Dear Fellow Believers in Christ, (We are moving from faith to faith until it is His eternal faith)
How and why does faith come through hearing a rhema word of Christ? Why must faith be from an eternal source to produce eternal results? What does the word mean, when it states that Christ is the author and finisher of faith? How does Christ in us become our source of faith? How do we live by the faith of the Son of God? Holy Spirit show us faith and move us from faith to faith that we may understand genuine eternal faith in Christ in us.
"Then the faith comes out of hearing, and the hearing through the word of Christ" (Rom. 10:17, author's rendition from the Amplified Greek text).
First, Genuine Faith Comes Through Hearing a Rhema Word of Christ
Faith is not something that Christians muster up. Faith comes out of a clear hearing of the Holy Spirit with a rhema word of Christ. The Greek is distinctly clear in this verse about the source of faith and how faith comes. Genuine faith comes through hearing a rhema word of Christ - the source. The earliest found papyrus manuscript (p46, about 200 A.D.) and Sinaticus (the earliest complete text of the Bible, IV Century A.D.), both clearly state that faith comes "through the word of Christ" (Gk: Christou, Rom. 10:17). The Greek word used in all texts for word is rhematos. The logos is the entire encompassing word of God, which is Christ. The rhema word is a particular specific spoken word taken out of the logos and quickened or revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came to teach and reveal Christ to us (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13-15) and to make Him rhema to us. The oldest texts of Romans 10:17 are more specific with "the word of Christ," rather than the later texts with a general rendering of "the word of God." If we rightly divide the word of truth (II Tim. 2:15), then, most of the Old Testament scriptures do not provide the word of Christ. There are only 2 verses in the Old Testament discussing faith. In the New Testament, there are 249 verses on faith with over 70% focused to the church in the Pauline epistles.
Second, Faith is the Substance of Things Coming Out of the Eternal Realm
"Moreover faith ever is the substance of things ever being hoped for, the evidence of things not ever being seen" (Hebr. 11:1, Amplified Greek text). You cannot see faith. It is unseen in the eternal realm and affects things seen in the temporal realm (II Cor. 4:18). By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the rhema spoken word of God (Hebr. 11:3). Again that is the eternal unseen realm affecting the temporal seen realm. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebr. 11:6). I do know that my Father is well-pleased with Christ, His Son (Matt. 3:17). He spoke out of heaven three times and declared that very thing the first two times (Matt. 3:17; Matt. 17:5; John 12:28). I believe any genuine faith that pleases our Father, is founded in and proceeds forth through a rhema word of Christ as the source (Rom. 10:17).
Third, Christ is the Author and Finisher of Genuine Faith
"Looking away unto Jesus the author and finisher of faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and now has already been seated in the right of authority of the throne of God" (Hebr. 12:2, Amplified Greek text). The Greek word used for looking away is aphorao. This is the one and only place this word in this derivation and sense is used in the entire word of God. It means to view with undivided attention by looking away from every other object and to earnestly fix one's gaze fully upon Jesus. Jesus is the author or leader and the finisher or completer of genuine faith.
Fourth, Faith Works Through the Love of Christ Flowing In and Through Us
The Greek text does not say Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebr. 12:12). Our is italicized and added to the original text. The Greek text states that, Jesus is the author and finisher of faith, in every respect. The source of faith is Christ. Faith is something in the eternal realm. We must really hear that faith is something unseen in the eternal realm of the Spirit. Since the birthing, Christ is living in us by the Spirit. He has been given all the right and authority of God (Hebr. 12:2; John 5:22). This is why faith that comes forth from Christ as the source is genuine faith that works. Psuedo-faith that Christians muster up on their own, with their own flesh as the faith source, is doomed to fail. In Christ Jesus, faith ever works through love (Gal. 5:6). Both love and faith are in the list of the fruit of the Spirit of Christ (Gal. 5:22). Christ in us is a self-for-others Spirit that flows forth in expression in a love-for-others Spirit. When Christ loves in and through us for others, then genuine faith is manifested and that faith works.
Fifth, Faith Comes From Christ In Us as the Source and is Not of Us
"For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8). How many times have we quoted or heard that verse quoted? It says plainly, that we are saved by grace through faith and that not of yourselves. Paul even tells us that through the grace once then given to everyone of us, that God has dealt to each one the measure of faith (Rom. 12:3). Sooner or later, we must fully come to believe that every good and perfect gift really comes from God (Jas. 1:17). Our rebirthing was totally of Him (John 1:12,13). By His grace, we simply took His faith and believed in Him. When we simply believed, His faith became our faith. We overcome the world through continually believing Him (I Jn. 5:4,5). Christ is the true overcomer of the world. Christ now overcomes the world by living His life in and through us (John 16:33).
Sixth, God is Revealed from Faith to Faith Through Christ In Us
The gospel of Christ is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (Rom. 1:16). In the gospel of Christ, we find the righteousness of God being revealed from faith to faith – the just shall live by faith (Rom. 1:17). We received the measure of faith at salvation (Rom. 12:3). We operate by letting Christ flow through us with the faith "fruit of the Spirit" of Christ (Gal. 5:22). We stand against Satan in spiritual warfare with the shield of faith of Christ who quenches all the fiery darts of the wicked one (Eph. 6:16). We operate in the Spiritual gift of faith (I Cor. 12:9), where the same Spirit, Lord, and Father God manifests Himself to fulfill this ministry in the Body of Christ (I Cor. 12:3-6). However, all members of the Trinity work united through Christ in us (Eph. 4:3-7; Col. 2:8-9).
Seventh, We Live By Christ and the Eternal Faith of the Son of God
Ultimately, the Holy Spirit has come to reveal that we live by the faith of the Son of God. Paul clearly states, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives 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" (Gal. 2:20). We are to live by Christ and His eternal faith in us. Anything called faith apart from Christ is not genuine faith (John 15:5). Christ is called "Faithful and True" (Rev. 19:11). In the rebirthing, we received the Seed of Christ, the incorruptible word of God. Everything, including faith is in that eternal seed which is Christ.