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The Faith of Jesus. The Pioneer and Perfecter of Faith Fred Bischoff. Key Text. Heb. 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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The faith of jesus

The Faith of Jesus

The Pioneer and Perfecter of Faith

Fred Bischoff

Key text
Key Text

Heb. 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Review of study 2
Review of Study #2

Faith can be described as spiritual eyesight, to see what is hoped for and what is not seen by the physical eyes.

God knows what will happen in the future (foreknowledge), but He acts according to what He hopes for His creatures (faith).

Review of study 21
Review of Study #2

The cursed fig tree, and especially Christ cursed on the cross, show what happens when there is no faith.

God's faith is not made ineffective by unbelief, but will be vindicated in the judgment. (Rom. 3:3, 4)

Christ plainly told the disciples, "Have the faith of God." (Mark 11:22). We need this faith, to see things as God sees them.

Summary of study 2
Summary of Study #2

The faith of Jesus =

Spiritual Eyesight

Overview of studies
Overview of Studies

1. "endured the cross" = gospel

2. "looking unto Jesus" = seeing

3. "for the joy set before" = future

4. "finisher of faith" = end-time

5. "endured the cross" = endurance

The faith of jesus1

The Faith of Jesus

3. The Joy Set Before

Purpose of study 3
Purpose of Study #3

What does it mean that Jesus went to the cross for "the joy set before Him"?

How could he see joy as He faced the cross?

When He contemplated the cross beforehand, and especially as He entered it, what did He see that was not horrible but joyful?

The faith of Jesus sees "the joy set before."

Introductory story
Introductory Story

He was born in Africa.

He was educated in Africa.

And now--

"... He was soon to occupy the throne of Egypt. He was to be king ... of the world, because the Egyptian Empire was world wide." (ATJ, GCB97 p25)

But we read an amazing thing.

Refused to be king
Refused to be King

"By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter." (Heb. 11:24).

What did he see that God saw?

Stepped down not up
Stepped Down, Not Up

"There was the throne. It was only a step to it. But instead of stepping up there and seating himself upon the throne, he stepped down.... The throne of Egypt was falling to him just as naturally as the leaves fall from the trees. He did not have to strive for office....

Rather be with christ
Rather Be with Christ

"Yet he would rather be with Christ, and suffer his reproach, than to be there on the throne of Egypt. And bear particularly in mind that to be with Christ he had to turn his back upon the throne and all the treasures and pleasures of Egypt. " (Ibid., p. 26)

Again I ask what did he see with the eye of faith?

Moses options
Moses' Options

Refusing: "to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter." (vs. 24)

Choosing: "to suffer affliction with the people of God." (vs. 25)

Refusing: "to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." (vs. 25)

Questions: Did he give up all joy when he refused "to enjoy the pleasures of sin"? Or was there "joy set before" him?

By faith moses
"By Faith Moses..."

Moses' faith must have enabled him to see what Paul wrote of years later--

"Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches [Moses refused this], but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy [Moses chose this]." (1 Tim. 6:17)

The reckoning of faith
The Reckoning of Faith


the reproach of Christ greater riches [Moses chose this]

than the treasures in Egypt" [Moses refused this] (vs. 26)

How did he do this esteeming?

Faith sees
Faith Sees

"for he had respect" (vs. 26)

This verb means "to turn the eyes away from other things and fix them on some one thing." He must have seen what God saw!

What was his eye of faith fixed on?

Recompence of reward
Recompence of Reward

"the recompence of the reward" (vs. 26)

This word is used only three times, all in Hebrews.

It means "payment of wages."

Observe the other two occurrences of this word.

Recompence of reward1
Recompence of Reward

Heb 2:2 "...The word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward"

Moses refused this. Recall that the "treasures in Egypt" were called "the pleasures of sin."

Recompence of reward2
Recompence of Reward

Heb 10:35 "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward."

Moses chose this. But what is this wage?


These verses should remind us of another verse.

Rom. 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Note that "the wages of sin is death." Moses by faith turned his back on this wage.

But eternal life is not a wage, but a gift!

What the wage is not
What the Wage is Not

Anyone in heaven will be there, not because they have earned it as a wage for anything that have done, even by faith. They will be there because God has given it to them as a gift that they as sinners don't deserve.

That gift they receive by faith, and they keep it by faith.

Moses wage
Moses' Wage

So the wage that Moses had his eye of faith fixed on, that led him to esteem "the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt," was not eternal life.

As we explore this, we will see that this wage was the same as the "joy set before" Christ, as by faith He endured the cross.

Another person in africa
Another Person in Africa

Consider briefly another man mentioned in Heb. 11 who spent most of his life in Africa.

He was sold into slavery by his own family.

But by faith his joy was to serve.

By faith joseph
By Faith Joseph...

This man, Joseph, did not understand what God's plan was at first. But this faith we are studying, the faith of Jesus, he must have had, as he grasped that God must have a plan. For he joyfully served, without seeing with his physical eyes the joy set before him.

As the events of Providence unfolded, it dawned upon him what God's plan was.

Joy in humility
Joy in Humility

Joseph's willingness to be humbled became his exaltation, and life to his family.

He became a type of Christ Himself, who also was willing to be humbled to serve, and whose humiliation became His exaltation, and life to His family, the human race.

Joy set before
Joy Set Before

So what was the "joy set before" Christ as He endured the cross?

How is that similar to the "recompence of reward" that Moses' eyes were fixed on?

And what Joseph by faith must also have seen?

Faith is the substance
Faith is the Substance...

Heb. 11:1 "Faith is the substance of things hopedfor...."

What does it hope for?

1 Cor. 13:7 Love "hopeth" all things.

This is the hope that brings joy.

A previous verse provides a key--

1 Cor. 13:6 Love "rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth."

Joy in the truth
Joy in the Truth

"The truth" in Scripture describes the reality that God is the source of self-sacrificing love, that He designed His universe to function that way, and that only such love which fuels faith has power to overcome.

This in itself brings joy, because it binds our hearts to His. But there is yet another dimension, which springs from God's other-centeredness.

The joy before
The Joy Before

The faith of Jesus enabled Him "for the joy set before" to endure the cross.

The faith of Jesus is a function of His love, which "rejoices in the truth."

This joy then must be the fruit of the cross, of the ultimate demonstration of self-sacrificing love.

What is the fruit of such humility? What is its wage?

The joy before1
The Joy Before

The faith of Jesus is a function of His love, which also "hopes all things."

The faith of Jesus is "the substance of things hoped for."

This hope must then be what He was looking at as He traveled the amazing path down to save us.

What is the focus of this hope?

One more example
One More Example

Let look at one more example of someone who turned his back on worldly wealth and position and chose the path of humility and service, as we search for this "joy set before."

Paul gives his testimony in Phil. 3:5-14.

Those things behind
Those Things Behind

Paul turned from:

  • Identity of lineage: "Israel, ... Hebrew of the Hebrews" (vs. 5)

  • Prestige as a "Pharisee" (vs. 5)

  • "Persecuting" position (vs. 6)

  • "Righteousness which is in the law" (vs. 6)

    His choice was "forgetting" all those.

Those things before
Those Things Before

Paul turned toward:

  • "The knowledge of Christ" (vs. 8)

  • "Righteousness ...which is through the faith of Christ" (vs. 9)

  • "The power of his resurrection" (vs. 10)

  • "The fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto his death" (vs. 10)

Contrasting righteousness
Contrasting Righteousness

"Mine own righteousness": human lineage, human training, inhuman treatment of people who did not agree with him, human attempts to keep the law

"Righteousness which is of God... through the faith of Christ": to know Christ, the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings, the shape of his death

Behind vs before
Behind vs. Before

Paul forgot "those things which are behind"--all related to "mine own righteousness."

Paul reached "forth unto those things which are before"-- all related to "the righteousness which is of God... through the faith of Christ"

Things before
Things Before

What "power" and "fellowship" did Paul find "through the faith of Christ"?

What were these "things set before"?

Since they were "through the faith of Christ," they must be the same as "the joy set before" Christ.

The word "before" is the same in both texts.

Paul s explicit q a
Paul's Explicit Q&A

1 Thes. 2:19, 20 "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For ye are our glory and joy."

1 Thes. 3:9 "For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God."

The joy set before
The Joy Set Before

Paul was willing to suffer "the loss of all things" that he "may win Christ." But winning Christ was not just winning Christ. Paul clearly received in "the righteousness ... through the faith of Christ" also the "joy set before" of winning others to Christ.

The mark for the prize
The Mark for the Prize

For Paul, "the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" was the powerful witness of suffering loss, of entering into Christ's sufferings, with the hope and joy of drawing others into a similar joyous sacrifice of self for yet more others.

Joy for each
Joy for Each

Moses: turned his back on the riches of Egypt and suffered years of trials that he might have the joy of delivering his people and leading them to Canaan

Joseph: was willing to be humbled and suffer that he might have the joy of saving his family

Paul: forgot his things of the past in order to suffer loss and difficulty to win souls to Christ

Joy set before christ
Joy Set Before Christ

The joy set before Christ was more of the same:

"The joy set before Christ, the joy that sustained Him through sacrifice and suffering, was the joy of seeing sinners saved. This should be the joy of every follower of His, the spur to his ambition.

Joy set before christ1
Joy Set Before Christ

"Those who realize, even in a limited degree, what redemption means to them and to their fellow men, will comprehend in some measure the vast needs of humanity.

Joy set before christ2
Joy Set Before Christ

"Their hearts will be moved to compassion as they see the moral and spiritual destitution of thousands who are under the shadow of a terrible doom, in comparison with which physical suffering fades into nothingness." {PK 172.1}

Paul s descriptions
Paul's Descriptions

Rom. 15:1-4

"We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

To edification
To Edification

"For even Christpleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

God of hope
God of Hope

Rom. 15:13

"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost."

Have hope
Have Hope

As we give ourselves, we will be tempted as Christ Himself was to despair that our giving will be fruitless. But the scriptures, in revealing to us how powerful the faith of Jesus is, and how effective it has been in the history of humanity, will give us hope that our work will not be in vain.

Have hope1
Have Hope

When we see what God sees (believe what He believes) about the possibilities and assurance of others restored to His image, He becomes to us a God of hope who fills us with joy, peace, and hope.

This hope and joy brought by the faith of Jesus is focused on others who will be won to Christ by our self-sacrificing witness.

Rejoice in hope
Rejoice in Hope

Rom. 5:2, 5, 11

"By whom [Christ] also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."

"The glory of God" = image of God. "Rejoice in hope" of seeing it restored in others.

Hope and love
Hope and Love

"And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."

"The love of God" in our hearts gives us a hope that removes any shame. We are not ashamed to be humble, to suffer for others.

Joy in god
Joy in God

"And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."

The "joy set before" us is seeing others won to Christ. But our primary joy remains "in God" who has won us to Christ.

Joy in heaven
Joy in Heaven

What is heaven's joy?

Luke 15:10

"Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."

Joy on earth
Joy on Earth

What is joy to all people of earth?

Luke 2:10, 11

"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

God s joyful task
God's Joyful Task

As source of this joy, as the Creator of each of us, God has the joyful task of planning how each creature can enter into His joy.

Consider Psa. 139: 16, 17--

God s joyful task1
God's Joyful Task

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!


Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;

All the stages of my life were spread out before you,

The days of my life all prepared

before I'd even lived one day.

Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!

God, I'll never comprehend them!

Back to peter
Back to Peter

Remember the experience at the fig tree: Peter wanted Jesus to see how the tree was withered in one day. Christ said in reply, "Have the faith of God." If they would see what God saw, they would know how important faith was, with all it brings.

Did Peter ever come to "have the faith of God"?

Peter s growth
Peter's Growth

Initially he resisted the cross = resisted the faith of Jesus (Matt. 16:22)

Interested in what he would get = not as interested in what he could give (Matt. 19:27)

Claimed he was willing more than any other to stick with Christ, even to die (Matt 26:33, 35), but really was willing to kill (Matt. 26:51; John 18:10)

Peter s growth1
Peter's Growth

He saw the faith of Jesus unmistakably when Jesus responded to his cursing with forgiveness (Luke 22:61; DA 713).

He saw the faith of Jesus supremely on the cross: "the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Pet. 1:19)

He saw the faith of Jesus in Jesus' new commission to him: "feed My lambs"--"feed My sheep" (John 21:15-17)

Peter s joy
Peter's Joy

Observe Peter's first letter--

1 Pet. 1:5-9

5: "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation"

7: "the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold"

8: "ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory"

What was this joy Peter saw "set before"?

Peter s joy1
Peter's Joy

9: "receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of souls"

Do you see how Peter saw clearly the "joy set before" one who receives and keeps the faith of Jesus? It was "the end" of that faith--"the salvation of souls."

Peter s joy2
Peter's Joy

1 Pet. 2:19-24

19: "For this is thankworthy [grace], if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully."

21: "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps"

Peter s joy3
Peter's Joy

24: "by whose stripes ye were healed"

Peter learned to be willing to suffer wrongfully, as Christ did, with the "joy set before" of others being healed.

Peter s joy4
Peter's Joy

1 Pet. 4:13

"rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy"

Like precious faith
Like Precious Faith

In Peter's second letter--

2 Pet. 1:1

"like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ"

Strength for the task
Strength for the Task

Nehemiah's Task

8:9, 10 "'This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep.' For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. Then he said unto them, 'Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet...: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.'"

Fellowship with christ
Fellowship with Christ

"And of all the gifts that Heaven can bestow upon men, fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor." {DA 224.5}

Fellowship in joy
Fellowship in Joy

We fellowship with Christ when we give faith and love with the clear goal in mind of thus motivating others to faith and love, knowing that some will not, but willing to suffer that for the joy of seeing some respond positively.

Fellowship in joy1
Fellowship in Joy


Joy for Jesus!















No faith and love


Jesus' suffering

Fellowship in joy2
Fellowship in Joy


Joy for us!













No faith and love


Our sufferings


Are you willing to enter into the joy "set before"?

Are you willing to suffer as Christ did, not for your own wrongs, but for others, with the joy that they may die to sin and live unto righteousness by means of your revealing the faith of Jesus (seeing them not as they are, but as they can be) toward them even as they cause you suffering?