Jesus - The Author of our Faith
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
If we are to grow in grace, we must live by faith. Paul says in Romans 4:16, "Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace." What is Paul talking about? Romans 4:13 “For the promise to Abraham and to his seed that he should be heir of the world wasn't through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” He is talking about the promise of God regarding being “heir of the world” which is through the righteousness which comes through faith (spiritual).
If we tried to progress spiritually by the use of our natural faculties, we would be greatly frustrated. We must walk by faith in the Lord and His word. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “We walk by faith, not by sight." This means that we trust the Lord in being able to do what He has promised even when He is invisible to us. Yet, where do we get faith? What is the source of faith?
The Bible says, in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus is the source of our faith: "Jesus, the author . . . of our faith." If we have saving faith in Christ, He brought it into being. Jesus authored our faith in a revelatory and relational manner. He revealed to us the truth we needed to know (through sermons, personal witnesses, tracts, audio tapes, books, Bible reading, and many other means). Then, He invited us into a relationship with Himself. “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
First, He told us the truth about our need. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God . . . For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23). Then, He told us the truth about His loving work on our behalf. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom.5:8). All the while, His Spirit was convicting us of the reality of these matters. "And when He [the Holy Spirit] has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:8). Ultimately, Jesus invited us to trust in Him for the gift of salvation. "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). As Paul put it, "the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). Basically, Jesus revealed Himself to us as one who could be trusted to save our souls, so we placed our hope in Him. Thereby, He authored faith in us.
Where are we to go for more faith (for the developing of our faith)? Jesus is the source for this need as well: "Jesus . . . the . . . finisher of our faith." The one who brought faith into being in us now wants to perfect our faith (to bring it on into mature development) in the same manner that He began it. Initially, we had to have Jesus revealed to us to have faith authored in us. Now, we must have a continuing revelation of Him through His word, if our faith is to be increasingly built up. The more we study His word, the clearer He will become to us and thereby our faith in Him will develop and mature unto perfection.
“Then He who sat on the throne said . . . "Write, for these words are true and faithful" . . . Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true" . . . So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Revelation 21:5; 22:6; and Romans 10:17).
Jesus is the faithful and true witness, who gives us the reliable truth that we must have in order to find life and live life as God intended."Jesus Christ, the faithful witness . . . the Faithful and True Witness . . . And He . . . was called Faithful and True" (Revelation 1:5; 3:14; and 19:11).
As we see His faithful and true character, faith toward Him develops in our lives. His word is a vital part of this process, since it has the same character that He has (faithful and true). "Write, for these words are true and faithful . . . These words are faithful and true."
When people humbly receive the word of God, the scriptures change their lives. This is how we started out with God: "Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because 'All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.' Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you" (1 Peter 1:23-25) James says, “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures” [James 1:18].
We were born again into the family of God when the incorruptible, living, eternal word of God was planted like a seed in our hearts. This occurred by our hearing of the gospel. We believed the good news of Jesus Christ and obeyed the Lord’s command to be baptized [immersed in water] unto salvation, this gospel seed germinated within us unto life eternal.
After being born again by grace through faith in Christ, God's plan was that we continue to respond to His word (like those in Thessalonica did). "For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe" (1 Thessalonians 2:13). These saints welcomed the scriptures into their lives. They knew that it was not a mere human message. They knew it was from the Lord. They were eager to hear it and to rely upon its life-nurturing message. Therefore, it effectively worked in their hearts, as they believed in the truths they were hearing. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Initially and continually, faith comes by hearing the faithful and true words of God, and that faith accesses grace. Grace upon grace would be poured into us as we come to Jesus. As John says, “From his fullness we all received grace upon grace” [John 1:16].
May we be eagar to repeatedly approach Jesus for spiritual refreshing and growth.