One of the fundamental aspects of the Gospel of Christ is that we are saved by faith. I’ve written a previous article on faith, pistis in the Greek, which you can find here; What is Faith? The point of this new article is to underscore how believers are to live.
Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
Doc Scott, my old pastor, used to point out that when scripture repeats itself; when God finds a concept so important that He says the same thing over again, it is time to pay attention. The fact that the just shall live by faith is reiterated in scripture, it is repeated, it is important. There is nothing else that fits in the blank the way that faith does.
It does not say the just are to live by works, by love, by grace, by money, by physical might, etc… Once we are saved, we are to live by faith, and faith is trusting. As we live our lives and go along, we’ll make mistakes and stumble and fall…and climb. No matter what, we should trust all along the way. God is out for trust; us placing our trust in Him. In this life we WILL have tribulation, and the proper response is to trust in God. Exercising trust builds it like a muscle that we use, we don’t technically gain more muscle, but the muscle we have grows stronger. I would also note that Paul would not have felt the need to exhort believers to a life of faith if our walk as believers was paved with thorn-free roses, puppies, and rainbows.
Many act like living by faith is easy…that it is a simple matter to trust God. The heroes of faith would surely disagree. Ever read through the Psalms? David shows the ups and downs of walking in faith, and he is a man after God’s own heart. Believers are never promised a life free of trials, those trials give us an opportunity to flex our faith and keep turning to God, to keep trusting Him, even if it is only with “fingernail faith.” That faith, that trust that latches on and refuses to let go, even if it but a fingernail hold we keep on Christ’s robe…because of course, in the end, He is the One that has a hold on us. Live your life day-by-day trusting in God; you won’t be disappointed.