“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation”(Hebrews 11:1-2) (ESV). The most important datum being revealed here is that “Faith is the assurance.”
When I stand up on a higher pedestal, assured of a cushion that would protect me from crushing to death, I would jump without hesitation. Faith is, therefore, different from trust, which may lack the component of assurance.
Swimmers can jump from two hundred meters above; as long as assured of splashing into a pool, deep enough, as not to cause injury. They wouldn’t jump without the assurance of there not being a rocky surface?
The majority of Christians have faith in Jesus. In other words they trust Jesus and take comfort in knowing that Jesus is always there for their troubles. It appears as important for human beings to have faith in Jesus. After all, when He was here he managed to handle most problems of humanity.
But Jesus also, often lamented with words like: “you of little faith for how long am I going to be with you?”(Matthew 17:17). Those people had faith in Jesus, but their problem was that they didn’t have the faith of Jesus. In other words, they didn’t believe in Jesus.
Children are also known to have faith in their parents. They have faith in their parents, as to anticipate their next meal, trusting their parents to provide. Faith in something is mainly to do with dependence. Such faith is different from the faith of Jesus, which denotes what ought to be the faith of a Christian.
The faith of Jesus is similar to the one described in Hebrews 11:1-2. This type of faith has got nothing to do with dependence on physically observed things; yet being more real than having faith in seen objects.
One can have faith in the stability of his/her house, when built on a rock. But, the same house can still be bombed, so that, though built on a rock, it is susceptible of the unknown. This is different from spiritual things that cannot be changed or corrupted, because they remain to be what they are.
The first Adam became hopeless, immediately after eating the forbidden tree. Exposed to shame, the couple sought to use tree leaves to cover their nakedness (Genesis 3:7). Shame makes a person behave artificially, instead of being real. See [Christianity invalidates God’s Kingdom]
Jesus is our second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45). Currently, ordinary humans carry the faith of the first Adam. This kind of faith is characterized in fear, uncertainty and the hosts of other limitations that provide survival challenges. It is the one that brings hypocritical behaviors with humanity.
This is why disappointments are always inevitable. We are let down, even by the most trusted of people, like the Church pastors. The most reasonable thing is therefore not to have faith in anyone surviving in the flesh.
Humans remain in that state of hopelessness, until they adopt new parentage, in the second Adam—Jesus Christ. In Jesus we discover the reality of our having been created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26). In first Adam, humanity continues to wallow in the sinful confusion of hopelessness.
Customs and traditions are what keep humanity stuck, unable to look for workable solutions. Moving away from tradition makes a person feel vulnerable. This is compounded by the shame, as was first experienced by Adam and Eve. It is the same shame that brings unending misery and sorrow, among humanity. See [Tradition and idolatry are synonymous]
What makes the faith of Jesus real is that it is what it is. Trust is too junior to be applied on this type of faith. The faith of Jesus brings us back to our original state of being God’s children. Unlike Adam who provided us with earthly parentage, Jesus provides us with the Heavenly faith, which also is His faith.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father”(John 14:12) (ESV). Believing in Jesus enables one to acquire the faith of Jesus. With that kind of faith, the person would not have any limitations.
One begins to adopt the culture of Jesus, applying it as his/her own. If Jesus said “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30); the person who believes in Jesus does not only repeat, but thinks like Jesus in also being one with his/her Father in Heaven, just as Jesus was. See [The greatest person the world has ever known]
Ordinary people ought to be appreciated; when still committed to their earthly fathers. But Jesus was never committed to His earthly father, but His Heavenly Father. He also instructed His disciples to similarly discontinue recognizing their earthly fathers (Matthew 23:9).
Obviously, this may be unpalatable to most people committed in having faith in Jesus. Only those who believe in Jesus are no longer of this world, as to continue in the traditions of this world. This is what belief in Jesus implies.
A person committed to having faith in Jesus remains helpless, though trusting Jesus to do everything. Yet, a person with the faith of Jesus will go ahead and do what needs to be done and that person does not succumb to despair.
The only difference is that the first person is guided by the customs adopted from his/her earthly parents. The second person abides by the will of his/her Heavenly Father. This is just as Jesus maintained the will of His Heavenly father.
Faith is synonymous with truthfulness which identifies with God who created everything, regulated according to His functional laws. One cannot be faithful and at the same time not be truthful.
This is just as it is unreasonable to jump from a higher tower, without first checking the veracity of the information concerning the safety on landing surface. Faith is therefore possible only after the verification of the provided datum.
Those who talk about blind faith, simply, display deficiency in knowledge, concerning the meaning and significance of faith. Hebrews 11:1-2 is clear in that faith is “the assurance of things hoped for.” There is nothing like blind faith, as one cannot have assurance of what he/she would not be sure of.
This is why having faith in Jesus is different from acquiring the faith of Jesus. The former implies trust, while the latter implies qualitative conviction that bestows responsibility on self. Most Christians have faith in Jesus, more than they ought to adopt the faith of Jesus.
This is just as most of the Christian material being provided out there, gives confidence to those used to temporary solutions. Having the faith of Jesus implies the unfailing trust, as it represents what remains to be.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but the words of Jesus remain to be, because in Jesus we have the proven reality, as was manifested in His resurrection. When Thomas sought to prove Jesus’ resurrection by seeing the marks of the nails, the faith of Jesus was not in Thomas.
“Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe. Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’” (John 20:26-29) (SV).
Even though Jesus had not been physically present when Thomas declared desiring to see the nail marks, Jesus had been right there, spiritually. After resurrection Jesus could no longer be limited by anything. But, at the opportune time, Jesus showed what Thomas desired to see, as proof of resurrection.
However, Jesus had already acquired the glorified body, which could not remain with the scars that Thomas had demanded to see. Jesus had to show what Thomas desired to see, as proof. This is just as many people would like to see miracles, before they can have faith in Jesus.
That is not a sign of the faith of Jesus, but a sign of having faith in Jesus. This is why to Thomas, Jesus had to declare: ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’” (John 20:29) (ESV).
The blessed ones that Jesus was referring to would have the faith of Jesus, while Thomas, at that time, simply had faith in Jesus. Believing in Jesus is different from having faith in Jesus, as believing in Jesus implies that the person would have the faith of Jesus. It may be alright to have faith in Jesus, but that disqualifies one from being a true Christian.
Like in Thomas’ case, such people would not be the blessed ones that Jesus referred to. Having faith in Jesus is physical while having the faith of Jesus is spiritual and it is possible, only when believing in Jesus.
Believing in Jesus means understanding everything to do with Jesus’ Messiah-ship. A person, who believes in Jesus, as equipped with the faith of Jesus, is assured of Jesus being the only savior of humanity.
That person knows that Jesus can therefore not be limited by anything. However, the one with the faith in Jesus is no different from the disciples who had to run away at the most difficult moment of Jesus’ crucifixion.
The faith of Jesus is only possible when the Holy Spirit dwells in an individual. This is why Paul declares: “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20) (KJV).
The Christ that Paul says lived in him was the same Christ that also lived in Jesus, before crucifixion. He is the counselor, or the Spirit of Truth, promised by Jesus before His resurrection (John 14:15-17). To have the faith of Jesus, implies having the Spirit of Truth.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99