The words spoken in faith by a believer have the capacity to move a mountain of problems out of the way. In faith Apostle Peter walked on water and then people were healed of their afflictions simply by being touched by his shadow. These were the chosen of the Lord who reached out to people all over the world, to areas much beyond their regional boundaries. The gift of faith is from the Holy Spirit and with this we also receive wisdom to understand and adopt into our lives the deep hidden mysteries of the Word.
But how does faith work in us to change us in such a manner? We are commanded to look ‘unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God’ (Hebrew 12:2). Lord Jesus is the One who initiates our faith in Him and then He leads us into perfection of this faith. But He Himself was promised the ‘joy that was set before Him’ by God the father after His sufferings as a Man and in faith the Savior Lord ‘endured the cross’. This is the faith ‘of’ Jesus, our Lord, in His and our Father in heaven.
Apostle Paul defines how our relationship with one another should be based on the ‘same mindset of Christ Jesus, Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage, rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant’ 9 Philippians 2:6-7). As per this Lord Jesus as God, emptied Himself of the status and authority of God but became man for the joy of redeeming mankind from the clutches of sin and the devil. At the end of His ministry on earth, just before being arrested by the Jewish elders and Chief Priests, Lord Jesus prayed to the Father in heaven to glorify Him ‘in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began’, or to restore to Him His Godly glory (John 17:5). Therefore, Lord Jesus had faith that the glory of God, that He was leaving in heaven to become Man, suffer and die on the cross, will be restored to Him after being raised from the dead. This is the faith of Lord Jesus in God the Father.
The declaration by God the Father to the serpent about the seed of the woman crushing his head and being bruised in the heel, would be fulfilled by His Son as Man (Genesis 3:15). The Godly status of Lord Jesus as ‘The Word’ being with God and being God and then to become flesh (Man) by putting on humanity is also stated in the Scripture (John 1:1-2 & 14). So, in the life of a believer, three types of faith are working, my faith in the ability and truth of the promise of Lord Jesus to be my Redeemer and ‘preparing a place’ for me in heaven. Second, faith of Lord Jesus in me for He has chosen me and appointed me to be a believer ’so that you might go and bear fruit’ (John 15:16). This fruit that a believer bears is as per Lord Jesus’ desire/or the will of God the Father’ and not ours. Lord Jesus told the disciples that ‘some of you’ do not believe in His teachings. He further told them that though He had chosen all twelve of them ‘Yet one of you is the devil’ (John 6:64 & 70).
Knowing the reality of Judas Iscariot Lord Jesus did not stop from teaching him, empowering him to deal with the demonic spirits and even handle the purse of His ministry. Lord Jesus had full faith that the disciples were of the Father and He had given them to fulfill His Divine plan through His Son (John 17:6). When a believer receives the Holy Spirit after repentance and baptism, both God the Father and Lord Jesus Christ supernaturally live in that person through the presence of the Holy Spirit. God has reposed faith in me by choosing me that I will live in obedience to His will and Word but the Almighty God in His foreknowledge was also aware of my sinful nature and leaning toward sin. Lord God the Holy Spirit living in me keeps on making efforts to lead me in the right direction. I was presented a Holy Bible in June, 1979 by a pastor who was probably led by God to do this. However, I did not read that for years on end, despite the fact that my late wife was a pastor’s daughter and I used to go with her to the church on Christmas and Easter. Faith of my Redeemer in choosing me, was finally proved right when I turned to Him and surrendered my life to Him. Thereafter, I live by faith in Him while faith in me is leading me to fulfill the task He has assigned to me in this world. Without faith of Lord Jesus in me, I can never have faith in Him to be His follower.
Difference between my faith in the Lord and His faith in me – The Last Supper of the Lord with the disciples is a classic example of His faith in God the Father’s plan and its completion (Matthew 26:26-28). While they were eating together, He ‘took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat, this is My body’. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it all of you. This is My blood of the new covenant which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins’. Lord Jesus had complete faith that God the Father will help Him fulfill His Divine plan for redemption of mankind through His sufferings and crucifiction. His prayer in the Gethsemane Park to the Father for removing ‘the cup of His wrath’ also led to surrender to His Divine will (Luke 22:41-43). And then ‘an angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him’.
Just like God the Father was with His Son, The Savior Lord was also with His disciples during their time of trial to ensure their faith remains strong. Lord Jesus told Apostle Peter that the devil had asked to sift them as wheat but that He had prayed for him that his faith may not fail (Luke 22:31). He then showed His faith in His prayer and Apostle Peter’s standing strong to declare, ‘And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers’. The Great Commission is also His faith working in all believers to send them to make disciples and the disciples living in faith that ‘all authority in heaven and on earth has been given’ to Him and in His name, we use that to face all challenges (Matthew 28:18-19).
Lord Jesus lived on earth in the faith of God the Father in His obedience and practiced what He expected from heaven in everything, whether to cast out demons or heal the sick, feed the hungry with supernatural resources, calling out the dead to life or exercising rule over the forces of nature. He knew that fulfillment of His work on the cross must be preceded by prayer in the Gethsemane Park and He lived that.
As a believer I must live like Him and practice all that He has promised in His Word. I cannot claim remission of sins and a place in heaven but not live in victory over evil and the forces of darkness while here on earth. At baptism my sinful nature died and I was raised to life in Lord Jesus and My soul is entrusted to Him. Then He must become my Master and His faith then seals me in Him and He receives me to the Father in heaven. Lord Jesus told the disciples that ‘some who are standing here (before Him) will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom’ (Matthew 16:26-28). They did not suffer the death of separation from God nor shall we.
Faith of the Lord keeps working in me in my life. But since we are surrounded by darkness all around and this world is presently ruled by the devil, we do occasionally fall into sin but the Holy Spirit helps us get up and to keep moving forward in faith. To help us further in this Apostle Paul has said, ‘I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, I live; yet not I but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me’ (Galatians 2:20). Since Lord Jesus being in me and with me empowers me for His will and plans to be executed in and through me, I live in His faith in completion of His work in my life. This is done through the indwelling Holy Spirit for ‘yet not I but Christ lives in me’ and His faith works in me. But for this to happen we must have faith in Lord Jesus and in that also God helps us. The father of the deaf and mute boy cried out in desperation, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief’ (Mark 9:24). Even the disciples sought the Lord to ‘Increase our faith’ and God does help us in bringing us into faith and then continuously growing in faith (Luke 17:5).
But does He fill us with His faith or helps us build up our faith? The LORD God said to Moses, ‘See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet’ (– Exodus 7:1). After Moses continued to come up with his weaknesses to avoid going back to Egypt to lead his people out of slavery God assured him of such power of God working in and through him. Apostle Paul faced great opposition from the Pharisees and Sadducees in Jerusalem and had to be taken into custody by the commander of the Roman guard to protect him from harm. And ‘The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, ‘Take courage. As you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome’ (Acts 23:11). Faith itself is a gift of God through His Holy Spirit and we are strengthened in our faith in times of trials through the Word of God conveyed to us by a prophet, a preacher or any other means by God. His faith in us builds us up to face any situation and Apostle Paul faced all situations in faith, declaring, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’. We also, like the Apostle, can face any situation by keeping our focus on Lord Jesus, our Lord, who has promised us, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’, and then I may lose sometimes but my faith will remain strong to rise up and be ready for the next battle.
What must change in us to have faith of God actively working in us? The visible fruit of the Spirit in the life of a believer is His love, joy, patience, goodness and other traits (Galatians 5:22). This happens when we surrender our life to the LORD God to lead and guide us into His way. Then His thoughts and actions guide us supernaturally, to the extent we let Him. The promised ‘Helper’ by Lord Jesus dwells in a believer to ‘teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you’ (John 14:26). We can be taught only as much as we desire to learn, for our free will is never withdrawn by the Lord. He teaches and reminds us to live in a certain way but never forces by exercising our faith for us or His faith in place of us. He lives through us, transforming us gradually over time to change our minds to think and grow to live more and more like Him. This change continues throughout life and works through His supernatural empowerment with our active and continuous cooperation. In this Lord Jesus’ faith becomes our faith and then His victory becomes ours. We can then say like Apostle John, ‘This is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith’ (1 John 5:4). Essentially, we must first have faith in Lord Jesus and then we can remain in God’s way of life, only by letting the ‘faith of Lord Jesus’ be fully established in us.
Before the creation process could begin, the LORD God revealed the light of the glory of His son by calling out, ‘Let there be light’. And with that His plan was set rolling in and through His Son.
After the fall of mankind into sin, this same Son of God left the power and authority of His glory as God in heaven to become man. Filled with the faith of God the Father in Him, The Son could then bear all the pain of torture, rejection, betrayal and finally crucifiction. Through His life on the earth, the Lord then taught us a new way of life lived in faith and we continue to be transformed in this every day. Total and absolute surrender is the key to this change and we remain committed to this for all of our lives. He showed His faith in choosing us but are we willing to have faith in Him!