The Uncommon Christ: THE AUTHOR & FINISHER OF FAITH

The Uncommon Christ series explores lesser-known scriptural names and titles of Jesus Christ.


In the Book of Mormon, Moroni emphasized the need for newly baptized individuals to be “remembered and [also] nourished by the good word of God” (Moroni 6:4) so that they can continue to grow in their faith. You and I have the opportunity—and the responsibility— to help others on this journey.


As we finish the verse, however, we learn that having social and spiritual support from others at church isn’t the end goal for any Church member. Rather, they are important components that help bring individuals to the true aim of Church membership: to reach a level of faith where individuals are able to “[rely] alone upon the merits of Christ, who [is] the author and the finisher of their faith.”


The words of a nineteenth-century British minister shed light on this:


“We may look to others for examples [of faith], but they will all be sometimes warnings as well, only to Jesus we may look continually and find unsullied purity and perfect faith. …


“What we want is not [just] the knowledge of what we ought to be, but the will and the power to be it. And that we get from Christ, and from Him alone. … [Others] may teach us to fight, but He fights in us. They are patterns of faith. So is He, but He is also its object and its giver.


“Christ is the imperial Rewarder of faith. At the last He will give the full possession of all which it has looked and hoped for” (Alexander MacLaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture [1906]).


Christ enabled faith. He inspires faith. He is the perfect example of faith and One we can have unwavering faith in. He makes our faith efficacious.


The name “Author and Finisher” is also used for Christ in Hebrews 12:2 (KJV). The Greek words of that New Testament phrase can be translated into English in many different ways, as shown by the green words in the image below.


Each of these other translations brings out a slightly different angle on the role Jesus Christ plays in our faith. Look at a few of the combinations:

  • He is the captain and completer of our faith.

  • He is the source and the goal of our faith.

  • He is the founder and finisher of our faith.

  • He is the leader and rewarder of our faith.

  • He is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.


What is He for you? What words would you choose? Create a name for the Savior that resonates with you. Share in the comments!


Jesus Christ is the and of my faith.



The first principle of the gospel is not faith. It is specifically faith in Jesus Christ (1). Faith as a generalized principle of hope and trust in something doesn't have sufficient power to save us (2). Having faith that everything will turn out OK is different from having faith in Jesus Christ's ability and desire to ensure that everything will turn out OK. IT IS BECAUSE OF AND THROUGH HIM.


He is the reason for and the result of true faith. The architect. The composer. The engineer. He is Author who made faith and salvation possible, and He is the Finisher who makes our faith enough.






REFERENCES

  1. see Acts 4:10-12; Mosiah 3:17; Moroni 7:24-26; Articles of Faith 1:4.

  2. “Faith unto life and salvation centers in Christ. There is no salvation in that general principle of faith alone, that moving cause of action, which causes the farmer to plant his seed with the unseen hope that it will bear grain. But there is faith unto salvation when Christ is the focal point in which the unseen hope centers. Accordingly the Prophet explained ‘that three things are necessary in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation.’ These he named as: 1. ‘The idea that he actually exists’; 2. ‘A correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes’; and 3. ‘An actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing is according to his will.’” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 262; qtd. in Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual, published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [2010], chapter 13.)