The just shall live by _____ ?

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.

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2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Theology

2 responses to “The just shall live by _____ ?

  1. ifidieyoung78

    I have to say, first of all, that I am new to blogging. I read through your rules/guidelines page, and hope I am placing my question/comment in the proper place.
    I am at a place in my life that I have never been before. I was brought up in a Christian household, and continued in those beliefs, even taking hold of them myself, for years after I moved out of my parents’ home. I have had my share of ups and downs in life, just as anyone else (more or less) on this planet. I have a family now, and therefore, I have a strong desire that we be “on the right track” in life, so that none of us need to fear death, but so that we can spend our lives using our time wisely, being kind to others, helping others, doing our work with competence, skill, etc. At the same time I enjoy having good times with friends and also want my kids to be sociable and well-liked.
    I have, as a surprise even to myself, turned into quite the skeptic concerning things of a religious/faith nature. A turning point for me came quite unexpectedly, during a moment of confrontation with my dear husband, when I had the choice to take his comments personally, or just let them roll off of my back and focus on the task at hand. I chose the latter….and it felt right for me! Since then, I have quite “religiously” continued 1) living in the moment, 2) paying more conscious attention to the tasks at hand and not doing very much of what I call “scatterbrained daydreaming”, 3) living with all my heart, and so on. I am not second-guessing my basic philosophy there, but just wondering what role faith should play in my life, aside from the occasional WHOLEHEARTED prayer to God (who I can’t see), and whose existence as a personal God I am, in recent months, oftentimes skeptical about.
    By the way, I have turned to Christ MANY times in my life, oftentimes out of fear of hellfire, most recently, however, because of the preacher’s PLEADING with us “backsliders” to come back to Christ. Of course I was living wholeheartedly in the moment then, and wanted to respond to his message. I have since become more skeptical though, though not less afraid AT THE CORE. I am just beginning to use less heart-feeling leaps of childlike faith, and more “grown-up”, scientific reasoning….though I am no expert. I just find it difficult to pray to God, who I cannot see, despite the fact that I see evidence for some Creative Power in the faces of my children everyday. [I am also having issues since I discovered Luke 14:26, especially because I have for a loooong time now already struggled with the idea of putting God first in my life. I always want to (at least in my mind) put others first, particularly family & friends.]
    All in all, though, I am happy with my new-found and gradually acquired “focused mind”. :)
    My apologies again if my post is not in the correct category. I did not find (or did not look carefully enough) a spot where I could just pose a rather long question.
    (Also, as a side-note, my husband is not a church-goer, but is very much in favor of me taking the kids to church regularly.)

    • Kliska

      Hello, and welcome to my blog! I hope you stick around awhile and browse my various writings. Sorry it took me a bit to reply, I’ve been busy with teaching and life and such.

      I have, as a surprise even to myself, turned into quite the skeptic concerning things of a religious/faith nature. A turning point for me came quite unexpectedly, during a moment of confrontation with my dear husband, when I had the choice to take his comments personally, or just let them roll off of my back and focus on the task at hand. I chose the latter….and it felt right for me! Since then, I have quite “religiously” continued 1) living in the moment, 2) paying more conscious attention to the tasks at hand and not doing very much of what I call “scatterbrained daydreaming”, 3) living with all my heart, and so on. I am not second-guessing my basic philosophy there, but just wondering what role faith should play in my life, aside from the occasional WHOLEHEARTED prayer to God (who I can’t see), and whose existence as a personal God I am, in recent months, oftentimes skeptical about.

      Well, I can tell you what I read here from my perspective. It seems you’ve found a way to react and respond to life that you like and it seems you are a bit fearful that if you add in faith, it will change this new-found way of living. I can only tell you what I’ve found in scripture and it is this; nothing you describe here seems to go against biblical faith. Living our lives from day to day and facing what comes as it comes is a very biblical idea. Faith is meant to be so deep that we seek God continually in our decisions and in our lives, it isn’t a Sunday only proposition. We aren’t meant to keep focusing on the past, nor to obsess about the future…and I’d add that Jesus came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly.

      As for not being able to see God, physically…I guess that depends. Literally, no you can’t see Him, but you can see evidence of Him, as well as the evidence of Jesus Christ, who is the very Wisdom of God made flesh. Believing in God doesn’t have to be a flight of fancy, so to speak, but something based in evidence and logic. Many people were raised with the ‘blind faith’ idea; that’s not biblical style faith. God has indeed given evidence and we can be assured our faith is logical. If you have any questions about that, I’d be happy to try to answer them.

      By the way, I have turned to Christ MANY times in my life, oftentimes out of fear of hellfire, most recently, however, because of the preacher’s PLEADING with us “backsliders” to come back to Christ. Of course I was living wholeheartedly in the moment then, and wanted to respond to his message. I have since become more skeptical though, though not less afraid AT THE CORE. I am just beginning to use less heart-feeling leaps of childlike faith, and more “grown-up”, scientific reasoning….though I am no expert. I just find it difficult to pray to God, who I cannot see, despite the fact that I see evidence for some Creative Power in the faces of my children everyday. [I am also having issues since I discovered Luke 14:26, especially because I have for a loooong time now already struggled with the idea of putting God first in my life. I always want to (at least in my mind) put others first, particularly family & friends.]

      One of the main things that I see in walk with God is that it is ultimately love, not fear that cements our relationship with God. Yes, we are to fear Him, but it is an awe-type fear that is referred to, not a scared-fear. God is love; He loves us so very much and He is the only Being 100% trustworthy. Again, that is not a blind faith speaking, but rather one based on the evidence of His character and answered promises. I think it is good to be scientific minded, and that means examining evidence. As for child-like faith…Children trust what they come to love, and they trust openly.

      Luke 14:26 must be examined in context and in the Greek. To hate in this sense is to place one thing above other things; we are to place Christ above all those things listed. I used to have a problem with it too…until I realized something very very important that God taught me through tough times in my life. Our love for our families and our own lives only makes sense if it is done “through” Christ. Loving my mother or father, or husband, takes on a new and eternal meaning if I love them through Christ. No longer is it just a one-to-one, human-to-human relationship that is flawed (who knows a perfect person? I’m not perfect, husband not perfect, I don’t have kids, but love my brother’s kids as my own; they aren’t perfect either), but if we add in the perfect human, Christ, we’ll have perfect relationships through Him. Not only that, but they will last into eternity. By putting Christ first and loving Him above and beyond all others, we actually gain true love and relationship with the others we also love here and now.

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