Living by Faith

April 2, 2024

A compilation

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If we were to construct a top ten list of the most misunderstood words in the Christian vocabulary, I would nominate the word “faith” for the number one spot. It is a word which introduces us to a key factor in Christian living, designed to bring freedom, liberty, and power into our experience. Yet, like no other word, it has brought frustration, discouragement, and even a sense of condemnation to people.

It is by faith that truth becomes experience, and without it truth remains elusive, impractical, and theoretical. The writer of the book of Hebrews, comparing Israel in the Old Testament to his readers, states, “For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard it did not combine it with faith” (Hebrews 4:2). Two groups of people heard the same truth. To the one, it was of immense value, but to the other, it was of no value at all. The reason? One group combined what they knew with faith, and the other did not. It was the combination of truth with faith that made the truth work and become effective in their lives.

One thing we cannot escape as we read the Bible is that faith is an indispensable part of the Christian experience. The Scripture tells us that we are cleansed by faith, that we are saved by faith, that we are justified by faith, and that we have access to God by faith. However, having been saved by faith, we also discover that we are to live by faith, to walk by faith, and in so doing we discover we are to fight the good fight of faith, to take the shield of faith, and to overcome the world by faith.

We then discover that without faith, it is impossible to please Him, and that whatever is not of faith is sin. Furthermore, if we have difficulty living the Christian life, in all probability our difficulty will be related to our exercise of faith or our lack of it. …

In the Christian life, the object of our faith is the Lord Jesus Christ. The exercise of faith is an attitude of trust toward Him, which enables Him to be what He is and to do what He does within our own experience. When Scripture states that we are “saved by faith,” it means that we recognize our utter inability to save ourselves, and in dependence upon Christ we say something like, “Lord Jesus, I cannot save myself, but You can save me. I trust You to do so.” The result of our faith in Him is that God is able to work for us, in us, and through us. …

The Christian life is not something we live for God, but something God lives in us. From start to finish, it is a life of faith in God’s ability to work.—Charles Price1

A living faith

With His Word for the foundation of our faith, God has given us the power to live by faith to fulfill His purpose for our lives and to be a living testament of His love to the world. We are privileged to know His love, to be loved by Him personally, and to be empowered by His Spirit. He has entrusted us with the task and calling of reaching the world with His love and truth. He has provided the blueprint for living a godly life in His Word.

Throughout the Old and New Testaments, the importance of God’s Word to the walk of faith is paramount. Jesus, quoting the Scripture, said that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

His Word provides a foundation for our faith, as well as guidance, instruction, counsel, encourage­ment, motivation, enlightenment, education, and power. His Word provides the strength to do His will and it helps us to continue growing spiritually. May we each continue to ground our faith in His Word, so that our lives will continue to be filled with His Spirit. Our faith is built on reverence for the Word, cultivating a personal relationship with the Lord, and obedience to the Lord and His Word.

As we seek to give our lives, hearts, and minds to the Lord, we can trust Him to guide us every day in our walk with Him. We can be confident that He will continue to perform the good work He began in our lives until its completion (Philippians 1:6). The Lord has promised that His Word will be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, leading us along His path that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day (Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 4:18).—Maria Fontaine

A life of trust

Whenever someone believes the gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3–5), that person is identified with Christ in the past (being positionally declared righteous), present (growing into righteousness), and future (being presented as perfectly righteous). Both the past and present aspects are seen in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” …

The idea that we live by faith focuses on the present aspect of the Christian’s identity in Christ. In Galatians 2:20, Paul utilizes the phrase “in the body,” pointing specifically to the physical life of the Christian, as lived “now.” Living by faith is an act that takes place while the Christian is alive on the earth. This idea of presently being “in Christ” is critical to living by faith. …

To live by faith is to live trusting Jesus, who loved us to the point of dying in our place (John 3:16), purchasing our salvation. This trust should be a constant throughout the life of the believer.—GotQuestions.org2

The just will live by faith

It’s a bold statement, the sort of thing the apostles of old might have emblazoned on a T-shirt had that been an option 2,000 years ago: the just shall live by faith. … The original verse comes from Habakkuk 2:4, which is an Old Testament prophetic book written by the prophet Habakkuk to the people of Judah around 600 BC. …

In addition to “just,” other Bible translations use phrases like “the righteous,” “those who are good,” “those who are right with God,” “the person of integrity,” or “the person who is godly.” These are people who walk with the Lord, who are not perfect, but who strive to follow His ways and don’t stray from His teachings or commands.

Even when things are dark and gloomy and all hope seems lost, these just and righteous ones put their trust in God and hold fast to their faith. They know that God’s glory will prevail no matter what. They know God is the Almighty, the one and only true and perfect God, and they don’t bow to idols or false gods.

The phrase “live by faith” means the manner in which one lives—a conscious choice to follow God and not the ways of the surrounding culture, whether that’s worshipping false gods or other evil actions. But it also means that the just and righteous will live because of this. That is, because they choose to trust God and live in alignment with Him, they will be saved.

Paul quoted Habakkuk 2:4 a few times in his epistles to the early church. In Romans, Paul writes, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’” (Romans 1:16–17). …

The point the Lord made back in days of old was the same point made in Jesus: the righteous and just are to walk by faith and to trust that all will be well in the Lord. When life is hard and suffering is heavy, it can be extremely difficult to live by faith. But trusting in our sovereign God is exactly what we must do.—Jessica Brodie3

Published on Anchor April 2024. Read by Jerry Paladino. Music by Michael Dooley.

1 Charles Price, Christ for Real: How to Grow into God’s Likeness (Marshalls, 1985).



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