Possibly one of the most important yet mysterious phrases in all the New Testament is, the faith of Jesus. The King James Version of the Bible is very inconsistent in its translation of this phrase. That’s probably because the prepositions in, of, by, through, and with are all the same or similar Greek words. It is therefore left to the discretion of the translator to determine how the Greek word should be translated into English. It seems that the early translators were just as confused about this phrase and its incredibly important implications as the Church is today.
Properly understanding the phrase, the faith of Jesus, may be one of the most important concepts for our personal faith that we need to understand. Over the past 60 years the faith revival has brought incredible insight into our need for personal faith. However, like all movements, it has some misunderstandings in its application of faith. Possibly it was just the result of an over-emphasis of our need for personal faith without really explaining the object of our faith. Whatever the cause, it seems that more people are focused on having faith in their faith than they are on having faith in the Lord Jesus and His finished work.
In my estimation there is a serious misunderstanding about the entire concept of faith in Jesus. When most people think about faith in Jesus, they think about the life Jesus lived here on Planet Earth. His life was a model to us. It showed us what we could look like as men and women who were full of the Holy Spirit yielded to the power of grace and walking with God. Many people say, “Well, it’s different for Him; He was without sin.” When we were born again we were made righteous; therefore, we have the ability to function just as Jesus functioned. What holds us back is not the fact that we’ve committed sins, but the fact that we refuse to believe we are righteous in Jesus.
Jesus became a man and had every limitation that we have as human beings. Everything that He did here on Planet Earth He did as a man full of the Holy Spirit, walking in faith. But that isn’t what the Bible is talking about when it refers to the faith of Jesus. Nothing that Jesus did as a man on Planet Earth has anything to do with what we receive in our salvation experience. It is important that He was a man without sin, therefore, He could be the Lamb slain for our sins. But our faith for salvation is not based on what Jesus did as a man walking Planet Earth. Our faith for salvation is based on what Jesus did from the cross to the throne.
The message of the cross is the message of the New Covenant. Yet when we preach the cross we very seldom talk about what actually happened on the cross, in the grave, through the resurrection, and when He was seated at the right hand of God to receive an inheritance. It’s amazing to me that the most central part of the gospel is virtually never preached in Christian churches around the world. There may be some vague reference to Jesus dying on the cross, and some vague reference to Jesus being raised from the dead, but none of that means anything if we don’t know and believe what Jesus did by His faith through the entire process.
In Philippians the Apostle Paul makes an incredibly profound statement saying he wanted to be… ‘found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in (the faith of) Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead’ (Phil. 3:9-11).
This passage of Scripture embodies more about the faith of Jesus than possibly any other single Scripture. When Jesus died on the cross He didn’t just die a physical death. He became our sin. This means that He died a spiritual death. There’s a lot of confusion about what it means to die a spiritual death. Essentially, it means that having become our sins He was alienated from God. That’s why hanging on the cross He said, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” He wasn’t merely quoting Scripture; He was experiencing exactly what we would have to experience if He had not done it in our place.
Having been alienated from God Jesus died the death that we should die. He went to Hades, the abode of the wicked. He was held in the grave by our sins. In order for Him to be raised from the dead He had to believe what God said about Him. In other words, He had to use His faith. There in the grave, alienated from God, Jesus was nearly overcome by grief, by emotions, and by the abandonment of the Father. Several of the Psalms as well as the Book of Jonah describe Jesus’ experience in Hades; yet, He continued to believe God.
He believed every promise God ever made about Him concerning His resurrection, His Lordship, and His ultimate reign over all things. According to the Book of Jonah and other books He will continue to worship God and continue to acknowledge God’s truth as His reality. Romans 6:4 says that Jesus was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. He was not raised by His righteousness. He had to trust God!
The word “glory” is an interesting Greek word. It speaks of the “brightness, greatness, splendor, and majesty of God.” If you look at a Greek lexicon it takes several pages to express the many meanings of the word “glory.” But “glory” also has to do with the “view, the opinion, and the reality.” You see, God always has a reality that is based on His Word and literally based on His reputation. Therefore, after Jesus became sin He used His faith to trust God and to be raised up according to God’s view and opinion of Him. That view and opinion had been spoken through the Scriptures and prophecy for thousands of years.
Everything that pertains to our salvation is based on what Jesus suffered and experienced through the death, burial, resurrection, and seating on the throne! We can only operate faith in that which we believe Jesus obtained through His faith. So what did He obtain? He took upon Himself all of our sin so that we would no longer live in sin. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, God made him who knew no sin to become sin that we might become the righteousness of God… IN HIM!
After being taken to death by our sins and the curse of the law He believed God and was raised from the dead. The fact that we were in Him when He was raised from the dead means that we share in this victory over death, Hades, the grave, sin, and the curse of the law! The Bible tells us that He then ascended into Heaven. When He entered Heaven He stripped Satan of all principality and power and cast him forever out of Heaven. Because we were in Him when He won this victory we share in this victory.
Then Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father. It is my assumption that this was the time that He received His inheritance. His inheritance was the covenant of peace whereby all the promises God ever made to anyone became His. Because we are in Him we are what the Bible calls joint heirs. In other words, we share in everything that He obtained.
By faith, Jesus went to the cross, suffered so that we don’t have to suffer, died so that we don’t have to taste death, conquered sin so that we never have to fight that battle, defeated the devil so we would never have to struggle with him, and received an inheritance that He shares with us so we would never have to use our faith to obtain an inheritance. Our faith is in His faith. We don’t have to seek God to give us anything that Jesus has already obtained. We are in Him. He did it all by His faith. The question for us is, “Do we have faith in His faith?” The powerful series 3 Days that Changed the World will open your eyes to so much of what Jesus went through from the cross to the throne. This will form a new basis for your faith which will transform every situation you face for the rest of your life!