(3.) On Christ as the Author and Perfecter

(3.) On Christ as the Author and Perfecter

(3.) On Christ as the Author and Perfecter. 

“… Let us run with endurance the race set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…”  (Hebrews 12:1-2).

AUTHOR (Gr., archegos): originator, primary source, creator, initiator, one who causes something; the same Greek word also means pioneer, trailblazer, captain, Prince, pathfinder.

PERFECTER (Gr., teleiotes): finisher, completer, consummator.

Christ originates our faith. “It is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God; not by anything that you have done, so that nobody can claim the credit.”  (Ephesians 2:8, NJB). Jesus is the author of our faith story. Our faith is of His creation. He began it by drawing us to Him, by dropping a mustard seed of faith into our hearts to get things started. God’s gift. The believer didn’t start the faith. We have no reason to boast about whatever kind of shape our faith is in. We don’t have the right to pat ourselves on the back for walking down the aisle to be saved. We didn’t open the door to a life of faith. We didn’t put ourselves into the position of becoming believers. Christ gave us a seed of His perfect faith, which perfectly trusted in the Father and steadfastly finished the race. He completed what He started in His faithful life. So, Christ has the kind of faith I want. If I have to choose between the faith of Christ or the feeble faith that I manufacture on my own, I will choose Christ’s faith. I want to participate in and be shaped by His perfect faith, not my imperfect faith. I want Christ’s faith to live through me. I want to adopt the faith of Christ as my own. I want my faith to be hid in Christ. I have done nothing to be especially proud of in my faith life. It has been the faith of Christ that is triumphant. It is the faith of Christ that I have been living into. It is a free gift of grace, and I owe it all to Him who originated my faith. I find that the more I recognize the faith of Christ Himself inside me, the easier it is to disengage my ego in my faith development. My own faith is a house of cards. The faith of Jesus within me is a solid house built on a foundation of immovable rock. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God.”  (Galatians 2:20).

Christ completes our faith. “For the righteous shall live by My faith, says the Lord.” (Hab. 2:4). As we participate in the faith of Christ within us, as we live into Christ’s faith, we will notice that our faith depends on Him from beginning to end. Just as He finished what He started in His own life, He wants to finish what He started in each of us as well. He has a strong desire to bring our faith, His faith within us, to full maturity. He wants to perfect our faith, to make our faith complete. Faith continues to be a gift from God, and Jesus wants the faith that we have in Him to be full of life and growth. The job of Christ’s Holy Spirit is to transform us until He consummates our faith at the end of the race, to finish our faith as we reach the finish line. “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6). God will sustain His good work of faith in you. We didn’t originate our faith, and we won’t complete our faith. We didn’t start the race of faith, and we won’t finish it on our own. Christ’s perfect faith finished His race as He now sits at the right hand of God, and His faith within us will enable us to run until we also get the prize. This is how we share the life of the risen Christ. We imperfectly participate in His perfect faith. This takes the pressure off, doesn’t it? We don’t have to somehow concoct the perfect faith. Christ’s perfect faith is already within us. We need to instead mature in our participation in His faith, by feeding it, following it, submitting to it, studying it and growing in it. We don’t have to possess a perfect faith. We instead imperfectly live into Christ’s faith within us. And He will be sure to perfect our faith at the finish line.

4 Replies to “(3.) On Christ as the Author and Perfecter”

  1. Steve! I’ve always loved your writing, but this one might be my favorite. You’re really pushing us to consider humanity’s union with Christ from creation, as Eph 2:10 teaches. And playing second fiddle as a participant in His faithfulness really is freeing! By the time you say, “It takes the pressure off, doesn’t it?” I couldn’t help but exclaim out loud: “Yes – thank you Jesus!”

  2. Yes! Our Alpha & Omega, the Beginning & the End, both starts and finishes our faith journey. What a humbling mystery to be created, saved, sustained and sanctified by our Triune God. Thank you, sir.

  3. Jesus paid it all…all to him I owe. Love every word of it. We’re free….free indeed!*jane

  4. Beautiful, Steve. Yes, Jesus does it all from beginning to end. Thank you for articulating that reality in such a succinct and clear way!