Sermon for Saturday

Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, Who, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

Our text has an extra word, one that the translators tucked in there to help us understand the meaning. But in my opinion, their extra word confuses the meaning somewhat. The word ‘our’ is not in the original. If we omit this word, we have Jesus identified as the Author and Finisher of faith. And that links us back to the previous chapter, known as faith’s hall of fame. All of those great Old Testament heroes inspire us and instruct us with their faithfulness to God. Because they believed, they achieved great exploits for God. Over thousands of years, they functioned in many different capacities, but maintained a wonderful harmony in their portrayal of the God they served. And our verse explains why: they had an Author and Finisher, an Overseer and Perfecter. The Lord Jesus is not just the Author and Finisher of our faith, He is the Founder and Maintainer of all faith for all people for all time.

Without the Lord Jesus, there would be no faith. Without Him, Abraham would not have been able to please God, Moses would never have chosen affliction with the people of God, prophets would never have endured burnings and tortures, and Samson would never have pulled down pillars. We cannot imagine faith – in Old Testament days or in our own time – without the Lord Jesus. If we look at different translations of this verse, we find a variety of terms, all of them instructive, to refer to Jesus as the Author of faith: Champion, Source, Founder, Pioneer, Leader, and Prince. As the Finisher, He is identified as the Perfecter, Goal, and Completer. In all these terms, we obtain a sense of how faith takes its very fabric from His person. Just as in creation, He is before all things and by Him all things consist, so in faith, all faith proceeds from Him and without Him cannot even exist. The very faith that you and I used to identify Him as our Saviour and to enter into His salvation came from Him.

Even great worldly minds recognize the need for and importance of faith. The great German philosopher Wolfgang Goethe stated that epochs of faith are epochs of fruitfulness, while epochs without faith are devoid of all permanent good. If we study Chapter 8, we can identify the great events that needed to occur, all the result of faith. Nothing worthwhile that you and I ever achieve is possible without faith. And that faith comes only from our Lord Jesus Christ.

Just as He has freely given His life that we might have life, the Lord Jesus has provided faith that we might use it to access His power and direction. – Jim MacIntosh

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