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The just shall live by faith.This declaration
of the Christian's principle of life is found in the bible. (Hab. 2:1-5; Rom. 1:17; Heb. 10:38 ) In Habakkuk we
see the difference between the lives of the unjust and the just.The unjust are puffed up and live by their own self sufficiency.
They reject God.
"1 I will stand upon
my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
2 And the LORD
answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
3 For the vision
is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely
come, it will not tarry.
4 Behold, his soul
which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
5 Yea also, because
he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and
cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:"
therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."
the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him."
But the just live by faith-their confidence
is in God. To them faith is more than a philosophy of life. The righteous shall live his whole life by faith.
saved by faith, kept by faith, and he lives by faith. His faith shall be tried many times and in many ways but faith will
always be vindicated, because it is more than equal to any occasion. Faith knows how to wait on the Lord and it is always
Faith defies reason: it moves mountains (Mt. 17:14-21). Faith does not always face facts (Heb. 11:32-39).
says, God is working out His perfect will in my life, and I can wait, endure and suffer.
"14 And when they
were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15 Lord, have mercy
on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16 And I brought
him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17 Then Jesus
answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him
hither to me.
18 And Jesus rebuked
the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then came the
disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20 And Jesus said
unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say
unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
21 Howbeit this
kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
"32 And what shall I
more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel,
and of the prophets:
33 Who through
faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.
34 Quenched the
violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight
the armies of the aliens.
35 Women received
their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
36 And others had
trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37 They were stoned,
they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute,
38 (Of whom the
world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And these all,
having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:"
Faith does not make anything easy, but it does make all
things possible. (Heb. 11:1).
" 1 Now faith is
the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Now faith is the substance of
things hoped for. Your faith is your title deed to eternal life. Just as a title deed is evidence of real estate, so your
faith is your evidence of your eternal estate in God (Heb. 11:6).
"6 But without faith
it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that
diligently seek him."
Faith is taking God at His word.
not believe that all things are good, or that all things work well. It does believe that all things work together for good
to them that love God (Rom. 8:28).
" 28 And we know that
all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
all, taking the shield of faith (Eph. 6:16).
"16 Above all, taking
the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."
Faith is important because it honors God, and God always honors faith
You cannot be
saved without faith John 3:36
"36 He that believeth
on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him"
You cannot live victoriously over the world without faith 1 John
" 4 For whatsoever
is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
cannot pray without faith James 1:6
" 6 But let him
ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed."
You cannot have peace with God without faith Rom. 5:1
"1 Therefore being justified
by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:"
You cannot have joy without faith 1 Pet. 1:8
" 8 Whom having
not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:"
You are justified by faith and not works Gal. 2:16
"16 Knowing that a man
is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we
might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be
You are to live by faith Gal. 2:20
"20 I am crucified with
Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the
faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
You are made righteous by faith Rom. 10:1-4
"1 Brethren, my heart's
desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
2 For I bear them
record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being
ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto
the righteousness of God.
4 For Christ is
the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
Christ dwells in your heart by faith Eph. 3:17
"17 That Christ may dwell
in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,"
The Holy spirit is received by faith Gal. 3:2
" 2 This only would
I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?"
Whatsoever is not of faith is sin Rom. 14:23
he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin."
May God bless the reading of His word.
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD
14 "What doth it profit,
my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (Here, therefore,
true, living faith is meant: but in other parts of the argument the apostle speaks of a dead, imaginary faith. He does not,
therefore, teach that true faith can, but that it cannot, subsist without works: nor does he oppose faith to works; but that
empty name of faith, to real faith working by love. Can that faith which is without works save him? No more than it can profit
his neighbour. SHOW ME YOUR FAITH AND I WILL SHOW YOU MY WORKS. James 1:22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. )
15 If a brother or
sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, (a fellow Christian, to whom we are specially bound
to give help, independent of our general obligation to help all our fellow creatures. Matthew 25:35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger,
and you invited Me in;)
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace,
be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (The habit of receiving passively sentimental impressions from sights of woe without carrying them out into active
habits only hardens the heart. SO DOES RECEIVING FAITHFUL WORKS WITH NOT THE SLIGHTEST EXPRESSION OF REPLY IN LIKE FAITH ACCORDING
TO YOUR GIFTS AND LOVE)
17 Even so faith,
if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. (James 2:26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.)
18 Yea, a man may
say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
(Matthew 7:16 "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? The
question here is not as to the ground on which believers are justified, but about the demonstration of their faith: so in
the case of Abraham. In Gen. 22:1 it is written, God did tempt Abraham, that is, put to the test of demonstration the reality
of his faith, not for the satisfaction of God, who already knew it well, but to demonstrate it before men. The offering of
Isaac at that time, quoted here, Jas 2:21, formed no part of the ground of his justification, for he was justified previously
on his simply believing in the promise of spiritual heirs, that is, believers, numerous as the stars.)
19 Thou believest
that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. ( If such a faith
were the true faith by means of which we are justified, the demons would be justified, for they have that, but nonetheless
they tremble and are not justified, therefore neither is that faith a true faith.)
20 But wilt thou
know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham
our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? (Was Abraham justified by works? NO! By a faith which showed itself in works. This is the argument of James, that
faith is of no avail unless accompanied by works. Of this all Abraham's life was a demonstration. He was told when in Mesopotamia
to go forth into the land God would show him, and he went out, not knowing where he was going (Heb 11:8); an act of faith.
By faith he sojourned in the land of promise (Heb 11:9). So that St. James's justification by works is the fruit of St Paul's
justification by faith (accounted righteous in Christ). FIRST FAITH FROM GOD THEN WORKS FOR AND THROUGH GOD IN US...THIS IS
THE EVIDENCE OF THE FAITH THAT SAVES. BY THIS HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS IS MADE/ EVIDENCED!)
22 Seest thou how
faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? (Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only
begotten son. Works do not give life to faith, but faith begets works, and then is perfected by them. And by works was
faith made perfect - Here St. James fixes the sense wherein he uses the word justified; so that no shadow of contradiction
remains between his assertion and St. Paul's. Abraham returned from that sacrifice perfected in faith, and far higher in the
favor of God. Faith has not its being from works, (for it is before them,) but its perfection.
23 And the scripture
was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend
of God. (Imputation is the act of God whereby He accounts righteousness to the believer in
Christ, who has borne the believer's sins in vindication of the law. ***2 Chronicles 20:7 "Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants
of Abraham Your friend forever?" Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness - This was twice fulfilled,
- when Abraham first believed, and when he offered up Isaac. St. Paul speaks of the former fulfilling; St. James, of the latter.
And he was called the Friend of God - Both by his posterity, 2Chron 20:7; and by God himself, Isa 41:8 so pleasing to God
were the works be wrought in faith. Gen 15:6)
24 Ye see then
how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. (Abraham's work of faith was
lifting a knife to do a thing which he did not believe God would ever ask him to do. But since God asked him, he was willing
to do it. Abraham believed that if Isaac was saxrificed God would RAISE HIM FROM THE DEAD. Abraham never actually offered
Isaac, because God offered a substitute, but he would have had God not stopped him!)
25 Likewise also
was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
(She risked her life. She was NOT an Israelite, but she believed that what she heard God was going to do for
this people would be done and was happening right before her eyes. Rahab showed her "faith" in her confession, Joshua 2:9,
11, "And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and
that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.." SHE KNEW GOD'S PROMISE AND BELIEVED: For so God promised,
Deut. 28:7, Joshua 5:1.)
26 For as the body without the spirit
is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (Paul shows that works without faith will not justify,
and hence lays the emphasis on faith; James shows that faith without works will not justify. Paul, indeed, shows that faith
alone is worthless (1Co 13:2), and in Heb 11:1-40, he emphasizes works as the demonstration of faith. The two writers are
in agreement, and all seeming disagreement is due to the fact that they are seeking to correct different errors, and hence
look at the matter from different points of view.)
No doubt, true faith alone, whereby men have part in Christ's
righteousness, atonement, and grace, saves their souls; but faith taht saves produces holy fruits, and is shown to be
real by its effect on their works; while mere assent to any form of doctrine, or mere historical belief of any facts, wholly
differs from this saving faith. A bare profession may gain the good opinion of pious people; and it may procure, in some cases,
worldly good things; but what profit will it be, for any to gain the whole world, and to lose their souls? Can this faith
save him? All things should be accounted profitable or unprofitable to us, as they tend to forward or hinder the salvation
of our souls. This place of Scripture plainly shows that an opinion, or assent to the gospel, without works, is not faith.
There is no way to show we really believe in Christ, but by being
diligent in good works, from gospel motives, and for gospel purposes. True believing is not an act of the understanding only,
but a work of the whole heart. That a justifying faith cannot be without works, is shown from two examples, Abraham and Rahab.
Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness. Faith, producing such works, advanced him to peculiar
favors from God. We see then, ver. 24, how that by works a man is justified, not by a bare opinion or profession, or believing
without obeying; but by having such faith as produces good works. And to have to deny his own reason, affections, and interests,
is an action fit to try a believer. Observe here, the wonderful power of faith in changing sinners.
Rahab's conduct proved her faith to be living, or having power;
it showed that she believed with her heart, not merely by an assent of the understanding. Let us then take heed, for the best
works, without faith, are dead; they want root and principle. By faith any thing we do is really good; as done in obedience
to God, and aiming at his acceptance: the root is as though it were dead, when there is no fruit. Our faith in Christ
is the root, good works are the fruits; and we must see to it that we have both. This is the grace of God wherein we
stand. There is no middle state. Every one must either live as God's friend, or God's enemy. Living to God, as it is
the consequence of faith, which justifies and will save, obliges us to do nothing against him, but every thing for him and
to him. TO GOD BE ALL GLORY!