Healing Line

Healing Line


by Canon Aaron Uitti
Aug 1990

Years ago when I first started reading the New Testament in Greek the usual translation of the Greek words pistis 'Iesou Christou was ''faith in Jesus Christ." But the natural way to translate these words is either "the faith of Jesus Christ" or "the faithfulness of Jesus Christ." This is the conclusion of modern scholarship.

The beautiful passage about saving "faith" in Ephesians when rendered as "faithfulness" takes on a comforting nuance.

Ephesians 2.8:

For by grace you have been saved through faithfulness,· and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God.

There is a great difference between saying "I am saved by my faith in Jesus Christ" and saying "I am saved by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ." From a pastoral point of view what many people find is of great concern to them in times of trouble is the strength of their faith. Times of testing often are accompanied by great doubt. What a strong pastoral tool it is to be able to assure a person that he is not saved or strengthened by his faith but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.

Also there is much more power to exhort the believer to faithful obedience to Jesus by directing them to the faithfulness of Jesus.

God has been faithful to His people. I need to be reminded of that in time of trouble. God has been faithful to His people. When it becomes time to roll one's sleeves up and to get to work for the Gospel, it is the faithfulness of God to you and me that moves us to respond with faithfulness. We know at the same time that when we prove to be unfaithful, God nevertheless remains faithful to us! (It is worth noting that this rendering of pistis as faithfulness is in keeping with the Old Testament tradition. The Hebrew word behind pistis means "be steady, firm, reliable, and trustworthy.)

This guest article was written by Canon Aaron Uitti who serves on the staff of St. John's Episcopal Cathedral Church in Jacksonville, FL. Aug 1990 Issue