WHOSE “FAITH” IS IN ROMANS 3:25?
by Shawn Brasseaux
“I have another question that I would appreciate your counsel on; Romans 3:25; ‘Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood.’ Some believe and teach that it is God the Father having faith in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ as a propitiation instead of us having faith in His blood. I cannot get myself settled on this issue seeing blood and propitiation are God-ward. I guess it’s difficult to grasp God having to have faith in His own blood! I look forward to your response.”
Okay, Romans 3:25: “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” Your question is specifically about the phrase “through faith in his blood.” Whose faith is being discussed here? Good question!
Note, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood.” If you look closely at this, the first part of the verse, we are really not in there so it cannot be our faith. We are absent from the verse. The subject is “God,” not us. God is performing the actions in the verse. God “set forth” (“placed before,” or “exhibited”) His Son to be “a propitiation” (fully-satisfying payment/sacrifice for sins). Why did God do this? Why did Father God offer Jesus Christ as a sacrifice? “Through faith in his blood.” Because God thought/believed His Son could pay for our sins in full, He offered Him. It is clear that it is God the Father’s faith in verse 25.
Sure, some might consider it strange, and at first glance, it is peculiar. However, when you think about it and remember what “faith” actually is, it really is not that odd that God would have faith. What exactly is “faith?” Is not faith simply “taking God at His Word?” Does not God believe His words to us? Why, sure He does! Does not God believe that His Son can take away our sins? Why, sure He does! That is the main point of Romans 3:25. God knew it would not be a waste of time to offer His Son, because His Son could get the job done and take care of our sin problem. The real question is, “Do we agree with what God believes about His Son’s blood?” Do we believe that Jesus Christ’s blood can pay for our sins in full? Do we have faith in what God has faith in? Or, like those in works-religion, do we have faith in ourselves, believing that we can play a part in atoning for our sins and making ourselves accepted of God? God does not rely on us to perform because He knows we cannot do it. His Son is reliable and dependable, and that is why we are urged to rely and depend on His Son just as He relies and depends on His Son.
If you read verse 26, immediately following, you can see our faith, and this loops back to God’s faith in verse 25. Our faith in verse 26: “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” When we “believe [trust] in Jesus,” we agree with God’s faith in verse 25. We are agreeing that we can be “just” (declared right/righteous in God’s sight) simply because Jesus Christ shed His blood and became our propitiation (fully-satisfying payment for our sins). Like God, we believe that our works do not factor into the equation. It is either—Jesus Christ did enough (and God believes He did), or Jesus Christ did not do enough and we have to do something too. We can agree with God, or we can disagree with Him. The choice is ours, but God has already made up His mind!
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