What does it mean to live by faith?

It’s Monday Grace!

Chances are that the pages of your Bible that contain the book of Habakkuk are still stuck together with the gold paint on their edges. Don’t feel bad. That’s true for so many people. But you might want to try to find the book. There is a treasure in its words that has changed history more than once.

Habakkuk spoke of the day of the Lord, the time when Jesus would be seen as the Savior. He wrote of a contrast that was coming.

““Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4, NKJV)

The proud one who does not yield to the Lord, who trusts in himself, would find condemnation, but the one who stands with the Savior would be saved. He would “live by his faith.”

Centuries later, the Apostle Paul would read and understand those words. He knew that the whole message of the gospel was for people to trust in Jesus. The good news would set them free.

“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”” (Romans 1:17, NKJV)

Centuries after that, when the people claiming to belong to the Lord wandered into law and performance for their hope, Martin Luther would read those words from the book of Romans and find the answer he sought.

“Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that “the just shall live by his faith.” Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereup­on I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole of Scrip­ture took on a new meaning, and whereas before the “justice of God” had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressibly sweet in greater love. This passage of Paul became to me a gate to heaven.” (Quoted at https://www.christianstudylibrary.org/article/just-shall-live-faith-conversion-martin-luther )

More centuries passed until the church again was caught up in doing right and not trusting in the right that was done for them. John Wesley struggled with doing enough for God. He knew he was missing something. But when he heard a man reading Luther’s Preface to the Book of Romans, he heard the quote from Habakkuk. He wrote:

“while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.” (https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1701-1800/john-wesleys-heart-strangely-warmed-11630227.html )

“The just shall live by faith.”

How does life come to the people of God? Through faith in Jesus. Jesus is our hope and promise. Jesus has done the work of salvation. Jesus has satisfied all the requirements, fought all the battles, accomplished the whole plan of God.

And that’s grace!

2 Comments

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2 responses to “What does it mean to live by faith?

  1. Mindy

    There aren’t enough hearts in all the world for this Amazing Grace! ❤️❤️❤️

  2. Steve Tompkins

    By grace thru faith! Amen!

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