God is very particular about what words he uses when it comes to relating truth to the believer today. Even two letters could make the difference between heaven and hell. Observe how important this is when it comes to the sinner being justified before God. What does the scriptures say about this? Look at the following verse regarding justification.
Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
This verse declares that man is justified by the faith of Jesus Christ. This says that it is Jesus? faith that justifies not mans?. We also find that the faith is a free gift according to:
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
So, the faith that we get is Jesus? faith and it comes as a free gift. It is not just that salvation is a free gift we must remember that the faith that justifies is not even ours.
Why is this important? Today the doctrine of justification and salvation is confused. You ask people this question, ?What saved you?? A typical answer is, ?My faith in Jesus Christ and what he did at Calvary.? Sounds good but it is wrong. (Now I know what the person probably means and I would not question his testimony based upon that phrase at that moment ? I am more understanding than that!) Your faith had nothing to do with your justification. You were justified by the faith of Jesus Christ not your faith. It was Jesus? faith that took him to Calvary ? It was Jesus? faith that led him to stay on the cross and give up his life for the sinner. God was pleased with Jesus? faith so God justified the saint on the basis of the faith of Jesus Christ ? not ours.
Let?s analyze ? if a person says it was his faith in Christ that justifies then he would trust himself and his faith for justification.
Now, let?s bring it on home. Every new translation on the market changes the ?of? to ?in? wherever the ?faith of Jesus Christ? or ?faith of? shows up in regards to salvation or the work of Christ. Don?t take my word for it ? check it out! You say I am splitting hairs ? not so brethren! If you substitute ?in? for ?of? you have your faith justifying which is doctrinally wrong. Your faith couldn?t save a dead horse but Jesus? faith could. A subtle change but it does affect sound doctrine regarding a very import doctrine ? salvation. One final thought on this - not only are you justified by His faith you also live by His faith (Gal. 2:20)!!!
Let?s wrap it up. Two reasons I brought this out:
1. When you realize that it was not your faith but Jesus? faith this should give you assurance of both your salvation and your security in your salvation. No more do you have to doubt your salvation because you didn?t have enough faith to believe for your faith had nothing to do with your justification. One would think that Jesus? faith was good enough for the work of justification.
2. For those who think the newer translations don?t change words that affect doctrine I just showed you one instance where two letter words could make a difference between you going to heaven or going to hell. For if a man trusts his ?great? faith to get him to heaven then he missed justification.
Again, I wouldn?t bring this up to those who can only take milk but for those of you who like meat then I trust you would get a blessing from this simple, but important truth if you have not been shown this before. I did not find this truth ? it was shown to me and it excited me.