Now we come to the third element of the structure of the gospel of God—the faith of the believers. I use the phrase the faith of the believers because the unbelieving sinners do not have faith. In ourselves and by ourselves, we do not have faith.
The word faith bears two denotations. The first denotation refers to the things the believers believe in; it is the objective faith (Eph. 4:13; 1 Tim. 1:19b; 2 Tim. 4:7). The second denotation refers to the believing action of the believers; this is the subjective faith (Gal. 2:20). Christ is the object of our faith. Here the faith is objective. Then we believe in the Lord. This believing is a subjective action, our acting faith in the Lord Jesus.
The faith of the believers is actually not their own faith but Christ entering into them to be their faith (Rom. 3:22 and footnote; Gal. 2:16 and footnote 1, Recovery Version). Now we need to consider how and when Christ entered into us to be our faith. When we repented unto God, the pneumatic Christ as the sanctifying Spirit of God (1 Pet. 1:2a) moved within us to be our faith by which we believed on the Lord Jesus (Acts 16:31). Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes out of hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” As sinners, we did not have faith. Faith came into us by our hearing the word. This word is just Christ Himself.
When we heard the gospel, the preacher described Christ to us. The more we heard, the more we saw Christ and were attracted to Christ. As an illustration of this, we can say that a male falls in love with a female by seeing her. The more he sees her, the more he loves her. Her being so charming produces his love for her. Actually, that is not his love but her attraction. The preachers preach Christ to present Christ’s beauty. After hearing such a word about Christ, that is, after seeing such a Christ, within us there is an appreciation of Christ, and our appreciation of Him is the reaction to His attraction. We can believe in the Lord Jesus because we hear about Him; that is, we see Him. We read the Bible, and in the Bible we see something about Him.
If you have the opportunity, it would be very good to preach the gospel according to this crystallization of Romans. Tell people about Christ in His divinity and humanity, in His being the only begotten Son of God and the firstborn Son of God. Many logical and thoughtful people would be attracted to such a wonderful person in the universe. Try in your vital group to go out to touch people by presenting Christ in the way that you have heard in these messages. After seeing, that is, after knowing, such a Christ, who would not believe in Him? Faith comes from hearing, hearing equals seeing, and seeing equals knowing Christ. Faith comes from hearing, and hearing is from the word of Christ.
When the proper preaching of the gospel is going on, the Spirit, the pneumatic Christ, accompanies that preaching. That preaching speaks Christ outside of you, but the pneumatic Christ right away accompanies that preaching and works within you. Then you repent and appreciate such a One. Spontaneously, something within you rises up. This is your faith, your believing. Your believing comes from your knowing of Christ. Your believing actually is your appreciation of Christ as a reaction to His attraction. Only the believers, not the sinners, have this kind of reaction.
If you see this point, you will say, “Lord Jesus, even my believing in You is You Yourself. You are so attractive and beauteous! Who can help but believe in You?” Many young people have been attracted by the Savior’s beauty. Even if their parents persecute them and threaten them to death, they will not give up their faith in Christ. This kind of faith is Christ Himself. By such a faith the believing ones believe that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead that they may be saved (vv. 9b-10a; 5:1). They have access through faith into the grace in which they now stand (v. 2).
The end of Romans 9 tells us that the law keepers are trying to build up their own righteousness by their work to keep the law. Paul says that this is wrong because they do not do this by faith in Christ (vv. 30-33). Then the beginning of chapter 10 says, “Christ is the end of the law unto righteousness to everyone who believes” (v. 4). Not many people have ever heard a gospel telling them that Christ is the end of everything. Christ terminated the law. He is the end of the law that He may become your righteousness. The first four chapters of Romans cover justification judicially. Then chapters 5 through 8 are on Christ as life organically. Then chapter 10 is on the faith of the believers practically. This faith can be ours by Christ being the end of the law that we may be justified. This means that He is the end of the law unto, resulting in, righteousness.
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