The Faith of Jesus Christ.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of faith.
The word ‘our’ is in italics. It is true that he is the source and object of our faith, but it isn’t ‘our’ faith that is spoken of here but His faith.
We are to look unto Him as:
The author:Strong’s Concordance opens the meaning of the word as one that takes the lead in any thing and thus affords an example, a predecessor in a matter, the pioneer,
Again, Strong’s definition is one who has in his own person raised faith to its perfection and so set before us the highest example of faith.
After presenting to us a great cloud of witnesses, all of whom personified Faith, the writer to the Hebrews now exhorts us to look to the prime example of Faith. The pioneer of Faith. The head of the line of all this great company. We trace all these men and women who lived by faith, from Abel through Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Moses’ parents, Moses himself, Rahab, Gedeon, Barak, Samson, the Prophets, until we reach the pinnacle and peerless life of faith, the faith of Jesus Christ.
Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross…..
His faith saw the joy beyond the terror. He believed in a Joy beyond His death.
This is faith, His faith.
He endured the cross, seeing things invisible. He saw the glory beyond the shame. The outward visible circumstances, couldn’t blur His resolve of faith. If it be possible, He prayed, take this cup from me, but not my will but thine be done. Thy will be done on earth. Faith to submit.
The joy set before him was His bride, His Father’s house, His eternal inheritance in His Saints. He believed the promise made to Abraham and to his seed, the promise that he would be heir of the world. He believed the promise made to David,
And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name.
Though it is Davids immediate successor, Solomon, who spoke these things, they find their true fulfilment in him who was David’s son and David’s Lord. He saw the eternal purpose which God had purposed.
For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;
Here was that man. Though the throne of glory lay beyond the tomb, He trusted. He could say:
In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven:
He knew that this prophecy would come to pass through him:
In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.
And because of the faith of Jesus Christ God pronounced the following:
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
Like all his predecessors He looked for a City whose builder and maker was God, the Holy City, New Jerusalem. He looked for His bride, he believed that God was able to raise him, and her, from the dead, he despised the shame, the cruel mockings and scourging, the bonds and imprisonment. He was tortured, not accepting deliverance, (come down from the cross, save thyself they shouted) that he might obtain a better resurrection. Out of weakness He was made strong, and turned to flight the armies of darkness, making a show of them openly, triumphing over them by His death.
His adversarys even taunted him because of his faith.
He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
Faith marked him out, it was how he walked. He trusted in God they said, let him deliver him NOW. Now it all seems hopless, now it all looks a shameful and helpless failure. He SAID I am the Son of God. But obviously it’s not true, look at him.
He did trust in spite of it all.
Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the a arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil u with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
He knew, he belived that this was true of him.
He knew he was the good shepherd who was to be smitten for the sheep.
He did always those things that pleased the Father, but without faith it is impossible to please God. He had faith, and lived by faith. He was the righteous one, who lived by his faith.
By such a faith as this he brought in the righteousness of God, even the righteousness of God, by faith of Jesus Christ. Unto all in terrible wrath and judgement, but thereafter upon all in grace, mercy and peace, righteousness being fully satisfied by his death.
Then, because we were justified, because death could have no more dominion over him, the penalty exacted, God raised him from the dead and seated him on his throne.
All, from beginning to end, is of faith. The great cloud of witnesses obtained a good report through faith. We are justified by the same faith. We are said to be justified by the faith of Christ. Why do we need anything else? He lived by faith, he died by faith and by faith he offered up himself the fulfilment of every type and shadow, the one and only sacrifice for sin, imperfectly set forth and prefigured by the blood of bulls and goats, by the furniture and ordinances of the Tabernacle, by the Levitical priesthood, by the holy place and the most holy place, by the Ark made of incorruptible wood, overlaid with Gold.
We have redemption through His blood.
We are made nigh by his blood.
We are justified by his blood.
We are sanctified by his blood.
We are washed in his blood.
We are cleansed from all sin by his blood.
We are purchased by his blood.
It’s the blood of sprinkling, which speaks better things than that of Able.
It’s the blood of the everlasting covenant.
The precious blood of Christ.
Everything is in his death.
His sinless spotless righteousness, made him the only suitable substitute.
His obedience (Literally to hearken submissively) was unto death, even the death of the cross. He hearkened submissively, and his obedience was the obedience of faith.
Righteousness of God comes by faith in his blood.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
His being made sin, at the cross, was for this purpose, that we might be made the righteousness of God, in him.
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Here Paul speaks of having a righteousness which was not his own, but a righteousness which is through the faith of Christ, through Christ’s faith. The righteousness of God by 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.
Here the faith of Christ is a separate thing than our believing in Jesus. The one is his faith, the other is ours.
We often hear the phrase “The Righteousness of Christ is reckoned to believers.” By which is meant, if I understand the teaching aright, that Jesus vicariously kept the law for us.
It is stated that: Just as we haven’t, don’t and can’t keep the law of God, and therefore are unrighteous. He however could and did keep the law of God, and therefore His righteous keeping of the law, is what is reckoned to us, so that we are seen as having perfectly obeyed the law. Therein, in this imputed keeping of the law, stands our righteousness.
Popular as it is I must admit that I can’t find that teaching anywhere in the bible.
First of all it seems to me that this teaching is not represented in the shadows and types of the Old Testament.
The sacrificial lamb was indeed to be without spot or blemish. But doesn’t this answer, figuratively, to the perfect sinlessness of Christ as:
The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.
He was without sin. He did no sin. He knew no sin. He was perfect and absolutely righteous. Therefore he was the only suitable substitute.
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh……..
The suffering and death of Christ as the righteous one, in the place of a great multitude of unrighteous ones, is what brings us to God.
But nowhere in the Old Testament is the life of the sacrifice, before death, said to be accepted in place of the offerer.
The sacrifice, being perfect, was a suitable substitute, but it was the death of the sacrifice alone, instead of the sinner, the shedding of it’s blood, which made atonement.
A substitute is one who stands in our stead. We are condemned to die. He died in our place.
he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Secondly, the Apostle Paul insists that the reckoning of the Righteousness of God to the ungodly is totally apart from the Law, which was given by Moses.
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Justification is through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus.
And if we are thereby reckoned righteous, and justified in the sight of God, what else do we need? Why is anything else required?
Our Law breaking wasn’t balanced out by Our Saviour’s Law keeping. Our Law breaking is what caused the curse of God to fall on His Son. As the Apostle Paul says:
Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
Everywhere in the Scriptures salvation is in His blood. in the above passage it doesn’t say that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by keeping it for us. It states that he redeemed us from the curse of the law by being made a curse for us.
He stood as it were in the breach. Between the wrath of God and the sinner. Something deep within the very being and heart of God passed, by the eternal Spirit, between the Father and the Son. God was making an end of sin, by the sacrifice of His Son.
God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him to be sin for us, (he who knew no sin;) that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
This is the Law:
For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
This is the gospel:
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Far from vicariously keeping the law for us, that was against us, which was contrary to us he:
Blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
The answer to a broken law isn’t someone to keep it for us but for someone to take our place under the curse.
The answer to a broken law is:
I am crucified with Christ.
If He ‘kept the law for me,’ then why was He cursed for my breaking it?