Names of Jesus: Author and Finisher of our Faith

Mar 22, 2022

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Names of Jesus: Author and Finisher of our Faith

Jesus has many names, as we have been learning so far through our Names of Jesus study series. This week our focus is on Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith. This is an imperative name to grasp and embrace. It is paramount to the true faith of a believer. What does it mean that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith? To understand this, we will be exploring Hebrews 12:1-2 and Hebrews 11:1 as a deep word study. Word studies can help explore the biblical meanings of a passage of scripture in the correct context from the original languages.

What is faith?

Before diving into the passage itself, and identifying what it means that Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith, we must address the question of what faith is. It is vital we find our definitions within scripture itself and in the correct context, and we can find a clear Biblical definition of faith in Hebrews.

Now faith is the [a]substance of things hoped for, the [b]evidence of things not seen. 

Hebrews 11:1 NKJV

Faith is the substance of things hoped for

Evidence of things not seen

Faith is…

Faith is the tested and proven confident belief and conviction of things that exist that cannot be seen or discerned with our eyes, that God is who He says He is, that we receive eternal salvation through Christ alone, and to have confident joy while we wait for faith to be perfected and salvation to be completed.

We cannot see God with our eyes, we cannot see salvation, we cannot see the promises that await those who believe, but faith believes these are true and exist. Faith is believing the evidence of God all over our lives, all throughout the Bible, in the witness of others, and so much more. Those who earnestly seek Him will find Him, and therefore find and believe the evidence of His truth.

You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13 CSB

Faith believes with full confidence that Jesus is the Son of God and that God sent His Only Begotten Son to die in our place, paying the price we agree that we deserve so that those who do have faith in Him as their personal Savior will have redemption through His blood.

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

Faith is the complete conviction and agreement with God about who He says He is, who He says we are, and that He promises to redeem those who have believed in His Son and His sacrifice for our sakes. Seeing is not believing. Believe, be truly convinced, and you will begin to walk by faith rather than by sight and to understand God’s Word.

By faith we understand that the [a]worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Hebrews 11:3 NKJV

Faith is when, even though we don’t see God with our eyes, we are in agreement with Him and believe what He says to be true through His Word. It is to be in agreement with God about what He says about Himself, His Son, ourselves, and creation. Faith is believing God to the point it convicts you – to be so fully convinced and to believe so strongly that it leads you to confess and repent of your sin, which in turn leads you to change from sin and live in accordance with what God says, by faith.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel [a]of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who [b]suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 
19 because what may be known of God is [c]manifest [d]in them, for God has shown it to them. 
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and [e]Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

Romans 1:16-20 NKJV

Surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses

Now that we have a deeper understanding of the Biblical definition of faith, let’s jump back into Hebrews 12:1. At the beginning of Hebrews 12:1-2, the first part of verse 1 talks about being surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,

Hebrews 12:1a NKJV

In Hebrews 11, the writer of Hebrews reviews the testimonies of the great faith heroes from the Old Testament that the Jewish people this letter was written for would have been intricately familiar with. Then the writer transitions with “therefore, since…” indicating those that had just been discussed are this great cloud of witnesses and are the reason for the statements to follow.

What is a witness?

  • Therefore – G5105 – toigaroun
    • For which reason, consequently
  • Since we – G2532 – kai
    • and, likewise, especially, then
  • Are – G2192 – echō
    • To own, have, possess
    • Things which are
  • Surrounded – G4029 – perikeimai
    • To hang around, lie around, be encompassed by, to have around, to surround, enclose on all sides
  • By so great – G5118 – tosoutos
    • Many, great in quantity
  • A cloud – G3509 – nephos
    • A large, dense multitude
    • A throng; a densely packed crowd, horde, assembly, gathering
  • Of witnesses – G3144 – martys
    • A witness; one who relays what they themselves have experienced, seen, or heard.
      • A spectator of a contest
      • Someone who provides a testimony

A witness is not merely someone who stands around watching, but who also shares their testimony. We are enclosed on all sides by a large crowd of witnesses and testimonies of the Old Testament faith heroes.

Lay aside every weight and sin that ensares us

let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us

Hebrews 12:1b NKJV

Because we are enclosed on all sides by a large crowd of witnesses who not only spectate but provide their testimony and example of faithfulness, by their testimony we can find encouragement to lay aside the weight and sin that ensnares us.

  • Lay aside – G659 – apotithēmi
    • To put off, put aside, put away, lay down, cast off
      • Repentance
  • Every – G3956 – pas
    • All, every, all manner of,
    • The whole, the highest degree, the maximum
    • Perpetually, everything, in every way and manner
  • Weight – G3591 – ogkos
    • Burdensome mass or bulk
    • Prominent burden or weight that must be carried
  • And sin – G266 – hamartia
    • Sin, offense, to miss the mark, bad action or evil deed, error
    • Violation of divine law in act or thought
  • That ensares – G2139 – euperistatos
    • Skillfully surrounding, thwarting, besetting
    • To prevent running

Because we are surrounded by such a crowd of faithful witnesses and their testimonies, let their testimonies encourage you to cast off to the highest degree every manner of violation of God’s divine law that skillfully surrounds us and prevents us from running this race.

Run the race with endurance

and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Hebrews 12:1c NKJV
  • Let us run – G5143 – trechō
    • To exert yourself, strive hard
    • To spend your strength to perform or atain something
  • With endurance – G5281 – hypomonē
    • Steadfast, constant, patient, endurance
  • the race – G73 – agōn
    • Any struggle with dangers, annoyances, obstacles, standing in the way of faith, holiness, and a desire to spread the gospel
      • Amid all hinderances, let us exert ourselves to the utmost to attain the goal of perfection set before all followers of Christ
  • that is set before – G4295 – prokeimai
    • Divine appointment
    • Destined to be done, borne or attained
  • us – G2254 – hēmin
    • Us, we, our

Because we are completely surrounded by a large gathering of the heroes of the faith and their testimonies, let us be encouraged to throw away all sin, all violation of God’s divine law, that thwarts us, and instead strive forward with constant, steadfast patience and endurance through all struggles, dangers, hindrances, and obstacles standing in the way of our divine appointment and goal of being made perfect in faith as followers of Jesus and coming into the promise of complete salvation.

12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

1 Timothy 6:12 NKJV

Looking to Jesus

When we choose to have faith in Jesus Christ, believing what God says in His Word, who He says He is, who He says Jesus is, who He says we are, and also that we are sinners deserving of death and in need of a savior, we can look at the testimony of the great cloud of witnesses and be encouraged, running the race of faith toward to goal of perfect faith and complete salvation with patient endurance through all hindrances, dangers, and difficulties.

looking unto Jesus,

Hebrews 12:2a NKJV
  • Look – G872 – aphoraō
    • To turn your eyes away from one thing and fix them on something else
    • To turn your mind, focus, and attention
  • to – G1519 – eis
    • directing the mind toward, looking to
  • Jesus – G2424 – iēsous
    • Jesus, Jehovah is salvation
    • Son of God, Savior of mankind

Because this is all through and by faith in Jesus, and those faithful witnesses left a testimony of their faith in Jesus, being examples for us as fellow followers of Jesus who successfully made it to the end of the race, we must change our focus, turning and keeping our attention completely to Jesus Christ – the author and finisher of our faith.

Author and Finisher of our faith

the [a]author and [b]finisher of our faith

Hebrews 12:2b NKJV
  • Author – G747 – archēgos
    • Founder, source
    • Chief leader, prince
    • One that takes the lead, provides themselves as an example and predecessor in a matter
    • Leading, furnishing the first cause or occassion
  • Finisher – G5051 – teleiōtēs
    • Perfector, completer, finisher, consummater
    • One who has Himself perfect faith and sets the highest example and standard of faith
      • Note: this is the ONLY instance this exact word occurs in scripture

Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of perfect faith. Having taken the lead, He Himself brought faith to perfection, setting the highest example and standards for us – remaining faithful to God even unto death. He is the leader of our faith, having provided the reason and occasion for our faith – that through His death in our place, He became the way of redemption. He is our example and standard to seek, look to, focus on, and strive toward as the one who perfected faith and as the example for us to learn and grow according to.

What does it mean to be perfect?

In the Old Testament, the word “perfect” means to be finished, whole, complete. In context, it meant to be entirely committed to Yahweh. In the New Testament, “perfect” means having reached the end of the race, endured, made complete, perfect, and full. In context, to have endured in faith to the very end. (International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia)

We all strive to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect, but absolute perfection is beyond our grasp as finite beings. Perfection is only possible for our infinite, eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent God. So why does scripture instruct us to be perfect as God is perfect?

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 5:48 ESV

Perfection is the divine ideal that we can endlessly strive for, progress toward, recognizing that there is always room for improvement, we can always be learning, growing, and further sanctified to be made more like Jesus Christ, the reason for, perfector of, and standard of perfect faith.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

We are perfected in our faith when we endure and reach the end of the race. Through our faith, we should always be growing, always be learning, always be striving toward the promised prize, preparing ourselves for the promise of our eternal reward at the end of the race. This instruction should not discourage or overwhelm us but should instead encourage us.

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 4:14-15 ESV

to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;

Romans 2:7 ESV

We have a heavenly High Priest who knows and understands every struggle, hindrance, temptation, and sin and died in our place because He knew we could never make it on our own. He gives those who have faith in Him His Holy Spirit and fills us with His strength, provides us with His wisdom, and constantly pours out His grace, mercy, and forgiveness upon us. He works to develop and advance our faith, teaches us to endure with patience, and sanctifies us, making us more holy along the way.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 NKJV

We are not called to actually BE perfect, but to constantly strive toward the perfect example of Jesus Christ Himself as our standard and goal, and learning also from the examples and testimonies of those who have endured and finished the race before us.

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14 ESV

21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 
22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

Acts 14:21-22 ESV

How is Jesus the author and finisher of my faith?

Faith is choosing to believe wholeheartedly and to agree with God about Himself, His Son, His creation, and His will and purposes. By faith, we should focus on Jesus Christ as our source and absolute standard and example of faithfulness, and learn also from the faithful who have endured to the end of the faith race.

Do not be conformed to this world,[a] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[b]

Romans 12:2 ESV

By faith, we learn to endure by Jesus’ example and provision. We are guided by His Spirit, bear His fruits, and grow in our faith; in our conviction and agreement with God that we are spiritually poor sinners deserving of death and believing that only because of the grace of our Holy and Righteous God, His Son died in my rightful place, and that by wholeheartedly believing this and repenting of my sin I have been washed clean of my sins by the blood of Jesus that was spilled on my behalf, allowing me to be reconciled to God and have a personal relationship with Him through faith.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

Ephesians 2:8 ESV

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 
23 [a]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 
24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Galatians 5:22-24 NKJV

How do I grow in my faith and relationship with Jesus?

Faith should be active, alive, working in me and in my life, transforming me. This conviction should lead to change, teaching me to progress forward with endurance, to constantly be striving to become more like Jesus. By growing in my personal relationship with the Lord, He, therefore, works in me to help me grow in my faith and dependence on Him.

Some things we should all be doing constantly to grow in our faith and understanding of the Lord include:

  1. Confess, repent, and resist all sin and temptation
  2. Get baptized
  3. Pray in all circumstances
  4. Read, study, and apply what you learn from the Bible
  5. Strive forward, progressing in faith by the example of Christ
  6. Learn to discern and follow the instruction of the Holy Spirit
  7. Gather together and build relationships with godly people
  8. Love God and love people, as God defines love
  9. Share the gospel as well as your faith and testimony
  10. Be open and willing to recieve godly correction

26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

James 2:26 ESV

He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

1 John 2:4 NKJV

38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38 ESV

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

John 3:5 NKJV

15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 
16 Rejoice always, 
17 pray without ceasing, 
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 ESV

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Romans 8:26 ESV

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 
17 that the man of God[a] may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.[a]

James 5:16 ESV

12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.[a]

Revelation 14:12 ESV

41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Matthew 26:41 ESV

preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

2 Timothy 4:2 ESV

15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 
16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Mark 16:15-16 ESV

Have you accepted the grace of God?

If you have not accepted the grace of God and chosen to believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I encourage you to pray to God now and invite Him in, accept Jesus as the sacrifice for your sins, and repent of your sins. Submit it all to God, lay it at His feet, seek the forgiveness of God, welcome Him into your life, and believe that Jesus died and rose again to save you from your sins.

If you would like to learn more about salvation, you can find a couple of studies that may help here:

  1. Names of Jesus: Savior
  2. Don’t Neglect Your Salvation
  3. Prayer of Salvation
  4. What is grace and why do we need it?
  5. What does it mean to be justified by grace?
  6. Don’t Reject God’s Grace
  7. Don’t Reject Christ
  8. Godly Women – what it means to live a godly life
  9. Redeemed Women – what it means to be redeemed
  10. What is Biblical Love?
  11. What are Spiritual Gifts?
  12. How to live in Spirit and Truth
  13. How to test what is pleasing to God
  14. Names of Jesus as the Son of God
  15. Names of Jesus as the Son of Man
  16. Names of Jesus as the Truth

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Have you accepted the grace of God?

If you have not accepted the grace of God and chosen to believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I encourage you to pray to God now and invite Him in, accept Jesus as the sacrifice for your sins, and repent of your sins. Submit it all to God, lay it at His feet, seek the forgiveness of God, welcome Him into your life, and believe that Jesus died and rose again to save you from your sins.

If you would like to learn more about salvation, you can find a couple of studies that may help here:

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A Study of Lamentations with the NET Timeless Truth Bible

A Study of Lamentations with the NET Timeless Truth Bible

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