Romans 1:16–17 — “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
Continuing to look at these key verses in the Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Romans, we see how the righteousness of God is revealed. The gospel of Christ reveals the righteousness of God from faith, to faith.
What does it mean for this righteousness to be revealed from faith to faith? Let us look to the Scriptures for the answer:
Romans 3:21–22 — “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference…”
When we look at the great passage in chapter 3, regarding the righteousness of God “without the law”, we see that this righteousness is “by faith of Jesus Christ”. The faith OF Jesus Christ is that which brings the guilty sinner the gift of God’s righteousness. This is one reason why I have chosen to use the King James version, because words matter, and how we translate them matters. Nearly every other translation renders this as “through faith in Jesus Christ”, and that changes the meaning. The “through faith in Jesus Christ” is more saying what the translator thinks it means, rather than what it actually says. Even in the 1881 RV, the translation says “in”, and has a note that says ‘or, “of”‘. The translations have generally changed it because of not understanding the phraseology. In the older translations, like the Geneva Bible, the text was left as “faith of Jesus Christ”, and a note explaining what the statement means was added. This is a much more faithful way of adding what one thinks the Scripture means, so that the Word of God is left unaltered, and our understanding of it is not imported into the text.
Let us look at another verse in Romans 3:
Romans 3:3 — “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?”
What if we were to change that to “shall their unbelief make the faith in God without effect”? That would change the meaning of the sentence, and frankly make it to not make much sense. Their unbelief would not be faith in God. But all of the translation leave that alone, because they know better. The point is to let the Bible speak and say God’s words, and even if we do not understand them, let them stand as written, and we determine what they mean by what they say, and not make what we think they mean change what they say.
The righteousness of God is revealed “from faith” — the faith of Jesus Christ. The righteousness of God is revealed from faith “to faith” — unto all and upon all them that believe. It is from the faith of Jesus Christ, His worthiness to be believed because HE is faithful, and was faithful in carrying out the Father’s will, to all that believe, or place their faith in HIM.
From faith to faith.
From His faith to ours.
God counts our faith as righteousness (Romans 4:5), because our Lord Jesus Christ was faithful to complete the work required for righteousness when He died on the cross for our sins. See three other verses below to get an idea of how the “faith of Christ” is used in Scripture:
Galatians 2:16 — “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
Galatians 2:20 — “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
Philippians 3:9 — “And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith…”
All of these when left as written make our righteousness and ability to live in the flesh as righteous before God dependent on the faith of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and not on ourselves. This is the meaning of “from faith to faith”. It is a gift righteousness, given from the faith of Jesus Christ, Who IS righteous, to the ungodly sinners, who are not righteous, but are counted as righteous when they believe, or place their faith IN Jesus Christ the Righteous.
Romans 4:5 — “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
2 Corinthians 5:21 — “For He [i.e. God] hath made Him [i.e. Christ] to be sin for us, [He, Christ] Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
Praise God for His righteousness revealed, from faith to faith!
The just shall live by faith!