Rev E. Anderson
FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD
Reading Galatians 2
Paul brings forth a rather dynamic declaration as he states where he now stands in the outworking of his Christian life and faith –v20, and it strongly indicates and gives the lead as to the position that each subsequent Christian should also take and express.
Paul underscores in this verse the secret of dynamic living. He points out, in a definite way, the source and mainspring of powerful, inspired and triumphant Christian life and experience. There was a deep burden and concern on his part for the Christian believers situated in the province of Galatia because of their shift from the truth. There was a subtle departure from the dynamic life and power that was to be found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. They were beginning to miss out on the great thrust and throb and thrill of Christian living.
The letter is directed at the fact that they were falling to a legal way of living. The believers were allowing themselves to become subject to a bondage to the law that only spelled defeat and disaster. Such could and would take all blessing, drive and success out of life. The Christian message stands supremely for a new law of life and for a new way of living and is divorced completely from a legalistic way of life.
He shows from his own life and experience that he had been set free from this kind of existence, and his freedom came through Jesus Christ and His gospel. There is a living under a fresh revelation, inspiration and motivation. He had been a very strict legalist prior to Christian conversion, but since that conversion, everything had dynamically changed. He thinks lives and moves under a different understanding and propulsion. The old life and the old life-style have gone because he is on to that which is infinitely better and superior in Jesus Christ. He is completely dead to the former way of living, according to the law by the strength of the old self. It was a powerless way of living, anyhow.
He makes known a paradoxical truth – “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me… “. What he is saying is that there has been a death to the old nature and life through association with Jesus Christ in crucifixion, and there is the emergence of a new self under the inspiration of the dynamic life of Christ. The life of Christ within him has the power and ability to produce a better and greater life and a way of life. The old has been written off and out and there is the writing in of something superior. It is not an improvement or development upon the old; it is a brand new life with a brand new way of living.
“Christianity is the revelation of the dynamism of Jesus Christ within the life. There can be no substitute for Him. Nothing and no-one can take His place.”
The life of Christ in the believer is manifested by the faith of Christ. It is not only living under the residency and presidency of a new Person, Jesus Christ, it means living and acting under a new principle of life… ‘the faith of the Son of God…’. Here we are informed of the secret of the successful life of Christ. What was it that made His life altogether dominant and triumphant? Relationship with Christ in the truest sense produces this all essential dynamic in the Christian believer. One cannot be fully identified with Him without receiving this all-important asset for effective living. There is a new-found conviction, confidence and compulsion that rules, dictates and leads, into a life of fullness and fulfillment. What the law could not do; Christ does!
What was the faith of the Son of God? In asking and answering the question one discovers the attitude and activity of Jesus Christ and we see how we are to live. By what assurance and confidence did He live and work? His life-style was one of simple yet incredible faith.
1/. HE EXPECTED THE REVELATION OF GOD’S WILL IN HIS LIFE AND WORK
The Son of God sought to live out His life on earth in a positive and productive manner and this was to be as He acted in accord in relationship with His Father. He had to show implicit and explicit trust in Him from a human standpoint. He submitted Himself to the Father and from that place of submission lived and acted in accordance with the principle of faith. This meant looking to His Father for His mind, understanding, consent and will in all things. It meant living a day at a time and seeking for guidance with respect to every day. The prophetic word gives some insight here – Isaiah 50:4, 5.
He believed that the Father would communicate the things that He required to know so that he could fulfill His Father’s desire and design for life. He had to look with a sense of expectation to God the Father for His word and direction so that He might achieve heaven’s purposes. There was great grounds for assurance because of what is prophetically written – see Matthew’s Gospel. He was God’s human Servant on earth and it was the inspired word that had been spoken by the prophets and it was vital that He should be in the place of revelation and understanding so that He be properly and perfectly acquainted with what was required. His faith had to be expressed in this fundamental area.
He had to put Himself into the place where He could receive divine illumination to mind and heart. God the Father would reveal but it demanded that that the Son of Man be switched on and tuned in through faith if He was to receive clear inspiration and .direction. The emphasis on prayer in the life of Christ and its association with faith makes known that He gave Himself to seeking and possessing what the Father willed to convey. His protracted seasons of waiting on God the Father teach us that He was anxious to understand the Father’s mind at all times. Note what took place before the selection of the apostolic band – Luke 6:12, 13. Prayers of faith proceeded from Him to the highest throne and He received the essential information necessary.
He was sure of the divine knowledge that flowed into His mind. In His ministry He spoke with such conviction that made it obvious His words were not His own – John 17:8, 14; 7:15-17, 46. He had absolute faith in the words that He spoke because He was utterly assured of where the revelation and communication came from. Real living flows under the daily dynamic of the Father’s input of inspired revelation. One can speak as being in the know because one is ‘in the know’.
He acted in agreement with what was conveyed in the revelation. There was no escaping from the full demands of what was made known. His faith in God the Father and His word led Him to a state of obedience to it. The word of revelation outlined His life and its program and the ultimate of it, which was the Cross. He moved to accomplish the design of the Father in faith – Luke 9:51; 22:39-41; John 12:27; 13:1. Paul revealed that he could accept the path of suffering in faith because it was in total agreement with God’s plan.
“What’s on the other side of your obedience?” – Martin L. Steel
2/. HE EXPECTED THE REVELATION OF GOD’S POWER IN HIS LIFE AND WORK
The faith of the Son of Cod is also related to its attitude to power and to its exercise. There is a showing within His own words concerning His mind and action with regard to exertion and labour, thus setting the pattern for Christendom – c.f. Jn.5. l9, 30.
There is the rejection of all self ability and energy by Jesus Christ in His conviction and commitment of faith. All self-labour and exertion is renounced and turned from. He refused to look to self for a demonstration of work and works. There is a most staggering and humble confession on the part of Jesus Christ. He admits that He will not look to any resources within Himself to live, act and work.
The problem with man is in this area. The idea and prevailing attitude of self-sufficiency and adequacy turns away from dependency upon a greater supply of strength and might. Self-reliance on one’s ability is a sinful feature of life in relation to man.
Christ would not be tempted and drawn into seeking to live under self-drive and power. He would not seek to please Himself in this direction. Though He, above all men that ever lived, looked to have justifiable reasons for doing so, He would not be led astray or deviated in the slightest.
There was sheer dependency upon the Father for a constant supply of His might, strength and energy. He desired to do not only the works of the Father but to do them under His power and dynamic. He turned and looked to the Father to perform and carry out the divine operations in the Father’s Name, giving credit and honour to Him.
It is impressive to note that He waited for the right hour to be initiated into the ministry and to receive the great aid of the Holy Spirit – Matthew 3:13-17. He was led by the Spirit to contest the evil one by His wisdom and energy – Matthew 4 and His works afterwards among the people were under the vital energizing of the Spirit of God – Matthew 12: 24-28. Nothing was ever merely attempted; it was directed and propelled by this heavenly person. No service or ministry to any man or situation was under the impulse of self for self, but under the influence of this gracious Presence. As the Son of God He relied upon the Holy Spirit to do His work and achieve the things that needed to be wrought out. The Spirit of God was quite capable of accomplishing quietly and powerfully the supernatural things in and through Him as long as He relied in faith upon the divine leadings and workings. In principle and practice He would perform through divine strength alone.
The Christian life is intended to be lived under the dynamic of the Holy Spirit. We receive the presence, inspiration and dynamism through the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, input and ministry – Galatians 3:2, 3, and that through faith in His presence and operations we henceforth live and work. Paul was a man of the Spirit and whose life, ministry and mission were under this power that creates the faith of the son of God.
There is a difference between our faith and the faith of the Lord Jesus. The faith of the Lord Jesus is needed. We must change faith from time to time. Your 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 that faith, you will never look at 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.
I was at a camp meeting in Cazadero, California, several years ago, and a remarkable thing happened. A man came who was stone deaf. I prayed for him, and I knew that God had healed him. Then came the test. He would always move his chair up to the platform, and every time I got up to speak, he would get up as close as he could and strain his ears to catch what I had to say.
The devil said, “It isn’t done.” I declared, “It is done.”
This went on for three weeks, and then the manifestation came. He could hear distinctly from sixty yards away. When his ears were opened, he thought it was so great that he had to stop the meeting and tell everybody about it. I met him in Oakland recently, and he was hearing perfectly. Smith Wigglesworth
3/ HE EXPECTED THE REVELATION OF THE FATHER’S VINDICATION ON HIS LIFE AND WORK
The adoption of this principle of living, as far as Paul was concerned, had its great rewards and abiding results. He had good reason for believing and knowing such, because of the ‘faith of the Son of Cod ‘. In the case of Jesus Christ, such a life and way of life had produced permanent, eternal results. The vindication of God the Father rested upon Him. The faith of the Son of God looked simply and surely to Father’s approbation. He was not to be disappointed
in life. Twice there came the voice of divine approval upon Him which signified the Father’s pleasure union in life and work – Matthew 3:17; 17:5. Publicly and amongst a private company the accolade of God the Father was given. It was an approval of the principle and attitude that had been evidenced by His Son. For Christ that was enough for Him in life. It was more important to Him than all the approved sayings and opinions of men. The was to receive such approval not because He had lived according to the law, but because of complete love, trust and dependence on the Father.
at death. The faith of the Son of God was rewarded in His time of dying because creation itself bore witness and testimony to Him – Luke.23.44, 45, and with a significant act in the temple of God – Matthew .27.51. What attestation to the faith of God’s Son! His faith conquered death and God the Father attested the faith of His Son by raising Him from the dead – Acts 2.32; Romans 1:4. God the Father in combined operation with the Holy Spirit gave a glorious attestation to Christ the Son of God by raising trim from among the dead. His faith was not disappointed regarding eternity. The vindication of the faith of the Son of God is to be noted in His eternal, exalted position – Ephesians l.19 – 2:3. His faith just let God do all the promoting and honouring and it paid off. Works of law and sheer self-labour and endeavour can never bring any worthwhile acceptance or divine promotion. The faith of the Son of God allowed the Father to do all the programming and promoting.
There are three major things that every Christian believer and worker must be absolutely sure of:
- There has been and is a dying to self and sin in relationship with Christ.
- There is a making sure that Christ is indwelling within and ruling both life and work as Lord.
- There is the government of everything on the principle and procedure of the faith of Christ.