Crucified with Christ
Photo: © blake - Fotolia.com
Faith IN Christ Or The Faith OF Christ? GALATIANS 2:16-20
In these verses Paul says being a Christian is not about trying to win your way to heaven by your own efforts. It's the opposite. You need to die to your old fleshly ideas and ambitions and realise that when you became a Christian, you were crucified with Christ.
"The Old You died with Christ on that filthy Roman cross at Calvary so that the New You could rise like Christ from the grave in the power of the Holy Spirit."
In verse 16 Paul says: "A person is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith OF Jesus Christ."
If you are using a different translation you may have noticed this sentence is translated as "by faith IN Jesus Christ."
Two Greek Ways of Talking about Faith IN Jesus and The Faith OF Jesus.
(1) When I place my faith in Jesus, the Greek reads: pisteuo eis ton Iesoun (eis + Accusative=’into Jesus’)
(2) When talking about Jesus’ God-given faith, the Greek reads: pistis tou Iesou (Genitive=’faith of Jesus’)
Faith Is A Gift From God
In EPHESIANS 2:8-9 Paul writes:
For it is by (God's) grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
All You Can Do With A Gift Is Nothing Except To Receive It
Q. What am I receiving? A. Jesus’ faith in God the Father.
Q How do I receive it? A. As a gift when I am born again/from above supernaturally by God's grace.
In MARK 4:28-30 the disciples are afraid they're all going to drown in the middle of a storm on the Lake of Galilee. Meanwhile, Jesus is fast asleep in the boat! So they wake him up and say to Jesus:
"Master, don't you care that we're all going to drown?"
Jesus replies: "O ye of little faith!"
Dallas Willard points out that the disciples had faith in Jesus. They just didn't have Jesus' faith in God at that moment!
There is a huge difference between -
(a) my imperfect faith IN Christ and
(b) the perfect faith OF Christ in God.
When I have been crucified with Christ and raised to life with him, I have Christ's God-given faith now through the Holy Spirit living in me.