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Friday, September 26, 2014

Author and Finisher

Illustration by: Stuart Miles

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.
(Hebrews 12:2)

An author writes the story. That involves making it up and intricate planning. The Bible says that Jesus, before the creation of the world, already planned our redemption. Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God (1 Peter 1:18-21).

God knew mankind would sin, and He had already planned to sacrifice His Son, before the world was created. God is the Author of salvation.

Jesus’ virgin birth and sacrifice are prophesied in Genesis 3:15, just after Adam and Eve sinned: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

The word finisher brings to mind Jesus’ words on the cross, as He gave up His spirit. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost (John 19:30). What was finished? The whole payment of redemption. The giving of His blood. The Sinless dying for sinful man.

I looked up the word used for faith in Hebrews 12:2 (Greek: pistis). It means “conviction of a truth, belief.”* Jesus planned to die to pay the price for sin, and He thus provided for all those who would believe in Him. 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 (Romans 3:25).

When we put our faith in Jesus provision of redemption through His death on the cross, there are some amazing benefits:
  • Peace with God—Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).
  • Access to grace—By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:2).
  • Boldness and access in prayerIn whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him (Ephesians 3:12). But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (James 1:6a).
  • The indwelling of the Holy SpiritThat Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith (Ephesians 3:17a).
  • A sure hope of heavenNow faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).
  • Motivation to demonstrate faith with our worksEven so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works (James 2:17-18).

Who can have faith?
Anyone who trusts Jesus as SaviorFor God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).

How can a person find out about faith in Jesus?
Read the Bible. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). You can start by reading the Gospel of Saint John. It’s all about Jesus’ life and ministry. In John, chapter 3, Jesus tells a man how he can be born again.

I always thought salvation was about works. Is it really about faith?
Read these verses. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith . . . .

(If you need to know more about salvation, take time to read the Gospel of John. Enjoy reading about Jesus, who died and rose for you.)

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