Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Just Shall Live By His Faith!

The Just Shall Live By His Faith.

This passage in Habakkuk was the inspiration of many of the great Reformers. Luther was one who pondered greatly over it’s meaning. “Calvin asserted that our salvation is rendered safe and certain through God's promise alone, and that therefore we ought not to seek any other haven…” (John Calvin Commentary on Habakkuk)

The Qumran is very interesting as it seems to be more of the teaching of the coming Messiah. In it’s translation the word righteous is understood as a person… and that this Righteous shall live by His faith.

I want to be careful here as though I do think Jesus lived a life of faith in the Father, His faith was not to save Him. His was that the Father would be faithful to complete the task He started. This is in a way a faith of God in the sense that God is faithful… In other words I see that we are saved by God’s faithfulness to His word and promises. We get the benefit of both God’s faithfulness and the walking in the faith of Christ. Like Jesus we trust The Father, yet for us that is salvation for us.

Faith’s definition will be debated until Christ returns and sets all things to right and gives us all complete understanding. I see that faith is a bit of a two way street. The main point is God’s faithfulness to us, and then as we respond to His faithfulness in belief, we live in that faithfulness. In that way as scripture teaches even faith itself is a gift from God and not of our own making. (1 Cor 1:9; Eph 2:8-9) On the human level faith is believing even when not seeing… (Heb 11:1)

I see that Jesus is the Righteous One and we live by His faith. His complete trust in the Father is how we too find our salvation. We must depend on Jesus and His righteousness for our own. Romans 4: 4-5 states “Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.”

So many think that they can add works to their salvation, yet in doing that nullify the Cross and Christ’s finished works. It is saying Jesus did not get the job done. By adding works to prove or for some hope that it gives one more standing in God’s eyes, actually makes one less in God’s eyes. For it then must be reckoned with wages. If one rejects Jesus’ Blood for forgiveness, then they stand on their own works which will be paid. The issue is that the wages of sin is death, and if one denies what Jesus did, then they will die in their sin. Even if one’s sins are forgiven and they reject that, one still will receive the due wages of death.

I know I have stated this before, but many do not realize that sin was dealt with before Jesus. It was dealt with by the sacrificial system… What Jesus accomplished was the final sacrifice for sin. Hebrews states that Jesus being our High Priest sat down after the sacrifice. No priest would sit down… for the duties of the High Priest would never be finished, yet Jesus is said to have sat down… This means there is no more sacrifice for sin. (Hebrews 8)

I remember a godly man who once confronted me on this. He asked me a question. “How many of your sins were in the future when Jesus died on the Cross?”… I looked at him and replied, “Huh?” I am not always the sharpest tool in the shed. He stated it again, “How many of your sins were in the future when Jesus died on the Cross?” I looked at him as stated, “I was not born yet so, I would have to say all of them.” He looked at me then and stated, “How many of your sins were forgiven at the Cross?” This time I was a bit quicker… maybe it was the Holy Spirit helping me a bit, I said, “All of them.”

And that is the Truth! All of our sins were forgiven at the Cross. Yet so many of us act like our sins were forgiven just when we came to Jesus… you see that would be works… if our getting forgiveness depended on our coming to Jesus, then it is works. Forgiveness is by Grace. Faith is by Grace. We are saved by Grace through Faith and not of works. We are forgiven already, we need to just walk in that forgiveness and die to our sin! In that way we are Sons of God and God reveals us to all creation as to our New Nature… a redeemed Child of the Living God.

Salvation is a process. It is working out a loving relationship with our Creator on His terms. That is not always easy. We are to depend totally on the Father through Jesus Christ and all Jesus did for us. We are privileged to walk as brothers and sisters with Jesus. We must not forget that we have been cleansed of our sins at the Cross and press on in faith and trust in Jesus for He is also our righteousness and salvation.


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