Did Jesus Have Faith?

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fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Faith is a grace (WCF 14.1). Faith is an instrument (WCF 10.2). Faith is an instrument that receives justification. Do any of these things have anything to do with Christ? Or even Adam in the garden?

Faith is more than simply "not knowing things." Man (even in glory) will never be omniscient like God. Does that mean we need faith forever? Not according to the Scriptures. Faith is more than simply trusting - it is trusting in absence of sight. Just as hope is more than expecting - it is expecting in the absence of sight (Romans 8:24-25)

Does anyone notice that the Confession never speaks once of Christ's faith? What it speaks of is His obedience and death. It is His obedience (in life and death) that purchase redemption, justification, adoption, etc. for His people.

As soon as you admit Christ had (and had need of) faith, you open up Pandora's box to a bushel of heresies, not the least of which are the New Perspective and the FV view of Adam (as Lane has pointed out).

The hypostatic union does not require Christ to have faith. Even with the incontrovertible point that Christ in His humanity did not know all things, He can still say:

Matthew 11:27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him

-----Added 12/4/2008 at 03:50:06 EST-----

Isn't an integral part of faith the not knowing but trusting [in God] aspect? Then surely Christ as God-man, who did not know certain things (Mt 24:35-36), had to have faith concerning those things he did not know, right?

The hypostatic union is what is causing the confusion, I think.
If faith, can be defined, in this one limited sense, then Jesus can be said to have faith.

Chris,

I think trust is a part of faith, not faith itself. So I think we can say *rightly* that Christ had trust, but not that He had faith.
 

CDM

Puritan Board Junior
Faith is a grace (WCF 14.1). Faith is an instrument (WCF 10.2). Faith is an instrument that receives justification. Do any of these things have anything to do with Christ? Or even Adam in the garden?

Faith is more than simply "not knowing things." Man (even in glory) will never be omniscient like God. Does that mean we need faith forever? Not according to the Scriptures. Faith is more than simply trusting - it is trusting in absence of sight. Just as hope is more than expecting - it is expecting in the absence of sight (Romans 8:24-25)

Does anyone notice that the Confession never speaks once of Christ's faith? What it speaks of is His obedience and death. It is His obedience (in life and death) that purchase redemption, justification, adoption, etc. for His people.

As soon as you admit Christ had (and had need of) faith, you open up Pandora's box to a bushel of heresies, not the least of which are the New Perspective and the FV view of Adam (as Lane has pointed out).

The hypostatic union does not require Christ to have faith. Even with the incontrovertible point that Christ in His humanity did not know all things, He can still say:

Matthew 11:27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him

-----Added 12/4/2008 at 03:50:06 EST-----

Isn't an integral part of faith the not knowing but trusting [in God] aspect? Then surely Christ as God-man, who did not know certain things (Mt 24:35-36), had to have faith concerning those things he did not know, right?

The hypostatic union is what is causing the confusion, I think.
If faith, can be defined, in this one limited sense, then Jesus can be said to have faith.

Chris,

I think trust is a part of faith, not faith itself. So I think we can say *rightly* that Christ had trust, but not that He had faith.

Agreed, this is how I would define it. Like Lane said, it depends on how you define faith.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
From Francis Turretin (who answers affirmatively:

"Faith, therefore, is ascribed to Christ, not inasmuch as it is a fiducial apprehension of the mercy of God. In this sense, it belongs to sinners only;...Rather is is ascribed to Christ as to the substance of knowledge and assent to a thing known (i.e., to the doctrine revealed of God) and as to trust, which rests in the goodness of God providing all things necessary for us."

I think this discussion will inevitably lead to confusion -- everyone seems to be thinking in different categories.

Faith is not strictly limited to faith which lays hold of mercy in Christ. There certainly is a type of faith which Christ had; just as Adam himself required a faith before the Fall whereby he knew that "God is and is the rewarder of them that seek him."

Regarding the 1 Corinthians passages, indeed, faith in the sense that we, as sinners, now have it, to rely upon Christ whom we do not see, will disappear; yet we shall not stop having a faith, a trust in the goodness of God. Though faith is of different kinds and possesses different objects, it is still faith.

Thoughts?

-----Added 12/4/2008 at 04:10:18 EST-----

As soon as you admit Christ had (and had need of) faith, you open up Pandora's box to a bushel of heresies, not the least of which are the New Perspective and the FV view of Adam (as Lane has pointed out).

I'm not so sure that's true: I can think of quite a few orthodox theologians who spoke of Jesus' faith (again, it matters how we understand that term -- we have a "different" faith than his) and are yet the formalizers and systematizers of the very orthodoxy you claim such a belief will betray.

-----Added 12/4/2008 at 04:12:47 EST-----

Oops, and Lane, somehow I missed your post: so, everyone just read his. He said what I meant first. You might as well read the Turretin quote though -- I had to go find it...
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
From Francis Turretin (who answers affirmatively:

"Faith, therefore, is ascribed to Christ, not inasmuch as it is a fiducial apprehension of the mercy of God. In this sense, it belongs to sinners only;...Rather is is ascribed to Christ as to the substance of knowledge and assent to a thing known (i.e., to the doctrine revealed of God) and as to trust, which rests in the goodness of God providing all things necessary for us."

I think this discussion will inevitably lead to confusion -- everyone seems to be thinking in different categories.

Faith is not strictly limited to faith which lays hold of mercy in Christ. There certainly is a type of faith which Christ had; just as Adam himself required a faith before the Fall whereby he knew that "God is and is the rewarder of them that seek him."

Regarding the 1 Corinthians passages, indeed, faith in the sense that we, as sinners, now have it, to rely upon Christ whom we do not see, will disappear; yet we shall not stop having a faith, a trust in the goodness of God. Though faith is of different kinds and possesses different objects, it is still faith.

Thoughts?

-----Added 12/4/2008 at 04:10:18 EST-----

As soon as you admit Christ had (and had need of) faith, you open up Pandora's box to a bushel of heresies, not the least of which are the New Perspective and the FV view of Adam (as Lane has pointed out).

I'm not so sure that's true: I can think of quite a few orthodox theologians who spoke of Jesus' faith (again, it matters how we understand that term -- we have a "different" faith than his) and are yet the formalizers and systematizers of the very orthodoxy you claim such a belief will betray.

-----Added 12/4/2008 at 04:12:47 EST-----

Oops, and Lane, somehow I missed your post: so, everyone just read his. He said what I meant first. You might as well read the Turretin quote though -- I had to go find it...

It is somewhat reassuring, I must confess, that Turretin already thought of this before I did! But I had not read Turretin on this before I formulated what I wrote. Thanks for posting it.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Going back to the opening post, however, I would like to echo Mr. Greco's sentiments in light of the way the question was asked: if we are speaking of that by which we are justified, then let us certainly leave all discussion of "Jesus' faith," as though somehow his faith has saved us, or that his faith is that which we are supposed to imitate. This certainly does open that Pandora's box, confusing the pre-lapsarian covenant with the covenant of grace, and, it seems, will inevitably lead back to our works or our faithfulness being a part of our justification.
 

charliejunfan

Puritan Board Senior
But our ability to "keep" the faith comes from the Holy Spirit's work in us, so how is that not a kind of imputation? Maybe I am confusing terms idk
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
But our ability to "keep" the faith comes from the Holy Spirit's work in us, so how is that not a kind of imputation? Maybe I am confusing terms idk

Indeed, but that's not imputation. Two completely different things.

Imputation is "considering" or "reckoning." We are imputed righteous: that is, we are considered, or reckoned righteous, thought we, in ourselves, are ungodly.

If we make the word "imputation" to be an actual giving or bestowing of something (which it absolutely can't mean), then when we say that righteousness is imputed to us, we are, in essence, confessing Roman Catholics.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
But our ability to "keep" the faith comes from the Holy Spirit's work in us, so how is that not a kind of imputation? Maybe I am confusing terms idk

What Paul Korte said. I will only add that imputation relates to justification, and impartation relates to sanctification. Imputation is a declaration of being not guilty. It is a transfer term, meaning that the righteousness is Christ's bank account has been reckoned to our bank account, even though we did none of it. That transaction takes place wholly outside of us. It is therefore distinct from the Holy Spirit, who works in us, and imparts a gradually increasing righteousness on the inside that begins to match what we are by God's declaration on the outside.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
so we are Imparted faith then?

I think I would be more comfortable saying that God imparts sanctificational righteousness (which is our own) and imputes justificational righteousness (which is Christ's righteousness), both through the instrumentality of faith. Faith is not a thing in and of itself. It looks outside itself to Christ. That is why faith really cannot be imputed or imparted. Of course, faith is a gift from God, but that is not a statement about what it is, so much as a statement about how we get it.
 

charliejunfan

Puritan Board Senior
So the only imputation is when by faith Christ righteousness is put into our account, and that is it as far as imputation, but then impartation happens which is sanctification?
 
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greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
So the only imputation is when by faith Christ righteousness is put into our account, and thats it as far as imputation, but then impartation happens witch is sanctification?

Well, Adam's sin is imputed to all human beings, Christ's righteousness is imputed to us when we come to Him by faith, and our sin is imputed to Christ also in justification. Imputation can only happen where there is a representative head of a group of people. Those three imputations are the only ones of which I am aware. Impartation of righteousness only happens in sanctification, although I suppose one could speak of God's imparting to us a glorified body on the Final Day.
 

nicnap

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
:popcorn:

-----Added 12/4/2008 at 10:21:26 EST-----

Sorry...seeing everyone else eat popcorn made me hungry. I added it before I had finished the thread and saw that it has wound down.
 

Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
Faith is such a mis-used term. Kirkegaard's leap of faith isn't what it is. Faith is a noun, not a verb.

Also the knowing God by Analogy? Lets not go Barthian here. We know God by propositional truths.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Going back to the opening post, however, I would like to echo Mr. Greco's sentiments in light of the way the question was asked: if we are speaking of that by which we are justified, then let us certainly leave all discussion of "Jesus' faith," as though somehow his faith has saved us, or that his faith is that which we are supposed to imitate. This certainly does open that Pandora's box, confusing the pre-lapsarian covenant with the covenant of grace, and, it seems, will inevitably lead back to our works or our faithfulness being a part of our justification.

This is true as the question was born out of a debate over subjective/objective faith in Gal 2:16 which is obviously concerned with 'saving faith' rather than mere knowledge, trust and assent.

Thank you all for your input it has really helped me.
 

Matthew1034

Puritan Board Freshman
:2cents:

1 Clement 22:1
All these things doth the faith which is in Christ assure. For he himself, through the Holy Spirit, thus calleth unto us: Come, ye children, hearken unto me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

1 John 5:4
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world --- our faith.

Christ's life is the substance of our faith, so in a way He Himself is faith?
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
I recant my earlier post.

According to a song I just heard on the radio, Jesus has faith in me. That kind of settles the question about whether or not Jesus has faith, doesn't it? ;)
 

charliejunfan

Puritan Board Senior
Christ had faith and it was perfect, He had faith in His own words He spoke to satan when He was tempted in the desert.
 
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