While reading last week, the author brought to my attention that which Jesus wanted from His disciples and He new wants from us now; that is total surrender, total obedience. I’m sure we have all heard this preached and taught countless times.
As Paul says in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I live; yet no longer I, but Christ lives in me. And that life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith toward the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself on my behalf.” (MKJV), while the NIV reads, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Here we have 2 version of how I live:
MKJV says “I live by faith toward the Son of God…..”
NIV says I live “I live by faith in the Son of God…..”
Not quite the same meanings.
Let’s see what other versions say:
ESV says “I I live by faith in the Son of God…..”
ASV says “I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God…..”
RV says “I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God….”
Webster says “I live by the faith of the Son of God…..”
KJV says “I live by the faith of the Son of God…..”
There is quite a difference in living by faith IN Jesus and living in the faith OF Jesus.
The MKJV (Modern King James Version) in its “faith towards Jesus” seems to have taken the least positive of the wording here. There is no positive affirmation, no attempt to have or claim a relationship with Jesus himself.
The NIV (New International Version) is its “faith in Jesus” seems to be the “middle of the road,” so to speak. But in gives the idea that we are dependent on Him to do for use that which we cannot, or rather will not, do. It sounds like we are using Jesus as a ‘safety blanket,’ so that when we mess up, He will catch us and all will be all right for us.
The ASV (American Standard Version) and the RV (Revised Version) both agree we live in the same faith which is in Jesus, or put another way, “the faith of Jesus.” They align with Webster and KJV (King James Version) which both agree on “the faith of Jesus”.
This has a completely different meaning when one thinks about it and the implications for us are large. If I live by the faith of Jesus I am living by the faith of the Lord God himself. It brings me into an intimate and personal relationship with the maker of all that which exists: the God how laid out the stars and the planets and measures eternity in the palm of His hand. That is an awesome promise, an awesome state for us to be in. To live in that faith is breathtaking, so hard, indeed, too hard, to imagine its full meaning or expanse. His faith is so much beyond our feeble attempts.
As Smith Wigglesworth, a man called ”The Apostle of Faith” because of his absolute trust in God says, “there is a difference between our faith and the faith of Lord Jesus. The faith of the Lord Jesus is needed. We must change faith from time to time. You faith may get to a place where it wavers. The faith of Christ never wavers. When you have His faith, the thing is finished. When you have His faith, you will never look a things as they are. You will see the things of nature give way to the things of the spirit; you will see the temporal swallowed up in the eternal.”
It is “The Faith of Jesus” which enables us to raise the dead, heal the sick and move mountains. Remember that in Matthew 17:20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” We certainly don’t do that in our own faith or in our own flesh.
As He sent the 12 disciples out (Matthew 10:8) he commissioned them to “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons….” Then He told them not to worry about how or what to speak should they be in trouble. He tells them in v20 “For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you”.
All they, the Disciples, had to do was to surrender all to Jesus so His superior faith could flow through them. That is all we need to do also! To look “to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
I think I’ll settle for that. I think I’ll seek to “live by the faith of the Son of God…..”