By whose faith are we saved, Christ’s or ours?

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.
Hebrews 2:10

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.

Hebrews 5:9

And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,

Hebrews 12:2

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’.
Genesis 15:4-6

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.
Matthew 9:27-30,

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.
Matthew 15:28

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.

Luke 7:50

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.
Matthew 9:2

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.”

Mark 2:5

And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Luke 5

20 Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.”

Jesus prayed that PETER’s faith would not fail him.
Luke 22:31-32

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.
Romans 1:8

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.
Romans 11:20

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.
Colossians 1:3-5

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.
James 1:3

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.
James 2:18

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.”

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.
Romans 9:30-33

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.
Romans 10:1-13

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.

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12 Responses

  1. God’s word says, for it is by grace that you have been saved through faith and not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not by works so that no one can boast. This tells me that it is the faith that our Heavenly Father had in His Son to do the work He sent Him to do. Our faith is a fruit of the Spirit, and it has to come from God. I do believe that by reading God’s word and doing His will that He will increase that faith. May God bless you in God’s word.

    • The point of this post was to show that we each must have faith to be saved, as there are some who would believe that just Christ having faith is sufficient for everyone to be saved. But that stance flies in the face of scripture. The faith we are given is a gift from God. But once we have faith, it is ours and we are to show our faith by how we live.

      Ephesians 2:8
      For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God

      1 Corinthians 12:4-11
      4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

      James 2:18
      But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

  2. With true faith comes deeds. If God has Given you the Gift of True Faith. Then would that mean you are saved by the ”faith of God” through him giving you true faith in the First Place.

    • Once the gift is given, it belongs to the owner. Christ authored and gave the faith needed to be saved. But it is your faith, if you have it.

      If you have faith, you will have deeds. It is God who works in you to will and act according to His purpose (Philippians 2:13), but it still is your faith to exercise – according to James 2:18

      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.”

      Christ has faith, but without an individual having faith, they will not be saved.

  3. To suggest that it is my faith, which saves me, is a fundamentally flawed theological argument. Salvation is the work of God. It is his plan. We had nothing to do with it. It was a plan divinely conceived before God created the universe; before Human beings were created. Only God can save. Only God can redeem. Only God can forgive and destroy sin. Without God there is no salvation; hence no Christian faith. Faith and salvation are not man- made. They comes from God who gives it to his children in Christ. To suggest that God can only move to save us based on our self-faith make no spiritual sense. In salvation’s scheme, we cannot displace the centrality of what God has done and replace it with our faith. Our faith is made alive only in what God has done. My faith is not the engine of God’s power. My faith is the acceptance and confirmation of what only God can do….save me. There is nothing in me that can save me. God is the source of salvation and our faith is a response to what Christ by his faith has done on our behalf. Without the faith of Christ to do what he did to bring us salvation there can be no salvation. If there is no salvation then there is no need for our faith. It is Christ’s faith that led him to the cross. It is Christ’s faith in the father that effected his resurrection after his death. This has nothing to to do with self-faith. It is the faith of Christ’s and Christ’s alone that produces salvation; not ours. The work of our faith is to acknowledge and confirm that we are indeed saved because we are joined to Christ. In his life, death, resurrection and yes, his faith.

    • Yes, God chooses us. God sent His Son to suffer and die for us. God forgives us. God gifts faith and salvation. God saves us through faith by grace.

      You are the one who mentioned man made faith. You are the one who spoke of self-faith. I never said God saves us based upon anything other than HIS will, HIS choices, HIS grace, HIS mercy. We are saved by grace through faith.
      Ephesians 2:4-9

      4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

      But please, show me. Where does scripture say you are saved because of Christ’s faith?

      Because I see verse after verse which explicitly says we are saved and stand firm because of our faith.

      Jesus said people’s sins were forgiven when he saw their faith.
      Luke 5:20

      20 Seeing their faith, He said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.”

      Paul said the believing gentiles stand because of THEIR faith – not the faith of Jesus.
      Romans 11:20

      Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited , but fear

      James said we are to show OUR faith (not the faith of Christ) by our works.
      James 2:18

      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.”

      Peter spoke of the outcome of someone’s faith being the salvation of their souls.
      1 Peter 1:9

      obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

      Hebrews 11:1

      Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

      So Jesus, Paul, James, Peter all spoke of the faith of people – not the faith of Christ. Christ had no need for faith – HE knew.

      WE are the ones who need faith and GOD gifts it to us – Christ authors and perfects it. But it is our faith once we have it.

    • My faith works because of His faith. It is not complicated. Understand that His faith and obedience covers our inabilities in both realities. We are children of God because we have been and are being immersed into (eis) Him (Gal 3:26,27).

      • Please show me scripture which teaches your faith works because of Christ’s faith?

        What I see is that Christ is the author and perfecter of our faith.
        Hebrews 12:1-3

        1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 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.
        3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart

        But I do not see anywhere which teaches the Son of God had faith – He spoke what the Father told Him.
        John 15:15

        15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

        • I do not do “proof text” theology. Having said that, there are specific scriptures that I use in my explanation of “faith,” in this case, understand that our inability at “infallibility” is a critical issue as we study the infallible written word.

          The genitive of “faith” is used in Romans 2:16 (the faith belonging to Christ). It is this faith or faithfulness of Christ that puts us INTO Him.where we are justified by His faith and not by our obedience (i.e. “works of the law).

          Gal 2:12-13 tells us (implicitly) that it is never our efforts but the workings of God within both to will and do his good pleasure.

          Romans 3:3 makes two thing clear: our failed faith does not negate the faith of God. And, by inference to “fallen man,” it is the faith of God or God in Christ that is constant, NOT our faith.

          Hebrews 12:2 makes it clear that Christ (his faithfulness) is responsible for the vitality of our faith.

          • I think you have probably written Romans 2:16 wrong. That verse doesnt mention faith, so I’m not sure which verse you writing about. Please correct my understanding of what you are trying to address.

            I wholeheartedly agree that it is God who works in us to desire and to do according to His good pleasure (although you misattributed it to Galatians 2:12-13).
            Philippians 2:12-13

            12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

            I agree that Christ is the author and perfecter of our faith – GOD gave us faith. And certainly God finishes what He begins.
            Philippians 1:6

            For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

            But Let’s look at Romans 3:3

            3 What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?

            Apistia is the Greek word translated here as unbelief, and it means to be faithless or to be without belief.

            Please understand that being faithful is not the same thing as having faith. The Greek work translated as faithfulness in Romans 3:3 is Pistis and it has two meanings – one is faith but the other speaks of one aspect of the character of God, faithfulness. Being faithful in this context is speaking of being trustworthy. Paul is using a play on words to show that God remains true to His character, faithful, regardless of our character.

            Jesus needs no faith in the sense of needing to hope for something or to have convictions of things not seen – Jesus is God and knows everything.
            Hebrews 11:1

            Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

            God knows everything.
            Psalm 147:5

            Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.

            God’s knowledge is perfect.
            Job 37:16

            16 Do you know how the clouds hang poised,
            those wonders of him who is perfect in knowledge

            All of God’s works are perfect.
            Deuteronomy 32:4

            4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

            God’s will is perfect.
            Romans 12:2

            2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, sothat you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

            God is perfect.
            Matthew 5:48

            48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

            So the perfect God, whose knowledge is perfect, and whose works are all perfect has a plan.
            Jeremiah 29:11

            11‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

            So, we’ve seen that God promised eternal life before time began. We see God created all things and works all things out to for his plan.

            Not only that, but God’s plan has never changed.
            Psalms 33:11

            11The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
            The plans of His heart from generation to generation.

            God will accomplish His plan.
            Isaiah 14:24

            24The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, “Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand

            So God, including the second person of the godhead, the Son of God, Jesus, has no need for faith. God can be faithful without having faith, since he knows everything.

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