Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Faith of Christ

I am writing a paper for my Galatians and Romans class over spring break (woohoo - let the good times roll). I am exploring phrases in Rom 3:22, 26; Gal 2:16, 20; 3:22 where most translations say "faith in Christ" but the original Greek literally says "faith of Christ" or "Christ's faith/faithfulness."

I won't get too deep into the linguistic issues here, but the theological issues really intrigue me. What if we are "made righteous" by the "faithfulness of Christ" rather than by our faith in Christ. Not that we don't need faith, but the power and working by which God declares us to be righteous is due to Christ's faithful death on the cross. We are made righteous by his faithfulness to us in dying obeidently to God when we adopt a similar faithfulness toward God through the Spirit.

so "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Gal. 2:20 (NIV) becomes: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

I live, not only because of Christ's faithfulness in being crucified, but because of his continued faithfulness to speak to the Father in my defense. That faithfulness is the model which I need to follow.

4 comments:

Big Mike Lewis said...

Good and interesting stuff man! Thanks for sharing this bit o' information. I will have to use it the next time this passage comes up.

Tim Lewis said...

We briefly looked at this in Romans class with Dr. Jones. I can't remember exactly what we came up with, but it was something like "faith in the faith of Christ", which seems a lot easier for me to believe. Of course Christ had faith, it's me who has all the problems!

tabitha jane said...

which brings me to my most recent question . . . why do we call the Holy Spirit a He if the word is female in the OT and neuter in the NT????

rebecca marie said...

Oh, thanks for this entry! I love the meat of a good study! I just posted an entry on Easter where I quoted Galatians 2:20 and it is so nice to read this a day after I was thinking so hard on that verse. I like that scripture even more now! It's exactly like Tim said. It's me who needs faith!