“The just shall live by faith” is a statement that is often quoted from the Bible. It comes from the book of Habakkuk in the Old Testament and is found in chapter 2 verse 4: This statement has been used for centuries as a reminder of the importance of having faith in God and trusting in His plan for our lives. In this article, we will explore what it means to live by faith, why it is important, and how we can do so.
Meaning of the verse “The just shall live by faith”
Faith is one of the means that God chose to achieve salvation. But it is not a work that we can do by ourselves, it is quite the opposite since it implies recognizing that we have made many mistakes throughout our lives and that we are not capable of solving things on our own.
So through faith and our sincere repentance, we recognize our moral and spiritual weaknesses. Therefore, we must allow ourselves to be guided by the Grace of God through his son Jesus Christ, who died for us. For which all the glory must be given entirely to God, as can be seen in the following biblical quotes:
- “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith; and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph 2: 8-9)
- “Without faith, it is impossible to please God” (He 11: 6)
- “He who believes in him is not condemned, but he who does not believe has already been condemned because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (Jn 3:18)
In this way, these verses complement the verse that is being analyzed “The just shall live by faith” where the relevance of faith is highlighted as the consequences it can have if we do not believe in the word of God and his promises, since a through them we can endure all adversities and overcome trials.
These verses also confirm that no person will be able to please God if he does not have faith since when we are unbelievers, we put aside everything that God has said in his word.
Likewise, it is of no use that different religions or false sects are practiced since there is nothing to replace faith: No works, sacrifices, penances, not even any of our best efforts can help us. We only have the option of true faith, faith in the work of Jesus Christ on earth, his perfect sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. So without him, we will always be disoriented in life.
What is the meaning of living by faith?
The meaning of living by faith is having the conviction that the way, the truth, and the life is in Christ. Knowing that I can overcome tests if I trust God and his purpose in my life. Therefore, “The just by faith will live” and will remain despite the storms that must go through, despite the difficulties and barriers of society, because if we remain firm in faith we will overcome everything. But this path is not easy, so we must be brave and strive, and we must consider the following aspects:
1.- The believer is misunderstood by society
As previously stated, the believer and the wicked are different, and that is why their path is also different, and this refers to the teachings of Christ when he says that the door and the path to life is not the same that leads us to doom. It alludes to the fact that those who walk along the path of life that is Christ are generally few and alone. As can be seen in the following passage:
Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter through it; for narrow is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it ” (Mt 7: 13-14).
On the other hand, in the case of Noah in the Old Testament it can be clearly seen that when we live according to faith in God, we can be exposed to loneliness and misunderstanding. So Noah and his family were the only believers of his generation, and so it is more difficult to persevere.
In addition, Noah had to face all the unbelievers, to whom he had to give a very strong message from God about his judgment. For which nobody believed him and they made fun of him. In this way, announcing a flood in a place far from the sea could seem crazy to everyone.
In this sense, if we preach the word and live in the faith of God, possibly the same thing that happened to Noah will happen to us. But we must not forget that the word that this exemplary man announced was fully fulfilled.
2.- The believer does not always get quick answers
Faith is about trusting God in any circumstance, which means that because we are believers we will not always receive the answers immediately, or what we want, since faith is not about waiting for God to carry out all of our designs. , and the Bible can clearly show us this through the experiences of the prophets.
The Bible in this regard shows us that these vindications of God will not always come before our death: “This is a faithful word: If we are dead with him, we will also live with him; if we suffer, we will also reign with him …” (2 Tim. 2: 11-12)
In this way, faith is required to have suffering without obtaining vindication immediately, for this reason, the devil can take advantage of this and implement his plan, putting doubts in us and making us think that God does not love us or that does not listen to us. This is false so we must stand on the rock and truly believe in the promises of the Bible and know that he is good and that his mercy is forever. So we must consider two important aspects:
- The authenticity of the faith cannot be measured by the results obtained, but by the fidelity that the person has in the face of different events in his life such as trials, tribulations, and moments of great difficulty.
- We will not always understand the purpose of facing the trials that he allows in our lives, which is why faith is essential to strengthen our belief in his word.
One of the clear examples that we can find in the Bible is the life of Job since he went through a lot of suffering and really difficult trials, but this did not happen to him because he was an impious man, but because he was a man of faith, and in between of the tests he was totally alone, since his friends, only accused and judged him.
When he was in the midst of his pain, God did not explain the reason for his suffering, and his vindication was not seen until long after he had suffered. When God finally answered him, he did not give him an explanation for having put him through all those terrible trials, he only showed him that he is the sovereign God who acts with wisdom and that he can rest in him even if he does not understand the why of all things. . This can be seen in the following passage:
“Who are you to doubt my wisdom, if you have only spoken nonsense? Let’s see how brave you are! Now I am going to speak, and you are going to listen to me”
If you really know that much, tell me where you were when I laid the foundations of the earth. You don’t know who measured it meter by meter, who laid the first stone, and on what its foundation’s rest! You weren’t there, while the stars sang and the angels danced!
»Tell me who set limits to the sea when it covered the land; Tell me when I wrapped it in clouds and left it in the dark; Tell me when I told the waves not to go beyond the beach »
Have you ever in your life ordered the sun to start a new day? Have you ever in your life ordered the earth to get rid of the wicked?
When the light of the new day appears behind the mountains, the wicked cannot bear its light, and there their power ends “
(Job 38: 1-15)
3.- The man of faith can anticipate the future
The faith of God’s people is associated with events of the past, they believe that God is the creator of heaven and earth and that he sent his Only Begotten Son to save us through his death on the cross of Calvary. But he also believes in things that will happen in the future, as we can see in the following biblical quote:
“Thus, faith is the certainty of what is hoped for, the conviction of what is not seen. Because by her the ancients obtained a good testimony.
By faith, we understand that the universe was constituted by the word of God so that what is seen was made out of what was not seen.
By faith Abel offered God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, for which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God giving testimony of his offerings; and dead, he still speaks for her.
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By faith, Enoch was taken away
so that he would not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him; and before he was transferred, he had testimony that he had pleased God.
But without faith it is impossible to please God; for it is necessary that whoever draws near to God believe that there is him and that he rewards those who seek him ” (Heb 11: 1-6).
In this way, when we live in faith, we have the confidence that God will fulfill what he has promised us. The Bible tells us in Hebrews about “Holding fast to the hope set before us” (Heb 6:18). Furthermore, Paul exhorted Timothy to “lay hold of eternal life” (1 Tim 6:12). Which helps us to cope with difficulties, believing that God will work in our lives and give us vindications in his time.
True faith brings good works
The Bible reveals to us that since sin became present in the world, man’s nature suffered damages that are not pleasing to God. But the effect of true and authentic faith is what generates good works.
Which is possible through faith, with which we receive all the transforming power of the Holy Spirit that helps us live according to the moral mandates of the kingdom of Christ, and makes mention in the book of John 3: 5-6 “Jesus answered: Truly, truly, I tell you, anyone who is not born of water and the Spirit cannot enter the kingdom of God. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. “
After this new birth, the man of faith should dedicate himself to good works, although these are not those that provide salvation since the new heart that Christ gives us allows us to have a new life and gives us the necessary energies to dedicate our service only to him.
In this regard, Paul emphasizes that our salvation is not by works, but we must do them for the pleasure of God. This can be seen in the following passage:
(Eph 2:10) “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:10)
In this sense, faith reveals the way we live and think. In the bible, we can see many examples about the importance of doing good works and doing God’s will, where important men like Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Moses, among others, did God’s will.
In the same way, the book of James shows us the importance of good works for the pleasure of God: “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” (Jas 2:26)