We seem to have this idea that we are saved by our faith.
Maybe we're not . . .
Faith At The Restaurant
Every time we are served a meal at a restaurant we exercise faith.
We have faith that the food is safe and hopefully tasty. However, we could enter the establishment with skepticism. Asking the manager for his latest health department report or requesting a visit to the kitchen for a personal inspection of its cleanliness and maybe even check the temperature of their refrigerator.
If we eat our meal as a doubter with worry that the food might be spoiled or tainted in some way, it would lessen or destroy our ability to relax and enjoy the food and the experience.
So, we exercise faith like this everyday - in many ways.
Whether we eat our meal with faith that everything is fine or we choose to be skeptical - that does not determine the quality and cleanliness of the food.
Our faith simply allows us to relax and enjoy.
What makes the food good and safe is the faithfulness of the restaurant staff.
There is controversy among those who study biblical details concerning this very issue. It surrounds the passages in the New Testament stating that we are justified by our faith. Some of the translations state that we are justified by Christ’s faithfulness.
These two ideas are radically different. If we are justified (redeemed, forgiven, saved, etc.) by our faith, then that means we must do something in order to be saved - namely, “have faith.”
However, if we ascribe to the translations stating that we are justified by Christ’s faithfulness, the message and its ramifications are much broader.
This places the act of justification on Christ, not us.
We can relax and enjoy. Just like we do in a restaurant. One difference being that Christ is omnipotent and never fails. Even the best restaurants fail on rare occasions.
Our faith in a restaurant doesn’t make the food good. Likewise, our faith in Christ does not make His justification real and valid.
Christ’s success on the cross does not depend on me in any way - but my faith in Him allows me to relax and walk in that truth.
"He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, not only ours, but for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:2
"Because we trust in the living God, who is the savior of all men, especially those who believe." 1 Timothy 4:10
"As through the transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through the one act of righteousness there resulted justification for all." Romans 5:18
"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faithfulness of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." Galatians 2:16
NOTE: In Galatians 2:16 the phrase “ . . . we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by . . .” appears in the KJV. A careful reading of this passage seems to imply that we are justified to hold an attitude or sense of assurance that we have been forgiven! Not that “our belief” generates or permits God to forgive or redeem.