Easter Post: Jesus, The Perfecter of Our Faith

Easter Post: Jesus, The Perfecter of Our Faith

“Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

First off, I want to congratulate you! Six weeks ago today, on the first day of Lent, you decided to fast from something you value and focus on the Person of Jesus in a special way. For many of you, the sacrifice has been difficult but exceedingly worth it. The space you’ve created to draw near to Jesus has become fertile soil from which new life is beginning to emerge. As we close our Lent Devotional Series, I want to leave you with an encouraging word from Hebrews as we focus on Jesus as both the Source and Perfecter of our faith.

Jesus, The Source of Our Faith

Some versions of the Bible use the words author, pioneer, or founder instead of the word source. The original Greek word is archēgos describes “The ‘hero’ of a city, who founded it, often gave it his name and became its guardian…”[1] The word entails both leader and founder. Without Jesus, we could have no faith in Him in the first place.

Reflecting on Jesus as the archēgos of my faith brings me great comfort. My faith starts with Him, and He’s the guardian of it. My faith is bigger than me and what I’m able to muster on any given day. I need to know this for the ones I love who are struggling with their faith, who have maybe even ditched it. And I need to know this for myself, especially when trials arise that provoke doubt and questions.

Earlier in Hebrews, the author tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Since my faith can wax and wane with my circumstances, rising and falling depending on how strong or frail I am in a given season, it’s a great relief to know that Jesus is the eternal source of my faith. He’s the well of faith that will never run dry. A well sourced wholly, eternally, freely in Jesus.

He’s the well of faith that will never run dry.Click To Tweet

Jesus, the Perfecter of Our Faith

Not only is Jesus the Source of our faith, but He’s also the Perfecter of it. Maybe it’s just where I’m at in life right now—a little low, a bit tired, disappointed in some areas, hurt in others—that makes me want to shout from my couch “praise Him!” (And I’m not a big shouter.) I’m relieved to know that the perfection of my faith doesn’t rest with me but with Him.
The Greek word for Perfecter teleiōtēs means “the one who accomplishes.”[2] It refers to ‘one who brings someth[ing] to a successful conclusion, hence perfecter’.[3]

When we read in Hebrews 11 about all the people with great faith, we see incredible examples. But no one’s faith was perfected in the way that Christ’s was. He carried the cross, bore our shame, and resurrected on the third day. He now is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Faith has been perfected. Accomplished. Completed. The work is finished.

While the work of faith in Jesus has been perfected once and for all, I also believe that He is the perfecter of our personal faith in Him. Through suffering we would have never chosen, Jesus refines our faith. Through answered prayer, He strengthens it. In overwhelming blessings, He fuels it. In grief and loss, He sustains and even increases our faith.

As we look toward Good Friday and remember the death of Jesus, let us thank and worship Him for being the Source of our faith. And as we look toward Easter this coming Sunday, let us celebrate His resurrection and the reality that He is the Perfecter of our faith. No matter what you’re facing or what you’re going through, Jesus is the founder. He’s the guardian, and He’s the perfecter of your faith. Cast all your cares on Him, for He died for you, He rose for you, and now He’s seated on His throne inviting you to approach Him with confidence. How can our faith not be strengthened?

Happy Easter, my dear sisters.

He died for you, rose for you, & now He’s seated on His throne inviting you to approach Him with confidence.Click To Tweet

Questions for Reflection or Discussion

1. What speaks to you specifically about Jesus as the Source of your faith? (Think of these other words as well: author, pioneer, founder.)

2. What speaks to you specifically about Jesus as the Perfecter of your faith?

3. Has something rocked your faith recently? How do these two realities about Jesus help you understand that your faith is steadier than you may realize because of Him?

4. What specifically will be different for you about this coming Easter because of your reflections on the Person of Jesus?

 


[1] Delling, G. (1964–). ἄρχω, ἀρχή, ἀπαρχή, ἀρχαῖος, ἀρχηγός, ἄρχων. G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley, & G. Friedrich (Eds.), Theological dictionary of the New Testament (electronic ed., Vol. 1, p. 487). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
[2] Delling, G. (1964–). τέλος, τελέω, ἐπιτελέω, συντελέω, συντέλεια, παντελής, τέλειος, τελειότης, τελειόω, τελείωσις, τελειωτής. G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley, & G. Friedrich (Eds.), Theological dictionary of the New Testament (electronic ed., Vol. 8, p. 86). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
[3] O’Brien, P. T. (2010). The Letter to the Hebrews (p. 454). Grand Rapids, MI; Nottingham, England: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

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Jesus, Our Intercessor

Jesus, Our Intercessor

Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them.”

 Hebrews 9:24 “For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with hands (only a model of the true one) but into heaven itself, so that he might now appear in the presence of God for us.”

This is the 28th day of Lent, and we have 19 more days until Easter. I’m pointing this out because I want us to press in! If you had high hopes for this Lenten season but have fallen off your fasting wagon, or you haven’t prayed as much as you’d hoped, or you’ve just gotten busy and distracted, you can pick back up right now. The goal isn’t to get to Easter and realize how amazing and disciplined you are. The goal is to grow more deeply in love with Jesus. You can get back at it today.

As we continue our focus on the Person of Jesus, I want us to reflect on Him as our intercessor. The word can mean to mediate between two parties, particularly the act of praying to God on behalf of another person. I love this quote about Christ as our intercessor, “the believer may know that he is not left in helpless isolation. There is an ἐντυγχάνειν [Intercessor] for him which reaches up to the very top.”[1]

Right now, you may need an intercessor to go between you and your parents, your boss, your spouse, your professor, the judge, the president. But you also need an intercessor all the way to the very top—all the way to God. There’s simply no intercessor more important in heaven or on earth than the One who can stand on your behalf before God. The author of Hebrews tells us that His name is Jesus.

There’s simply no intercessor more important than the One who can stand on your behalf before God.Click To Tweet

From a purely practical standpoint, I’ve been in a challenging season. I’ve felt alone and lacked the help I need in certain areas. This is not a woe-is-me cry for help. (Although I’m not above crying for help, and my friends are sick of hearing about it.) This is just to say that these past few months made me more sensitive to the reality of Jesus as Intercessor. My own frailty made me more appreciative that not only does He care about my day-to-day reality, but He stands before God on my behalf.

At times, the faintest thought of my past sin made me aware of how impossible it would be for me to stand before God on my own merit. Our guilt in particular exposes how desperately we need an Intercessor between us and God the Father. As we study Christ in the book of Hebrews, we see that one of the reasons that Jesus took our sin on Himself, died on the cross, rose from the grave, forgave us, and now stands before God is so He can be just this. Our Intercessor. So He can say to God, She’s with me. She’s covered. She’s Ours.

Who could possibly be a more worthy or powerful or just or righteous or good Intercessor before God on your behalf than Jesus? Reflect on these two passages in Hebrews and spend some time in prayer thanking Jesus, our Intercessor.

Questions for Reflection or Discussion

  1. Who has been a human intercessor for you in your life? What did he or she do for you, and what did it mean to you?
  2. As you think about Christ appearing in the presence of God on your behalf, what means the most to you about this reality? Why?
  3. God the Father knew that we needed a Savior, so He sent His Son Jesus to die for us. As you appreciate Jesus as your Intercessor before God, specifically thank God the Father for sacrificing His Son so that Jesus could be our Intercessor. Praise and thank both God and Jesus.
  4. Without overly focusing on past sin, for what season of life are you most grateful to know you’ve been forgiven and have an Intercessor in Jesus?
  5. What means the most to you about Hebrews 7:25 and 9:24 and why?

[1] Bauernfeind, O. (1964–). τυγχάνω, ἐντυγχάνω, ὑπερεντυγχάνω, ἕντευξις. G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley, & G. Friedrich (Eds.), Theological dictionary of the New Testament (electronic ed., Vol. 8, p. 243). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

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