There are some who would believe that it is the faith of Christ that saves us. We will examine this idea today.
First, we have to realize that Christ is the author and perfecter of faith and of salvation to those who obey Him.
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God
But just because Christ authored the faith we have, does not mean it is not our own faith.
Scripture is clear, we are saved because of OUR faith in Christ.
Christ heals people, forgives people’s sins, and saves people based upon THEIR faith – not the faith of Christ.
Notice in Genesis 15 that Abraham believed God (that He would complete His promise) and that belief was credited to him as righteousness. ABRAHAM’S faith, not Jesus’.
4 Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir ; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” 5 And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 Then he believed in the LORD ; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
We see this being discussed in Galatians 3:5-29. The promise was made to Abraham and Christ. But Christ did not need to have faith in Himself for us to be sons of Abraham; no, it is OUR faith in CHRIST that makes us sons of Abraham, as we see in Galatians 3:26.
5 So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith ? 6 Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU. 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. 10 For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse ; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM 11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident ; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” 12 However, the Law is not of faith ; on the contrary, “HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE “- 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
15 Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations : even though it is only a man’s covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. 17 What I am saying is this : the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise ; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise. 19 Why the Law then ? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. 20 Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. 21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God ? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. 22 But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither * Jew nor Greek, there is neither * slave nor free man, there is neither * male nor female ; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.
It was also spoken of in James 2:14-26, where he says our faith must be accompanied by faith to be true faith. He is not talking about the faith of Christ, but of the faith of the believer.
14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works ? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works ; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that God is one. You do well ; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless ? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar ? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected ; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way ? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
Christ healed the blind men based upon their faith.
27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David !” 28 When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this ?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them: “See that no one knows about this!”
A woman’s daughter was healed according to the mother’s faith.
Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great ; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once
A woman was saved because of HER faith.
And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Christ forgave the sins of the paralytic because of the faith of the friends of the paralytic, not the faith of Jesus Christ.
And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son ; your sins are forgiven.”
And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
20 Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.”
Jesus prayed that PETER’s faith would not fail him.
31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat ; 32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail ; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
Notice that Paul gave thanks for the faith of the believers in Rome – not for Jesus’ faith.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.
Paul is clear that the natural branches (the physical Israelites) were broken off because of THEIR unbelief, but the believing gentiles stand because of THEIR faith – not the faith of Jesus.
Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited , but fear ;
It is even more clear in 1 Corinthians 15:1-19 that we are saved by OUR faith, not Christ’s faith – if Christ has not not been raised, YOUR faith is worthless, you are still in your sins.
1 Corinthians 15
1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep ; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles ; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain ; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. 12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead ? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised ; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised ; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless ; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
We are to have faith IN the Lord, but it is OUR faith.
3 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints ; 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel
It is OUR faith which is tested.
knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
James said we are to show OUR faith (not the faith of Christ) by our works.
But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works ; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
Indeed, the outcome of OUR faith the salvation of OUR souls.
1 Peter 1:9
obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
So, when Paul said that true Israel is made up not of physical Israelites, but of the children of promise, he meant those who have faith in Christ.
30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.” 33 just as it is written, “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”
Paul continues on in Romans 10 telling us that the Israelites did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God, but sought to establish their own. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. 3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. 6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows : “DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN ?’ (that is, to bring Christ down ), 7 or ‘WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” 8 But what does it say ? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, in your mouth and in your heart “-that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved ; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek ; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”
So God sent His Son to suffer and die for our sins. Christ created salvation. Christ created faith in us. If we believe, then we are saved. But while Christ created our faith, it is OUR faith, not Christ’s faith. No, we are made children of Abraham by OUR faith IN Christ, not the faith of Christ. Christ authored our faith, but it’s STILL OUR faith which we must exercise to be saved.