Jesus is the Beginner and the Finisher of our faith!
This has been true from the beginning. It is God who takes the initiative. Think of Abraham. It was God who spoke first. And Abraham responded.
Was it God who enabled the response?
Ephesians 2:8 suggests that even our faith might be the result of grace.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. (NASB)
Does the “this” refer to faith? Some commentators believe it well could.
After all Jesus told us that no one can come to Him unless the Father draws them.
And Hebrews 12, which comes after the magisterial chapter 11 on faith, seems to be saying something similar.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, LOOKING TO JESUS, the FOUNDER and PERFECTER of our faith…. (Hebrews 12:1-2a ESV)
Here again we see that faith is intimately connected with keeping our eyes on Jesus. The word ἀφορῶντες (aphorontes) here means “looking away from”. In other words looking away from every distraction and focusing intently on Jesus.
But I want to concentrate on “the founder and perfecter of our faith”. The Greek word translated here as “founder” (ἀρχηγὸς: archegos) actually means “beginner” or “originator”. It has the distinct meaning of “originating something that has never previously existed”!
The word τελειωτὴς (teleiotes) means “finisher” or “perfecter”.
That is so encouraging! Jesus began our faith and He will complete it.
That is so similar to Paul’s statement in Philippians 1:6.
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (NIV)
He began it and He will complete it. So all the glory goes to Him!