Dear Arno Froese,
I enjoy the magazines you publish. I get both the Midnight Call and News From Israel.
I especially like the “Letters to the Editor.” I am 74 and have been a paraplegic for almost 50 years. I have studied the Bible for many years. But I have a question which I cannot answer.
What does the Bible mean by the “faith of Jesus Christ” and/or the “faith of God”? In reading the epistles of Paul, it is mentioned several times.
Romans 3:3, “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?”
Romans 3:22-23, “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Galatians 2:16, “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: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
Galatians 3:22, “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.”
By his mother, Mary, Jesus was the Son of Man. By His father, God/Holy Spirit, Jesus was the Son of God. At 12, he was able to speak to the elders of Israel for three days with all wisdom. At the same time, He knew God was His Father. Did Jesus as the Son of God always have this wisdom? Did Jesus have to learn this wisdom from godly men, or was it all there from birth? Did the Son of Man have to by faith believe He was the Son of God?
-D. Visser, MI
Answer: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). That faith originates from God. This type of faith was first found in Abraham, “…the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all” (Romans 4:16). Although a number of translations say “faith in Jesus,” I find “faith of Jesus Christ” a better translation. Our faith leads us to “the faith of Jesus.”
The reason why Jesus as “the Son of man” had wisdom, even at the age of 12, is grounded in the fact that He was perfectly obedient to the Heavenly Father. We read in Hebrews 4:15, “…but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
As “the Son of God,” He is God, but as “the Son of man,” He was limited to a normal functioning human. This is evident from Mark 13:32: “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” Can we explain this rationally? No, because this question touches the humanly incomprehensible reality of the Trinity, and I dare not attempt to explain it except to quote 1 John 5:7: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”