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philologos
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 Word Study: The Faith of God (or Christ)

I recently received two questions on this from different folk so I thought it might be useful to raise the question here.

Quote:
Question 1: My query is in respect to the phrases 'faith of Christ' and 'faith in Christ'. Obviously, there is a world of difference between the implications of the two, but what saith the Greek? Without an understanding of that language I try to make sense of the repeat of the word 'ho' in Galatians 2:20. Again, have I heard it said that Mark 11:22 should read: 'have the faith of God'?
When I look at other references to 'faith of' it appears that the word 'of' is not present - is this right?

Quote:
Question 2: I am quite perplexed about the distinction between the 'faith OF God' or Christ and faith IN God or Christ. Is this merely the 'faithfulness' of God when we say "the faith of God"? Or are we to suppose God uses faith?



This was my answer to the first question: My understanding is that both translations would be valid. My instinct is always to include rather than narrow when it comes to hermeneutics. However I think there is a short cut which may interest you. Look at these verses.

Rom 3:3 the faith of God. I think that clearly means God's faith in this context.
Rom 3:22 the faith of Jesus Chris - lets hold on that one.
Rom 4:12 the faith of our father Abraham. No doubt here this is the faith that Abraham had or 'Abraham-type' faith.
Rom 4:16 the faith of Abraham. No doubt here either. This is Abraham-type faith.
Gal 2:16,20. 3:22 . as Rom 3:22 above.
The phrase ‘the faith of’ certainly seems able to bear the weight of ‘belonging to’. This list is not exhaustive but look at the way Paul, by the Spirit, uses this phrase. To me the weight of evidence is in favour of 'the faith of Jesus Christ' meaning 'Christ's Faith' or Christ-type faith. I believe we need Abraham-type faith for justification, and Christ-type faith for regeneration.

John Wesley distinguished his attitude of heart after Fetter Lane to that before Fetter Lane, by saying "I had even then the faith of a servant, though not that of a son" Journal Vol 1 p422n. I think this is valid.

In short, I don't think we can prove our point from the Greek but I think that Paul's use of this phrase from other contexts strongly implies that
this is Christ's Faith, in the sense of the kind of faith that Christ has and not faith in Christ.

This post may create more questions than answers, but this is just a starter…


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/15 4:27Profile
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 Re: Word Study: The Faith of God (or Christ)

And the layperson jumps up from the peanut gallery ...

Quote:
My query is in respect to the phrases [b]'faith of Christ'[/b] and [b]'faith in Christ'[/b]. Obviously, there is a world of difference between the implications of the two, but what saith the Greek? Without an understanding of that language I try to make sense of the repeat of the word 'ho' in Galatians 2:20. Again, have I heard it said that Mark 11:22 should read: 'have the faith of God'?



Not sure there is a difference at all from this perspective;

If we are bought, friends/bonservants/soldiers of the Lord and have [b][i]faith [u]in[/u] Christ[/i][/b], do we not then have within us the [b][i]faith [u]of[/u] Christ[/i][/b]?

My, just musing this out loud is proving to be somewhat of a revelation...!

Joh 15:4 Abide [b]in me[/b], and [b]I in you[/b]. As the branch cannot bear fruit [b]of itself[/b], except it abide [b]in the vine[/b]; no more can ye, except ye abide [b]in me[/b].

Knowing that;

Joh 3:34 "For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, [i]for he gives the Spirit without measure.[/i]"

And;

Joh 3:30 [i]He must increase, but I must decrease."[/i]

Is it only the amount of resistance within us that hinders the full 'measure' of our "faith [b]in[/b]" becoming our "faith [b]of[/b] Christ" ?

This is rich!

...certainly the opposite would be true as well and can't help wonder if that "[b]of[/b]" had us in totality that this might be more true than we have ever known;

Joh 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me no question. Verily, verily, I say unto you, if ye shall ask anything [b]of[/b] the Father, he will give it you [b]in[/b] my name.

Little play on words there, but still...


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Mike Balog

 2005/1/15 10:51Profile
crsschk
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 Re:

To expound a bit
Some Philologos style Biblical algebra...

A) in + 'of'* = "Your's" ?

B) in + of = "His" ?

C) in - of = "Lord, Lord, did we not ..."

(* Thinking along the lines of mental accession)

Pardon the slight diversion, but it does seem that in large part this does relate to the idea and the 'sound' of "inviting Christ into your life" if referenced to the result of "A" above (Your's) as it is much promoted in our modern day and gives one (at least this one) a case of the 'willies', that squirmy feeling that we are giving people the wrong end of the stick.

Who did the inviting?

Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Mat 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Mat 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for to such belongeth the kingdom of heaven.

Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father that sent me draw him: and I will raise him up in the last day.

Yes, quite familiar with the usage of;

Rev 3:20 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.

and the application and/or whether this applies 'only' to the church...

But frankly, it's a takeover plot and if we give the result of "A" instead of "B" we end up with "C".

Even the demons believe in part of the equations.
Think I have lost myself in all this math...

Guess I am just trying to say, "Who's got who?"
"Belonging to" as Ron put it.

And as it relates to this discussion there is much [b]faith in[/b]... all kinds of who knows what, "Faith [b]in[/b] 'Faith'" of the prosperity gospel\Word of Faith type, "Faith in Christ" as some type of fire insurance (never reading the fine print)... I digress, sorry for the length, just some brain dumping, do ignore the fumbling...

Better said by Paris Reidhead;

[i]He's like a fellow driving up in a big Cadillac you know, to someone standing at a filling station saying “Fill her up, Bud, with the highest octane you got.” Well, that’s the way it looked, he wanted power for his program. And God is not going to be a means to anyone’s end.

I said, “I’m awfully sorry, I don’t think I can help you." He said “Why?” "I don’t think you’re ready. Well suppose, you consider yourself coming up with a Cadillac, you’ve talked about your program, you’ve talked about your radio, you’ve talked about your Sunday school and church. Very good. You’ve done wonderfully well without the power of the Holy Spirit.” That’s what the Chinese Christian said you know when he got back to China. “What impressed you most about America?” He said, “The great things Americans can accomplish without God.” And he’d accomplished a great deal, admittedly, without God. And now he’s wanted something, power, to accomplish his end even further.

I said “No. No. You’re gonna, you're sitting behind the wheel and you’re saying to God, 'Give me power so I can go.' You won't work, you gotta slide over." But I knew that rascal, 'cause I knew me. I said, “No it’ll never do. You gotta get in the back seat.” And I could see him leaning over and grabbing the wheel. “No,” I said.
“It’ll never do in the back seat.”

I said “Before God’ll do anything for you, you know what you gotta do?” And he said, “What?” I said, “You gotta get out of the car, take the keys around, open up the trunk lid, hand the keys to the Lord Jesus, get inside the trunk, slam the lid down, whisper through the keyhole, ‘Lord, look, fill her up with anything You want and You drive, it’s up to You from now on.’” [/i]

[url=https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=1573&forum=40&post_id=&refresh=Go]"The Revival Hymn" Audio Transcription[/url]

Got a feeling I really botched this up and made it more confusing than necessary and didn't want to go off on some negative dirge...

Maybe the simplest way to put it is that you can't separate one from the other?


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Mike Balog

 2005/1/15 12:48Profile
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 Re:

Hi Bro Ron and Bro Mike,

A couple things pop-up in my mind. I know that one of the gifts of the Spirit is faith and that God has dealt unto every man the 'measure' of faith. In both cases it seems clear to me that the faith in question is a gift from God to us to exercise as needed. It would seem that faith IN Christ would be to exercise the faith OF Christ (Christ's faith that he gave to us) in Him. Perhaps faith is the catalyst that activated the power of God; but in all cases it seems God's will must come into play. I don't know how you would diagram that statement? :-?

The faith folk seem to believe faith is a force that can be weilded. They believe that God used the force of faith to create the cosmos (Hebrews 11 is their proof text). Yet, I understand that passage to say; "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God..." Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. I understand by faith, not God created by faith. Who was it I read here that said, "Faith where there is no promise is superstition?" This is exactly my point. If faith can be weilded as a force...

Any thoughts?

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/1/15 19:36Profile
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 Re: Word Study: The Faith of God (or Christ)

Quote:
I believe we need Abraham-type faith for justification, and Christ-type faith for regeneration.



Hi Bro. Ron,

Would this mean that the faith exercised for justification is the 'measure' of faith (Romans 12) that has been dealt to every man and that at justification we receive the 'faith of Christ' as a gift to further exercise for regeneration? I never teach on that level and doubt I ever would, but it would be interesting to work out for my own sake.

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/1/15 19:43Profile
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 Re: Word Study: The Faith of God (or Christ)

This has really stayed with me and forgive me for the earlier tangent, not sure I was fully engaged at least in attempting mathematical equations.

Still fascinated with the implications of these questions and the tense of those 2, two letter words in this context of the questions asked originally.

Another that jumped up;

1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him? But we have [b]the mind of Christ.[/b]

Still thinking along the lines of [i]both[/i]. And I think another reason is that it applies to much of our dialouge when it comes to 'dying to self', justification by faith and a whole host of other questions that come up, especially early on in this walk.

Reaching back to those early days when the mind is beginning to be torqued into all kinds of uncomfortable positions...And as it ought to be, being born again should produce some crying as the Holy Spirit begins to deal with us, revealing our hearts, touching our pride, anger, unforgiveness, that 'old' disposition and it's bents toward evil ("You, being [i]evil[/i]...)

And it isn't too far along where the confusion set's in as to 'who has which job' now. Do I sit passively by as 'the Lord works through me'? What am I supposed to [b]do[/b]? All the implications and the stalling at Romans 7; 'Wretched man that I am...'

Albert Barnes has some excellent commentary on
1Co 2. A snippet;

"[i] The faith of Christians does not stand in the wisdom of man. Every Christian has evidence in his own heart, in his experience, and in the transformation of his character, that none but God could have made the change on his soul. His hopes, his joys, his peace, his sanctification, his love of prayer, of the Bible, of Christians, of God, and of Christ, are all such as nothing could have produced but the mighty power of God. All these bear marks of their high origin. They are the work of God on the soul. And as the Christian is fully conscious that these are not the native feelings, of his heart - that if left to himself he would never have had them; so he has the fullest demonstration that they are to be traced to a divine source. And can he be mistaken about their existence? Can a man doubt whether he has joy, and peace, and happiness? Is the infidel to tell him coolly that he must be mistaken in regard to the existence of these emotions, and that it is all delusion?"[/i]

Preaching to the choir? Trying to keep in mind that you never know who may be peering in on these conversations.

More and more am beginning to see what it means in the spiritual sense of "He must increase, I must decrease" and where the "Faith [b]of[/b]" and the "Faith [b]in[/b]" meet. Something that Oswald Chambers weaves into much of his writing and has crept into my thinking; Disposition. Not as much as a 'replacement' per se but as in changed, "[i]being conformed into[/i]."

Two more words:

[b]ac·qui·si·tion[/b]
Pronunciation: "a-kw&-'zi-sh&n
Function: noun
1 : the act or action of acquiring; specifically : the obtaining of controlling interest in a company —compare MERGER, TAKEOVER
2 : a thing gained or acquired


[b]merg·er[/b]
Pronunciation: 'm&r-j&r
Function: noun
1 : the absorption of a lesser estate or interest into a greater one held by the same person —compare CONFUSION

~~~~~~~

This latter definition strikes me as quite profound as it applies here, especially the irony of 'CONFUSSION' tacked on to the end. So in that sense the "Faith [b]in[/b]" is 'our' part with the "Faith [b]of[/b]" 'His' part along with the 'controlling interest' of this merger...

Glory!

Of course there is still Hebrews 11 to be brought out into all this.





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Mike Balog

 2005/1/16 10:33Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Ron B’s post: My query is in respect to the phrases 'faith of Christ' and 'faith in Christ'. Obviously, there is a world of difference between the implications of the two, but what saith the Greek? Without an understanding of that language I try to make sense of the repeat of the word 'ho' in Galatians 2:20. Again, have I heard it said that Mark 11:22 should read: 'have the faith of God'?

Quote:
Mike’s post: Not sure there is a difference at all from this perspective;

If we are bought, friends/bonservants/soldiers of the Lord and have faith in Christ, do we not then have within us the faith of Christ?


Yes, this was me quoting another, but even so there is a difference of emphasis, I think. My basic understanding is that faith does not reside latently in the heart waiting for a target. That would be the sense of much of the ‘faith’ emphasis from recent years. The idea there is that we have, all of us, certain residual abilities and that we can use them as we choose. This is not my understanding of faith.

For me, faith must always have its origin in the ‘speakings of God’; faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The fact that this verse speaks of ‘faith coming’ implies there is a time before faith. The verb ‘cometh’ is not in the Greek but the phrase is ‘pistis ex akoEs’. The preposition ‘ex’ denotes origin; faith, then, has its origin in ‘hearing’. There is one of those telling little switches in the prepositions. Faith comes ‘from’ hearing, and hearing ‘through’ the speaking of God’ The process of faith then is initiated by God speaking. This is fundamental to my understanding of faith. It is possible only because God speaks, but faith comes into existence as a result of our hearing.

Hearing can often have the sense not just of something being audible but of have been received, as when say to a child ‘did you hear what I said?’. This is not an enquiry as to the mechanics of sound but as to recognition and response. It is, in my understanding, an enabling that demands a response, hence my usual little mantra that ‘faith is right response to revelation while sin is wrong response to revelation’.
[b] And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Rom 14:23 KJV)[/b] and
[b] Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (Jam 4:17 KJV)[/b]

Faith then has an object; the revelation, AND an empowering. Both are God’s unique and sovereign work. Because faith has a specific object all faith is not the same faith. ‘take up you bed and walk’ does not create the kind of faith referred to in ‘believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved’. ‘faith in Christ’ is emphasising the object of the faith; the question is does ‘the faith of Christ’ described a particular ‘kind’ of faith, or a particular origin of faith.

Perhaps my original note to my first questioner was a little too brief. I was pointing out two verses of scripture
1. [b] Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of [u]the faith of Abraham[/u]; who is the father of us all, (Rom 4:16 KJV)[/b]
This phrase is ‘pisteOs abraam’; pisteOs is the genitive form of ‘faith’. It is ‘Abraham’s faith’; the faith that ‘belongs to’ or ‘pertains to’ Abraham. You might paraphrase it the faith that belonged to Abraham, or even ‘Abraham-type faith’.
2. Gal 2:16 and Gal 3:22 uses the same form of statement; ‘pisteOs iEseOs christiou’. Following from its use as regarding Abraham, where we think we know what it means, this would give us ; ‘Jesus Christ’s faith’; ‘the faith that ‘belong to’ or ‘pertains to’ Jesus Christ’. We might paraphrase that as ‘the faith the belonged to Jesus Christ’, or even ‘Jesus Christ’ type faith’.

The point I was making is that however we translate No 1 should give us some clues as to how we should translate No 2. And whichever translation we choose we are making a distinction between ‘Abraham’s’ and ‘Christ’s’. Now, what is that difference?


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/17 4:04Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Robert’s post: Would this mean that the faith exercised for justification is the 'measure' of faith (Romans 12) that has been dealt to every man and that at justification we receive the 'faith of Christ' as a gift to further exercise for regeneration? I never teach on that level and doubt I ever would, but it would be interesting to work out for my own sake.


Although I want to distinguish ‘kinds’ of faith, I don’t want to suggest that faith itself operates in different ways. All faith, of whatever kind, operates in the same way… through having ‘heard the word of God’. The question is what ‘word’ did the hearer hear?

The NASB corrects a possible misunderstanding in its translation; [b] For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each [u]a measure of faith[/u]. (Rom 12:3 NASB)[/b] It is not ‘the measure’ of faith indicating that everyone has the same faith, but ‘a measure’ indicating that ‘each man’ has his own unique measure of faith’. This is not the ‘common faith’ of 2 Pet 1:1, but part of the variegated life and ministry which is in focus in Romans 12.

We also need to employ our usual filter, by asking the question ‘who is the ‘each man’ that Paul has in mind?’ Is this the whole human race? Not in this context, I think. This is specifically people ‘like Paul’ to whom has been given ‘grace’. In other words these are Christ’s people. Everyone of Christ’s people has a unique measure of enabling faith, and the outworking of that truth will be seen in Romans 12:4ff. This is not ‘saving faith’ but ‘serving faith’. One serving another; Rom 12:5,10,16.

This passage is an encouragement and gentle admonition to all Christ’s people. God has graced them with specific measures of faith. That is encouragement to see our unique place among Christ’s people, but it is also a ‘unique measure of faith’ and one person must not conclude that he can operate in the same ‘measure of gift’ as another.

I think faith, like sin, is always specific and never general.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/17 4:23Profile
RobertW
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 Re:

Quote:
This passage is an encouragement and gentle admonition to all Christ’s people. God has graced them with specific measures of faith. That is encouragement to see our unique place among Christ’s people, but it is also a ‘unique measure of faith’ and one person must not conclude that he can operate in the same ‘measure of gift’ as another.



Hi Bro Ron,

Do you think that the variations in the 'measure' of men's faith is based upon their consistent right response to revelation ? If we respond rightly consistently to God- does this 'build' our faith (as it were)?

When I think of Job I see great faith, yet the faith He exercised seemed to be to simply trust God through his circumstances. He was exercising faith (so it seemed) in the revelation of who he believed God is. This leads me to believe that our faith can be increased by trials and tribulations. God has also revealed Himself in other ways to me that has greatly increased my faith. What it boils down to it seems is that with each situation He removes another facet of doubt. So then faith is not just belief and trust and obedience; but it is the absense of doubt.

This topic seems to explode into all kind of directions. :-?

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/1/17 8:31Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
What it boils down to it seems is that with each situation He removes another facet of doubt. So then faith is not just belief and trust and obedience; but it is the absense of doubt.



Like that very much Robert, seems to side nicely up to; "[i]He must increase, I must decrease"[/i]
Quote:
This topic seems to explode into all kind of directions.


Oh if that ain't the truth!

Can see already how I went in a kind of quasi-sideways direction earlier. Reading Ron's response this morning produced the following, that I had to leave in detainment as the realization struck me;

[i]"Thanks Ron,

Have been eagerly anticipating your reply here. More to think on and a better fleshing out of the question/s and your explanations, very helpful.
Quote:
‘faith in Christ’ is emphasising the object of the faith; the question is does ‘the faith of Christ’ described a particular ‘kind’ of faith, or a particular origin of faith


"Origin", without a doubt. If, to bring back "We have the mind of Christ" into the mix..."[/i]

Right there I thought, wait a minute...

Maybe some out loud backtracking. Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Barnes again;

[b]Heb 11:1 -
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for -[/b] On the general nature of faith, see the notes on Mar_16:16. The margin here is, “ground or confidence.” There is scarcely any verse of the New Testament more important than this, for it states what is the nature of all true faith, and is the only definition of it which is attempted in the Scriptures. Eternal life depends on the existence and exercise of faith Mar_16:16, and hence, the importance of an accurate understanding of its nature. The word rendered “substance” - ὑπόστασις hupostasis - occurs in the New Testament only in the following places. In 2Co_9:4; 2Co_11:17; Heb_3:14, where it is rendered “confident” and “confidence;” and in Heb_1:3, where it is rendered “person,” and in the passage before us; compare the notes on Heb_1:3. Prof. Stuart renders it here “confidence;” Chrysostom, “Faith gives reality or substance to things hoped for.”

The word properly means “that which is placed under” (Germ. Unterstellen); then “ground, basis, foundation, support.” Then it means also “reality, substance, existence,” in contradistinction from what is unreal, imaginary, or deceptive (täuschung). “Passow.” It seems to me, therefore, that the word here has reference to something which imparts reality in the view of the mind to those things which are not seen, and which serves to distinguish them from those things which are unreal and illusive. It is what enables us to feel and act as if they were real, or which causes them to exert an influence over us as if we saw them. Faith does this on all other subjects as well as religion. A belief that there is such a place as London or Calcutta, leads us to act as if this were so, if we have occasion to go to either; a belief that money may be made in a certain undertaking, leads people to act as if this were so; a belief in the veracity of another leads us to act as if this were so. As long as the faith continues, whether it be well-founded or not, it gives all the force of reality to what is believed. We feel and act just as if it were so, or as if we saw the object before our eyes. This, I think, is the clear meaning here. We do not see the things of eternity. We do not see God, or heaven, or the angels, or the redeemed in glory, or the crowns of victory, or the harps of praise; but we have faith in them, and this leads us to act as if we saw them. And this is, undoubtedly, the fact in regard to all who live by faith and who are fairly under its influence.
~~~~~~~~~~~
And the mind staggers... The scripture verses are coming fast and furious and the brain cell count is going... [i]"Whoah!"[/i]
:-?

(But I love it) 8-)


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Mike Balog

 2005/1/17 10:20Profile





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