jesus] (1 Timothy 1:14 NLT [ASV, BBE, Darby, DRB,
JUB, KJV, Murdock, NASB, Webster, WNT]). The faith was in Christ. By the way, this is not the same thing as saying:
I have faith in Christ. It is faith that comes from Him, meaning Jesus is the source of faith called the faith.
Paul also testified that God's righteousness came to him through the faith of Christ: And may be found in Him, not
having my righteousness, which is of law, but that which is through the faith of Christ , the righteousness which is
from God for faith (Philippians 3:9 CLV [KJV, LITV, Webster]). Paul did not say faith in Christ.
Again, Paul exhorted the Corinthians to test themselves to see if they were in the faith, not that they had faith.
Notice how Paul connected this to Christ in you . He comes into believers with His faith. Test yourselves to see if you
are in the faith ; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless
indeed you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13:5 NASB [ASV, Diaglott, KJV, Numeric, YLT]).
Consider the testimony of Peter and John in defense of the healing that took place: And, by faith in his name, his
name has made this man strong whom ye behold and know; and the faith which is by him [ the faith which He has
given; the faith through Him ] has given him this complete soundness in the presence of you all (Acts 3:16 Darby
[WNT, ASV, BBE, CLV, Darby, Diaglott, DRB, JUB, KJV, LEB, NASB, YLT]). Notice how Peter linked by faith to the faith
that was given to him, that is, came through Christ.
Then, consider the angel's proclamation to John: Here is the patience of the saints: those keeping the
commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus [the faith belonging to Jesus – JM-NT] (Revelation 14:12 Numeric
[ASV, BBE, CLV, Darby, Diaglott, KJV, LITV, Murdock, Webster, YLT]). The saints are to hold the faith of Jesus, as if a
repository of His faith. Other translations use the expression their faith in Jesus , a possible rendering, but perhaps
simply interpretative bias.
Finally, back to Paul: According to a plan of the ages which he made in the anointed Jesus our Lord,— In whom we
have our freedom of speech and introduction with assurance, through the faith of him [His faith] (Ephesians 3:11-
12 Rotherham [Darby, Diaglott, DRB, LITV, KJV, Murdock, Webster, YLT]). Again, it is not faith in , although this is
true, but the faith of Him, Christ's faith that gives us boldness (freedom) and confidence (assurance) to see our part
in the plan of the ages made in the Anointed Jesus.
For believers and eventually all mankind and creation, everything, without exception, comes from, through, and to
the Anointed Lord Jesus, the creator of all things. Life and salvation are totally dependent on Him alone, and through
Him all things will return to God the Father. For from Him [God] and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him
be the glory for ages. Amen! (Romans 11:36). Our boast, even the boast of faith, is in King Jesus.
Consequently, Jesus is the very source of the faith that is now ours. Just as there is only one Lord, there is only one
faith—the faith of Christ (Ephesians 4:5). Now, the life we live, we live by the faith of the Son of God , who loves us
(Galatians 2:20 KJV [BBE, Darby, DRB, JUB, Webster]).
We begin with His faith, we live by His faith, and we reach the goal for the prize with His faith. For our part, we are
to continue in the faith, not looking back but looking to Jesus and the joy that is now His at the right hand of the
throne of God. The faith of Jesus says that we will soon come into the full manifestation of His kingdom, into His
anointing and presence.
The faith of Jesus—expectant confidence!