Who is the Author and Finisher of You Faith? (Hint, It’s Not You)
Too many people feel as if their faith is broken, or not working properly. Seriously, I hear it all the time. Many treat it as a product that can be upgraded, or used at convenience. Many hope it comes with a switch, that when found, will provide an “Ah-ha!” moment, and bring total clarity. Many more are confused as to what it actually is, and so choose to not really open the package. Is it a wonder the faith of so many is broken, when there is confusion as to what it is?
Biblical faith, as defined by the Scriptures, is believing God and acting upon His Word. This sounds simple, doesn’t it? It SHOULD be easy. If I just do what God says, I’ll be okay! Yet, as we read Scripture, we find, over and again, only one man could really do that, and He authored Faith to begin with, and, while being fully human, was also fully God. Heck, we have the entire New Testament because the early Church couldn’t flip on a switch and make it work! They needed divine intervention; they needed the Author and Finisher of the Faith, Jesus Christ, just as much as we do.
Think about those words (they’re found in Hebrews): the author and finisher, or author and perfecter of our faith. What does this mean? It means that there is not a single person on earth who is qualified in their faith or gets it right without the Author of it intervening. Jesus wrote your faith on your heart, He’s the only one who can finish, complete, and perfect it. And if we try and say He’s not, the entire book of Hebrews states, with evidences and proofs from the Old Testament, that there is no other way in which we can be saved.
So stop trying to make it work. Stop trying to make your faith look like your neighbors, or work the way you want it to. Go back to the Author. Jesus will work, throughout your entire life, in making it what it needs to be. We just have to fix our eyes on Him, trust Him, and surrender to Him. He will make it right.
Hebrews 12:1-17 (NASB)
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;
and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
“MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD,
NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM;
FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES,
AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.
Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.