I recently had a chat with a good friend and I opened up that there is a need to understand the difference between the faith of Jesus and our faith.
There are many Christians who always want to start off asking themselves “Do I have enough faith?”. They want to be sure that they are they in a good position before they have good results in their prayers. The problem is that if we start assess our faith level we have already put faith as a hindrance between us and Jesus’ finished work. This is where many people have missed it in the Word of faith movement. Some try to see if they can raise the bar in their “faithometer” by making serial confessions.
No doubt we need to understand faith in its purest form because it is essential in our prayer life. Without it is impossible to lay hold of our possessions in Christ. I want to define faith in a simple way for all to understand.
Faith is simply yielding to and resting in Jesus’ ability. Faith is a response and not a reaction or initiative. Grace is the initiative and faith is the response.
Faith has nothing to do with our achievement, qualification or our worthiness. Faith rests in Jesus and His ability. That’s why we see scores of Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus who know very little about the Bible receive astounding miracles in crusade grounds. Though they have never heard of the Book of Genesis, the Pauline epistles to the Romans or Galatians, they grasp the simple truth of God’s love revealed in Jesus for them. Once a person connects with Jesus, everything is possible. That is where faith is born. That’s why the stories of the Canaanite woman and the Roman centurion are so important as they were the only ones that Jesus ascribed “great faith” to.
Sometimes preachers who want to minister healing to people in a crusade or church services tell them that before they can get it that they must first be right with God before He can answer them. There are loads of examples with Jesus just asking them “Do u want to be healed?”
When you ask yourself “Do I have the right kind of faith to be healed?” “What if I am lacking in faith?” You are focusing on yourself and your faith, instead of Christ and His finished work.
What you should be asking is “Did Jesus take away this sickness? If He did, then He must have done a perfect work.” In other words, fix your eyes on Jesus and His perfect work. Let Him be the author and the finisher (perfecter) of your faith.
The distinction between your faith and His faith.
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians 2:16)
Paul makes a distinction between the faith of Jesus Christ and faith in Jesus Christ. In Greek, which is the language that the New Testament was written in, there is no phrase for “of”, but there is a phrase for “in”. When you look at this text in Greek, there is a distinct Greek word “eis”, meaning “in or into”. It is the same phrase that Jesus used when He told the woman with the issue of blood to “go into peace” (Mark 5:34). Because the text shows where to place the English word “in”, the translators had to assume that in the other places it should be another word.
The translators have taken the authority away from this verse they changed the words to suit our modern vernacular. Paul states that we are justified by the faith “of” Jesus Christ and then furthers it by stating that we have placed our faith “in” Jesus Christ.
Jesus demonstrated faith if the highest form when he sacrificed His life on the cross and taking His own blood to the Father in heaven. He believed that His sacrifice would be sufficient and He also believed that His Father would be so pleased with this sacrifice that He would raise His Son from the dead, which He did. Christ’s faithfulness is what causes all of us to be justified.
That certainly cannot stand alone, for we need to meet His faith with our faith in His finished work. Paul makes it clear in this verse that our believing in Jesus Christ is what makes us justified “by the faith of Christ”. This is the place where salvation happens.
Paul expounds it this way in Romans, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). It is our faith that brought the justification but it was Jesus’ faithfulness to the cross and its atoning work that brings us peace with God. In other words, without the faithfulness of Jesus, our faith means nothing. Our faith finds its life in His faith.
The scriptures says 3 times that the just shall live by faith. Paul says that the life which we now live in the flesh we “live by the faith of the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20). I live this life, not due to my own faithfulness but due to His faithfulness. It is His faith that never waivers, while mine may shift from time to time. Let nothing come between you and Jesus, not even your earnest attempt to have faith. Be at rest in Jesus!
The more you focus on your faith, the more faith slips away. Jesus did not answer his disciples’ request to increase their faith in the way they expected. If you focus on the finished work of Christ and see God’s grace toward you, God sees that as faith!
Before Jesus’ death and resurrection, while they were still in the Old Covenant, Jesus frequently told people, “Your faith has made you whole.” But we don’t find these words spoken once we entered into the New Covenant after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Never again are believers told, “Why don’t you have faith?” The truth is that you cannot be a born-again believer and be without faith. Once you are a believer the author and finisher of faith lives inside of you.
These words “your faith has made you whole” were never spoken by the apostles Paul, John or Peter, once Jesus had finished the work of His death and resurrection. Rather we that Simon Peter looked at Aeneas who was lame, and said, “Jesus heals you.” Philip went to Samaria and “preached Jesus Christ to them.” Paul said, “I preach only ‘Jesus Christ and Him crucified.’” The whole message and operation of miracles was centered on Jesus. It was not on their consecration, holiness or chastity. It was about Jesus. This is how the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus. When we put the focus on Jesus, what He has done and His ability, the Holy Spirit works with us.
Because of this we don’t see people exalt Peter or Paul’s ministry over another Apostle like we see in our days where people run to a man because of the fame to his name. We are not to exalt a ministry; we only need to lift up Jesus. I’ve heard too many statements like, “I have a ministry for financial breakthrough, I have a ministry to give babies; I have a ministry for the blind; I have a ministry for deaf ears; I have a ministry for stomach healings.” The grace revolution has turned it around. It’s about time we say, “I’ve got Jesus and He is all-sufficient.” This way we don’t have to seek healing or any specially anointed person, but our pursuit is after the Healer.
He is the one whose faith cannot fail. He is the one who is ever faithful to covenant. True faith is not just making confessions. Faith is not rules concerning what we must do to receive from God. It is absurd for a child to follow steps to receive his daily welfare from his father. When we see Jesus as big as He really is then we relax in Him. When Jesus appears great to your inward eyes you automatically start speaking positively, confessing God’s Word. This is where faith is born. It is rooted in a revelation of his undying and unfailing love for us and not in our love for him.