“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:4 ESV)
This verse compares two people, or types of people, the unrighteous and the righteous. Today, we could call them the saved and the unsaved. The prophetic vision given to Habakkuk was for Judah and talked about their captivity under the Chaldeans but was used by both Paul and the writer of Hebrews. This verse is said to form the backbone of Christian doctrine! That makes it worth a second look.
Today we see people of the world who rely on their own intellect and resources strutting around in pride and pomp. They made it on their own, and some of them really made it big. They are “puffed up” and boastful. Many of these claim to be Christian, go to church and occasionally talk about Jesus. However, they show very little love for other believers and their lives do not reflect Christ or the Holy Spirit.
Then we see the few who live by faith. I’m not saying that these are poor or even close to it. I’m saying that their daily walk is humble and it seems that their every thought is given to Christ. They exude joy (not to be confused with worldly happiness) and willingly help those who need help, preferably without letting anyone else know they are helping.
Salvation depends on faith. (Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Heb. 11:6) We are saved by faith, not by our works, our wealth or our merit. We cannot boast about being saved unless we are boasting in what Jesus did for us. Those who do not live by faith need to examine their hearts. If you are truly saved, your life will show it. In fact, James said that “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2.17) His meaning is not that you are saved by faith but, as he says in verse 14 “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?”
So, bottom line, saving faith is faith that Jesus died to pay for your sin, was brought back to life to conquer death and now lives to intercede for us with the Father. And if you have that saving faith then your life will show it.
© 2019 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.
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