The original Greek of this portion of Scripture can be read both ways: faith in or faith of. For Christians, both aspects are of vital importance. I prefer to read this as “the faith of Jesus.” This ties in with other portions of Scripture that literally read the faith of God or faith of Jesus. For example, in Mark 11:22, Jesus says, “Have faith in God.” But the footnote states that the original meaning is, “Have the faith of God.” But what does it mean to have the faith of Jesus? Many feel uncomfortable with verses such as Revelation 14:12 where we read “keeping the Commandments of God” and having “the faith of Jesus” or when we read quotes such as, “God requires at this time just what He required of the holy pair in Eden—perfect obedience to His requirements” (Faith and Works, 52).
When we read such quotes we wonder if perhaps God is asking a little too much. How can we ever be as holy as the pair in Eden, perfectly created in all purity from the hand of God? Actually, the faith of Jesus and the faith in Jesus are inseparable. In fact, when we exercise faith in Jesus, we will then live out in our lives the faith of Jesus. We need not have any fear when we read verses that speak of being without spot or blemish before the throne of God, as long as we have a constant working experience with Christ. This is the faith of Jesus.How do we put all this into real life? To understand this whole question of the faith in and of Jesus, we need to realize what it really means. While on the boat tossed on the sea of Galilee, Jesus rested in perfect peace and tranquillity.
When Jesus was awakened to meet the storm, He was in perfect peace. There was no trace of fear in word or look, for there was no fear in His heart. But He rested not in the possession of almighty power. And it was not as the “Master of earth and sea and sky” that He reposed in quiet. That power He had laid down, and He says: “I can of mine own self do nothing.” John 5:30.
He trusted in the Father’s might. It was in faith – faith in God’s love and care – that Jesus rested, and the power of the Word which stilled the storm was the power of God (Desire of Ages, 336).
Consider this example: If you wanted to cleanse your body of impurities, you would go on a cleansing diet, eating only certain cleansing foods and drinking plenty of water. You are not instantly cleansed of all impurities the very day you go on that cleansing. But if you persevere, the impurities will slowly be eliminated out of your system.
We are to be on a spiritual cleanse with the Holy Spirit in our lives. In John 4:14 we read about how Jesus offered the Samaritan woman the water of life, which is Him. As we daily partake of that water of life, it cleanses us of all impurities.
Nothing but the Blood – The pure blood of Jesus Christ justifies us (Romans 5:9). By accepting Jesus into our lives, we are covered by the righteousness of Christ. While we are being cleansed through the Water of Life (ref: Isaiah 12:1-6), we must continuously be covered by Jesus’ righteousness.
The spiritual cleanse is a continuous growth process. I firmly believe that the spiritual and physical aspects of our holistic Christian experience are closely tied together. We are not just to take care of that which is spiritual, but ought also to take care of the physical aspects of our life (1 Corinthians 6). The self-control practiced in the physical diet is the same self-control that is to be exercised in our spiritual diet.
The faith of Jesus (Yehushua) quite literally means Jesus lives in you through the Holy Spirit, and is ministering in your life. It is easy to talk about having faith in Jesus. James writes that even the demons believe yet they tremble. Sometimes we believe, and we don’t even tremble.
Having faith in Jesus will mean that we will have the kind of faith that Jesus did on Earth. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My Voice, and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). When Jesus comes in, He will put you on that cleansing diet. His Spirit causes us to exercise the faith of Jesus. As Christ overcame in the faith He was exercising, so we are to overcome in the faith that He helps us exercise in our lives. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Revelation 3:21).
Even though we, in the human flesh, have a hereditary desire to sin, Christ and (through) the Holy Spirit will live in us and there will be a Supernatural Power working in us, enabling us to overcome that natural human propensity to sin. But we need to continue in that experience with perseverance. “To whom God would make known what is the riches (abundance) of the glory of this mystery among the gentiles (unbelieving, heathen) . . . . which is Christ in you, the hope of glory !” Colossians 1:27 “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead through sin; but the Spirit is Life, because of righteousness . . . . !” Romans 8:1-11
Justification is continuous in the process of sanctification. Being in that process means continual sacrificing, continual submission to Jesus every moment. In this condition, when the Father looks at you, He doesn’t see your imperfect human condition that is in that process, but instead He sees Christ, His Son, ministering and working in you. The Father sees the perfect life of His Son; and the Father cannot reject the Son. You are covered by the righteousness of Christ.
And this is why those who claim to have the Holy Spirit will not continue in sin (ref: I John 3:4-9). When we realize that something you eat is harmful for us, what do we do? We stop eating it. The problem is some of us who are on the cleansing diet keep going back to the things that are bad for us. If we continue to cheat while on our cleansing diet, slowly but surely we will become unhealthy once again.
In light of this, I will not wilfully continue in known sin when I have Christ living in me. If I am on the cleansing diet, I will be involved in the process of sanctification. The definition of sanctification is purification. The result of the process of purification is obedience to the truth, and purification or sanctification is a process that is facilitated by obedience to the word of God. The source of power to continue in this process of sanctification is the Holy Spirit.
The Word of God reveals what needs to change in my life. The Spirit speaks to me through what I learn in the Word of God. When the Spirit is living in me I have the power to stay in the sanctification process and obey the Truth (the Word of God – John 17:17).
In Faith and Works we read, “Obedience to the law of God is sanctification” (85). What does this mean to us? The meaning lies at the root of our Christian experience, and it deals with a true, spiritual love.
In Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind… and thy neighbour as thyself.” The result of this love is the demonstration of its power in our life by our works towards our fellow man and our obedience to God (2 John 6).
Obedience is what the whole struggle between Christ and Satan is about. Satan accused God saying that God’s laws were unjust and could not be obeyed. And there are many today who agree, saying, “It’s impossible to obey the law of God. It’s expecting too much to ask us to meet that perfect standard. We can’t be perfect!” Of course, this is nothing new. They are just repeating what Satan said from the very beginning. But we make the whole Life of Christ null and void if we hold to this opinion. Christ came to this world to prove that the requirements of God are just, and that by exercising faith it’s possible to obey God’s requirements. He came to prove that the commandments are indeed given in love, so we should obey them in love.
With Jesus living in us we can exercise the faith of Jesus. The real problem today is that we don’t want to surrender everything that we are to Christ. This is why He is not accomplishing this sanctifying work in our lives. The challenge to us is to go on that cleansing diet. Drink deeply of the water of life. Respond to the revelation of truth by allowing it to change what you are.
In Revelation 14:5, we find a verse that often fills us with consternation: “In their mouth was found no guile (deceit, deception), for they are without fault before the throne of God.” How can I as a sinner be without fault before the throne of God? We can do this by allowing sanctification to take place in my life.
“That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Timothy 6:14).
“Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless !” (2 Peter 3:14 ).
We do not have to fear the Word of God . . . . . if we are covered by the righteousness of Christ. And the only way to be covered is to be continuously, from day to day, on that cleansing diet in that process of sanctification. How often do we stray from that diet? Are we constantly willing to give our lives to Jesus every day?
The power that was available to Christ is the same power that is available to every single person today. The Bible tells us this, and we must believe what it says. All those who are genuinely seeking can receive this power and exercise the faith of Jesus, through the power of God in their lives.
May the Lord bless each of us as we continue to seek His Spirit, allowing Jesus to come into our lives after we have opened that door, that we may receive that reward He has promised us.