Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Faithfulness of Jesus

Have you ever wondered what our future would be like if Jesus never came to our planet 2000 years ago, or if Jesus did come but found his mission too difficult to complete?

He certainly found it difficult.
"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me." (Matthew 26 : 38, 39 NIV)

But He did see it through - he was faithful to the plan the Father had assigned to him. And, as a result, we have been saved and will live beyond the grave.

In this sense, Christ's faithfulness has saved us and given us life. Yet, most of our popular translations of the Bible credit our salvation to our faith rather than Christ's.

Popular, dynamic equivalence translations and paraphrases usually give the false impression that we are the active participants in achieving salvation rather than Jesus by translating "the faith or faithfulness of Jesus" as "faith in Jesus".

Here are three examples just from Galatians.


Chapter 2 Verse 16 

  • ... know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, ... (NIV and similar in most modern translations and paraphrases)
  • 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 ... (KJV and similar in most literal translations)

Chapter 2 Verse 20

  • I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (NIV et al)
  • 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. (KJV et al)

Chapter 3 Verse 22

  • But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. (NIV et al)
  • But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. (KJV et al)

Clearly we are not justified by works of the law, and not even by the "work" of faith, as the modern popular translations infer.
Grace is grace; we are freely given justification, salvation, life, and so much more. We are even given the ability to believe so that we can receive them now and so become the firstfruits of the eventual harvest. Because of Jesus' faith/faithfulness, he guaranteed reconciliation for his whole creation, ensuring the complete harvest (after the kingdom age during the millennium).


Blessings, Barry

1 comment:

All relevant comments are most welcome. However, please express any disagreement you might have without being disagreeable and with grace towards those who might not hold your point of view.