One of the great and distinctive truths that the Lord revealed through the apostle Paul for this present age of grace is what has been accomplished for the Body of Christ by the faith of Christ. Paul referred to the faith of Christ seven times in his thirteen epistles. Yet, this great truth has been removed in the modern versions of the Bible. They all change the faith of Christ to faith in Christ.

Just changing a little two-letter word can make a BIG difference in Bible doctrine! We cannot be saved without putting our faith in Christ (e.g. Gal. 3:26), but there is a difference between faith in Christ and the faith of Christ. It should not be surprising that the new versions omit this great truth since they attack the person and work of Christ in a number of passages.

 

There are different kinds of faith in the Bible (the context determines the meaning):

  1. The faith God has revealed to man – a body of doctrine (Rom. 1:5)
  2. The faith of God – God’s faithfulness and trustworthiness (Rom. 3:3-4)
  3. The faith of a man in God – believing the word of God (Rom. 1:8; 4:3-5; 10:17)

 

The faith of Christ covers all three, but the apostle Paul is the only writer who speaks of sinners being instantly and permanently justified by the faith of Christ (as in numbers 2 and 3). The epistle of James and the book of Revelation refer to the faith of Jesus Christ, but both references refer to the doctrine Crist taught in His earthly ministry (Jam. 2:1; Rev. 14:12).

 

Why did Jesus Need Faith?

 

Since Jesus Christ is God, why did He need faith? When Christ was born into this world, He was fully God, and yet He was fully man. As a man, He believed His Father and was perfectly obedient to carry out His will (Titus 1:1-3; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 10:5-7). In a book that emphasizes the deity of Christ, we find the Lord continually referring to His dependence and obedience to the Father (e.g. Jn. 5:17-20, 30; 8:28-29).

By faith, Christ prayed in the garden, “not my will, but thine, be done” in regard to taking the cup which represented God pouring out His wrath on the sin of the world. He knew that He would be raised from the dead and that through His death, burial, and resurrection He would accomplish salvation for all who would believe on Him.

 

Please carefully read the following references in their surrounding context:

 

  • Rom. 3:21-22 – The righteousness of God by faith of Jesus Christ was witnessed in the OT (not revealed and explained), BUT NOW is made manifest through the preaching committed to Paul.

 

  • Gal. 2:16 – God cannot declare a man righteous based on his flesh doing the works of the law (for all have sinned), but He does so by the faith of Jesus Christ which accomplished justification for us by grace.

 

  • Gal. 2:20 – We are not only justified by the faith of Christ, but we also live by the faith of the Son of God. The Christian life is Christ living His life through us!

 

  • Gal. 3:22-24 – There was faith in the OT (see Heb. 11), but justification by the faith of Christ was revealed through Paul’s ministry.

 

  • Eph. 3:12 – Because of the faith of Christ, we have the same full and free access to the Father as His beloved Son (see Gal. 4:6 and Eph. 1:6).

 

  • Phil. 3:9 – The righteousness that we can try to produce in the flesh is but dung (vs.4-8) compared to the righteousness available to us by the faith of Christ!

 

The difference between Paul and James on the Issue

 

The difference between Paul and James on the issue of justification (compared Rom. 3:28 with Jam. 2:24) is that Paul talks about justification by the faith of Christ (which is perfect and proven, and therefore our justification is instant and permanent) while James talks about justification by the faith of a man (which must be tested and proven by works, and is, therefore, a process). Paul and James are writing to different groups in different dispensations about different gospels.

 

How many churches believe and teach about what has been accomplished for us by the faith of Christ? Sadly, not many because most do not rightly divide the word of truth and recognize the new revelations that Christ gave the apostle Paul for this present age. Being grounded in this great doctrine produces much assurance of salvation and eternal security (Col. 2:10). Our faith is often weak and wavering, but the faith of Christ is perfect and already proven. Rest in what He accomplished for you by His faith.

 

Questions need Answers
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