Fall 2011: The Faith of Jesus
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The faith of Jesus is not comprehended. We must talk it, we must live it, we must pray it, and educate the people to bring this part of the message into their home life. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (1888, 430).

Is the faith of Jesus part of your home life? Perhaps you haven’t given much thought to this aspect of the Third Angel’s Message. Many readily acknowledge that their understanding of this subject is rather limited, and yet, it is of equal importance to the commandments of God. The third angel’s message is the proclamation of the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ. The commandments of God have been proclaimed, but the faith of Jesus Christ has not been proclaimed by Seventhday Adventists as of equal importance, the law and the gospel going hand in hand. I cannot find language to express this subject in its fullness. “The faith of Jesus.” It is talked of, but not understood (3SM, 172).

We cannot obey the gospel unto salvation, until the science of faith is better understood, and until more faith is exercised (RH October 18, 1898).

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Consider the faith of Jesus for a moment. For Jesus to have been “in all points tempted like as we are” (Hebrews 4:15), the possibility of yielding to sin had to have been there. Jesus knew that His life of continual obedience would be possible only if He continued to submit moment by moment to His Father’s will. He also knew that His resurrection as our Saviour would be based upon the condition that He remained victorious.

Such was His understanding of the conditions, but what was his faith?

Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: and they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again (Matthew 17:22-23).

Jesus spoke confidently of His resurrection, indicating that He had faith that His Father would keep Him from yielding to sin. Did Jesus have any word from God that he could place His faith in that declared that He would remain victorious until the end?

He found that word in Isaiah 42:4: “He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth,” and even had a promise regarding His resurrection: “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (Psalm 16:10).

Do we have any word from God that we can place our faith in which will give us hope that God will keep us from falling? Can we believe this with the same assurance with which Jesus believed? Yes indeed!

And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen (2 Timothy 4:18).

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling (Jude 1:24).

Faith is expecting the Word of God itself to do what that word says, and depending upon that word alone to accomplish what it declares. Jesus lived by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God. He put His faith in God’s Word, expecting the Word to accomplish what it said. And according to His faith it was unto Him (Matthew 9:29). This is the faith of Jesus and it is by this the Christian lives.

...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 (Galatians 2:20).

Bible page from the book of John

A correct understanding of theological facts is important, but, “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). Jesus had faith in the written word and declared with David, “I have inclined my heart to perform thy statutes always, even unto the end” (Psalm 119:12).

. . . constantly the words were on His lips, ‘I will not fail nor be discouraged’” (ST, June 16, 1898).

God’s Word has creative power, and Jesus’ faith in the Word caused it to be true in His life. That Word also says, “O bless our God... Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved” (Psalm 66:8-9).

Jesus believed that His soul would be held in life and according to His faith it was unto Him.

It came to me as a new thought that my soul would be held in life. I had not realized that “We have a right to say, ‘In the strength of Jesus Christ, I will be a conqueror. I will not be overcome by Satan’s devices” (MS 31, 1911).

My history of being overcome in temptation made it seem impossible for me to believe that I would not continue to fail, and yet the Spirit of God says, “Go forward saying, I will not fail nor be discouraged” (Spaulding-Magan, 198).

The enemy will suggest that the Lord will not keep us from sinning, and make us obedient to all His requirements. He will direct our minds to our past imperfections, to our sins, failures, and mistakes, and tell us we need not expect to come off conquerors at last (ST September 12, 1892).

My only alternative to faith was to deny the promise of God by unbelief.

Are you living by the faith of the Son of God? If so, “You should be able to say, ‘I have set the Lord always before me, because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved” (1888, 1189). The faith of Jesus is simply believing every promise that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

How I wish that all might believe in the promises of God...We are not to look into our hearts for a joyful emotion as an evidence of our acceptance with Heaven, but we are to take God’s promises and say, “they are mine. The Lord is letting His Spirit rest upon me. I am receiving the light; for the promise is, ‘Believe that ye receive the things ye ask for, and ye shall have them’ By faith I reach within the veil and lay hold of Christ, my strength. I thank God that I have a Saviour” (FLB, 9).

Several years ago, I was somewhat perplexed by a sentence I read in a daily devotional entitled Sons and Daughters:

To go forward without stumbling, we must have the assurance that a hand all-powerful will hold us up and an infinite pity be exercised toward us if we fall (154).

If we fall? What about the assurance in that all-powerful hand that will hold us up? We were talking faith. Why throw in that “if we fall” bit? Doesn’t that just diminish our focus and thus our faith in God’s hand that is able to keep us from falling?

the coast of the valley of the rocks lynton devon with sea fog against the cliffs

This was a paradox that I didn’t immediately comprehend. It was readily evident how faith in the all-powerful hand that kept you from stumbling could enable you to go forward without stumbling. But how did believing in infinite pity actually assist in keeping one from stumbling?

But there stood that sentence. Assurance in both an all-powerful hand and infinite pity for failure are required in order to keep from stumbling. I submitted to the paradox, accepting it as true and trusted that God would, in time, help me understand it.

Soon after, the following illustration formed in my mind: if you were to walk upon a 12-inch plank lying a few inches from the ground, you could go forward quite easily without stumbling. The all-powerful plank would adequately support your weight and you would have no fear of falling because the ground (infinite pity) would be only inches below the plank.

Now, take that same all-powerful plank and suspend it between two skyscrapers.

The ground (infinite pity) is now far removed, so that if you fell it would be to your death. If you were to go forward, your whole focus would now be on not falling off. The very fear of falling would prevent you from going forward. We must know that infinite pity is available to those who stumble.

Just as soon as you commit sin, you should flee to the throne of grace, and tell Jesus all about it. You should be filled with sorrow for sin, because through sin you have weakened your own spirituality, grieved the heavenly angels, and wounded and bruised the loving heart of your Redeemer.

When you have asked Jesus in contrition of soul for his forgiveness, believe that he has forgiven you... Ask your Heavenly Father to forgive your errors, and pray that through the grace of Christ you may be able to overcome every defect of your character (BE, February 1, 1892).

Why, I have just as firm a trust in God that He will stand my feet on Mount Zion, as that I live and breathe; and I am going to keep that trust till I die (LS, 442).

Do not dishonor God by one expression of inefficiency and inability to overcome fully, entirely, and gloriously through Jesus Christ, who had died to redeem you, and make you a free man. Conquer, yes, conquer. Put your will every moment on the side of God’s will. Think hopefully and courageously. In faith cry out against Satan, and looking unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of your faith, say, ‘Jesus, my Redeemer, I am weak. I cannot do anything without Thy special help. I hang my helpless soul on Thee.’ Then let your imagination dwell on the thought that you are in the presence of Jesus, walking with God, your life hid with Christ in God . . . . Then you will not glorify Satan by imagining yourself weak and helpless. . . . You will say, “Jesus lives, and because He lives I will live also. He has conquered Satan in my behalf, and I will not be conquered by the devil once. I will not disgrace my Lord and leader; but I will triumph in His holy name, and come off more than conqueror” (OHC, 41).

When we accept the faith of Jesus, “It is the privilege of each to be able to say, ‘And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen’” (RH, July 18, 1907).

Talk and act as if your faith was invincible (COL 147).

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