Faith (Part III)
Faith “OF” Christ
(Romans 3:22 KJVA) 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:
I propose that in our Christian faith we need to both put our faith in Christ and have the faith of Christ. The first is often preached and understood for our salvation, the second as equally important and perhaps having an even more important factor to both our salvation as well as our daily victorious walk. I believe that the idea of having faith in someone would be akin to believing them. So, when Jesus tells us that our sins are forgiven we can have faith in what He tells us. Now, to have the faith of Jesus we not only believe Him but we believe like Him. So when he has the faith to know that He and the Father are one, we to should have that same faith. When Jesus has the faith to touch a blind man’s eyes and have him receive sight then we should have that same faith.
You see the come a big difference between having the faith in Christ and having the faith of Christ. Why is that? If you believe in someone shouldn’t you believe in what He tells you. Jesus told us that if we asked anything in His name it would be done for the glory of the Father. Now, I know you are already turning over excuses in your heads as to what He really meant by that. But stop. Do not quench the Holy Spirit. Jesus said if you had the faith as small as a grain of mustard seed you could say onto this mountain be thee removed and it would be. He tells us over and over that according to your faith so be it. He told us that the works He did we would do and even more because He goes to the Father and sends the Holy Spirit.
We have faith in Jesus now we have to learn to develop the faith of Jesus.
And we know that that best way to build our faith is to get into the word of God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. We can not be conformed to this world, but we need to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. All of these verses are found right here in the book of Romans.
Martin Luther described the Book of Romans as the "most important piece in the New Testament. It is purest Gospel. It is well worth a Christian's while not only to memorize it word for word but also to occupy himself with it daily, as though it were the daily bread of the soul".
What I want us to do today is to look at the scripture exactly the way it is written and understand what it is saying and why. Let’s start by backing up a little bit and see what Paul is referring to:
(Romans 3:19 CEV) We know that everything in the Law was written for those who are under its power. The Law says these things to stop anyone from making excuses and to let God show that the whole world is guilty.
I used the Contemporary English Version in order for us to get a clearer understanding of what Paul is talking about here. He tells us that the Law, Or the Ten Commandments, stops anyone from making excuses of saying, “they did not know.” We have to begin at the point of our knowledge that we are sinners in need of a savior. How can the gospel be preached if the enemy is not first recognized. How can victory be won if a battle is not fought. How can there be good news given unless there first be the knowledge of the need for it. Going just a little further back in this 3rd chapter of Romans we see clearly how we all need something that we can not of our own bring about.
(Romans 3:9 KJVA) What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
(Romans 3:10 KJVA) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
(Psalm 14:1-3 KJVA) <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
We have to come to God empty. If you desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit you must first empty yourself of your self. If you desire to know God you must first be willing to understand that you do not fully know Him. If you desire more out of your Christian walk then you first must be wiling to know that there is more to get and that you have not yet got it all. We can not boast in our “being there.” We have not yet arrived. And if we have not yet arrived then we might want to stop and ask directions once in a while to make sure we are on the right road. Some of us have just been going around and around the same block of mediocrity for years. It is time to get on the superhighway of the Holy Spirit.
We can not boast in our righteousness. We can not point fingers and talk about how much better we are then anyone else. Because we are not, but God…. But God is!!!!!
But by the grace of God go we!
Now let’s get caught back up with our text and see how Paul is telling us that it is not our faith in Jesus but the faith of Jesus that we must come to the knowledge of and make our own that is going to bring us victory and wholeness.
(Romans 3:21-27 KJVA) But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 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: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
The law of faith!
I need to talk one minute about this boasting. Paul is not saying here that we have nothing to boast about. As we will see we have the greatest thing in the universe to boast about. What he is saying is that boasting that is excluded is the boasting of our own good works. We can not be walking around all puffed up, thinking we are better than anyone else. That is why the world has us so wrong. They think that we think that we are better than them. We are no better then anyone else. We are not perfect, but we are perfectly forgiven. We still fall short of the glory of God. We still mess up at times. Everyone. Even the heathen are trying to be better people. Our standard might be a little higher, of in some cases a lot higher, but we are no better. It is not in ourselves that we have anything to boast about it is in the faith.
Let’s take a quick look at what Paul give us as an example of what we have to boast about:
(1Corinthians 1:27-31 KJVA) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
(1Corinthians 1:31 KJVA) That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
Now just so we can get back on topic and tie all of this together. Look at verse 30 again, this time in the Contemporary English Version.
(1Corinthians 1:30 BBE) But God has given you a place in Christ Jesus, through whom God has given us wisdom and righteousness and salvation, and made us holy:
He then goes on to quote scripture from Jeremiah 9:24. But before we go there. Look at what he is saying. Paul is telling us the same thing that Jesus has been trying to tell us, we can not only have faith in him, but we can have the faith of Him. I wish you all could be with us this Wednesday night as we will be going into the 17th Chapter of the book of John. Please take the time this week to read it for yourself and listen to exactly what Jesus is praying for you. That you would be in Him as He is in the Father. The Father in Him, Him in You, You in the Father. That you would be one with Him. Think about it. That the fullness of God would be within you.
Now, What I want us to look at is this passage that Paul referred us to.
(Jeremiah 9:24 KJVA) But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
Do yo see what it is that we have to glory in. It is not in us it is in our understand and knowledge of who God is. It is by using our God given intelligence to seek Him out. Don’t just except the God of your youth that someone put in a nice little box for you. God is so much more and He is alive and dwells within you. There is unlimited potential within you. You have the faith of Jesus, The faith to move mountains. The faith to raise the dead situations in your life, back to life.