“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed – namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe.“ – Vs 21-22 (NET)
The latter part of this verse is traditionally rendered, “through faith in Christ for all those who believe” (NASB). But the New English Translation has chosen to translate it, “through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.” That really caught my eye as I was reading this morning. They are in no way attempting to replace or get rid of the concept of faith in Christ as the basis for our salvation. But they are simply indicating that Paul was trying to show the worthiness of the one in whom we place our faith. He is worthy to be trusted because He is trustworthy or faithful. Without the faithfulness of Jesus, we would have nothing to have faith in. He was faithful to leave heaven and take on human flesh. He was faithful to resist the temptations of Satan and stick to the redemptive plan of His Father, even though it was going to mean His eventual death. He was faithful to fully obey all that His Father had commanded Him to do. He was faithful to keep all of the Law, perfectly and completely. He was faithful to live a sinless life so that He would be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He was faithful to put up with the disciples for over three years – even when they just couldn’t seem to grasp what it was He was telling them. He was faithful to endure the agony of the cross, when He could have stopped it at any minute. He was faithful to His word when He told the disciples He would rise again. He was and is faithful.
One of the reasons I like this translation is that it reminds me of the faithfulness of Him in whom I have placed my trust. I sometimes forget about that, and I am tempted to put all the wait on MY faith. While it is true that I am saved by faith. I am saved by faith in the faithfulness of Christ. My faith is based on what He has done and is going to do for me.
“But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed.” (Vs 24-25 – NET).
The faithfulness of Jesus is was publicly displayed on the cross. The faithfulness of Jesus is what caused Him to shed His blood on my behalf and in my place. The faithfulness of Jesus demonstrated the righteousness of God, because He was able to act justly and punish sin, yet because the penalty of sin had been paid, He has shown mercy by passing over our sins. All because Jesus was faithful.
Father, thank You for reminding me that my faith is not baseless, but it is centered on the faithful One – Jesus Christ Your Son. Because He was faithful, I have a firm foundation on which to place my faith. He did what He came to do. He was who He claimed to be. He finished what He began. He paid the price I could never have paid. And He deserves my faith. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men