IT IS “BY THE FAITH OF CHRIST”…
I recently read a sermon that quoted Gal.2:20 saying that in it Paul was saying that the Christian is to live by faith in Jesus. But, while in principle this is true, it is not at all what Paul was trying to convey in this passage. When Paul wrote “For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” He was telling us that as believers in Jesus we are justified only when we believe in Him the same way that He believed in the Father while He lived as a man.
This is a very crucial point because if understood as the sermon stated it the fact that justification is only by the faith of Christ is lost. Because Christian is not only to believe in Jesus. He must believe in Jesus just as Jesus believed the Father. And how did He do this? We see His example when Jesus said “Nevertheless not my will but thine be done”. By doing this Jesus chose His own free will to submit to the Father’s will. So that what we see in Jesus’ statement when He asked if the death that He was to die could pass from Him is “the faith of Christ”. Which is His response of total and complete reliance and trust in the Father by saying “Nevertheless not my will but thine be done”. To be “the faith of Christ” this then must be the believer’s response to Jesus as well.
So this is to be the faith of the true believer in Jesus if they are to be righteous. And not just a Christian in name only(CINO). A believer who expresses his faith in Jesus in the same way that Jesus expressed His faith in the Father. So that his faith is not as the devil’s that James said: “believe and tremble”. The devils that will not give themselves completely over to God’s will for them. But, one that believes in Him and trusts in Him so completely with all of our being that we give ourselves wholly to Him as His instruments to be used for His glory and the furtherance of His kingdom. Knowing that He has the eternal life that we need. And that His desire is that we have it by the faith of Christ without works of any kind.
The faith of Christ also speaks of the relationship that God desires to have with His creation. A relationship based on trust that can only happen when we come to know His love for us. This is why Jesus said;
“Neither prays I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”
Jesus was saying that because we come to know His love through the preaching of the gospel we will be made one just as He is one with the Father. And that being made one with God and one another is to first come to know His love. And then we are able to love Him and the brethren in return because that love is then shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. A process that Paul says in Rom.5:1-5 can only happen when we trust in Jesus as Jesus trusted in the father as we go through the tribulations in this life. A process that develops us into the mature man of God He wants us to be. By always with our free will subordinating our will to His will for us. Saying as Christ did, Nevertheless not my will but thine be done”. This is the faith of Christ that our righteousness reckoned to us when we believe in Jesus as He believed in the Father while He lived as a man.
So when we read Paul saying that our righteousness is by the faith of Christ we need always to be sure we are understanding it in the context in which Paul teaches it. Making it clear that this righteousness, this justification, this life we now live by the faith of Christ, is not a life where God can not see you because of your evil flesh as some falsely believe and teach. And can only see Christ in you. On the contrary, it is righteousness in which God sees the real you. A man just like Jesus was that has completely and fully trusted in Him with our whole being. And after having trusted in Him by the faith of Christ are made a new creature. A spiritual man equipped to inherit and live in God’s spiritual kingdom.
Will you trust in Jesus as He trusted in the Father today? Will you be “justified by the faith of Christ”? Will you give yourself wholly and completely to trust in God and The unconditional love that He has for you? If you are reading this message God is calling you. He wants you to know Him and this greater love that no man has than this. That by joining with you as a man He was able to lay down His life for you so that by His resurrection He could conquer death so that you could join with Him in His eternal life if you will trust in Him as He trusted in the Father. To be made righteous by the faith OF Christ.
He loves you and wants you to know Him. Because knowing Him is this righteousness. Knowing Him is the eternal life that provides you with the spirit that makes you God’s child.John17:3. Because while all men are created by God, not all men are born of His Spirit so that they are children of God. This is why it is only those who have come to know Him that is spiritual because by knowing and trusting in Him we are born of His Spirit. So if you do not know Him, but have now believed that He is Lord and that He has raised from the dead to conquer death for you, then please take the time right now to talk to Him and confess to Jesus that He is Lord of your life. And believe that He has raised from the dead to conquer death for you. If you do believe in Him then tell Him something like this and you will have eternal life:
Dear Jesus, I believe you. Thank you for joining with me in death so that by conquering death by your resurrection I could join with you in eternal life. Thank you that you raised from the dead so that I could raise from the dead too by trusting in, clinging to, and relying solely on you. Thank you for giving me a new spirit now Lord so that I can live with you in your kingdom forever. In Jesus’ name, amen.
By praying a prayer similar to this one and really meaning it from your heart you have been saved from death to life. From sin to righteousness. And from the wrath to peace with God. And now as you begin reading the Bible and believing what it plainly says it will begin to change the way you think and believe. Because when you trust in Jesus you leave the old life behind where you were only equipped to understand natural things. And now will be equipped for God’s kingdom because you are no longer only natural flesh and blood, but are a new creature made a spiritual being ready to inherit God’s spiritual kingdom. It is because of Jesus’ resurrection that He is the only WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. Because only Jesus has broken through the wall of death that the flesh and blood natural body can never get through. And only by the new birth are we made ready to receive the spiritual body that can go through the wall of death as Jesus’ did first so we could follow Him in the way He has prepared for us.
God Bless you in your new life in Christ.
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Author: Edward O’Hara
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