In four critical places in the Bible we read the towering truth:
THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH
(Hab 2:4, Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38)
It doesn’t say (as most Christians think) that “the just shall live by try”, or “struggle” or “striving”. It says FAITH.
THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH
The antithesis of this is the ultimate definition of sin, found in Romans 14:23b:
for whatever is not from faith is sin.
Yet how often in Christian circles do we hear endless sermons about US, our performance, our failures, our sins, how we are falling short. Most sermons end with the dreaded “application”, where the focus is completely on us and “what we have to do”.
You can always tell the real thrust of any message by where it lands at the end. If a speaker is worth their salt, the end, the conclusion, is the fitting summing up of all that they have been saying. Good communication irrevocably leads to the conclusion. That’s the “take home” that our hearers need. And what do those hearers in most Christian churches get as the “take home”? “You are falling short in this area we have been talking about today.” “Here is the application/practical part of my message. This is what you have to do”.
In other words, the message lands on us.
Instead of landing on Christ.
Now what does the Bible teach with regard to the Christian life?
It is all of Christ. It’s about Christ, not about me.
In the book of Hebrews we see this statement “the just shall live by faith” after ten whole chapters about Christ, His perfect person, sonship, life, priesthood, sacrifice, blood, death and resurrection. Because of the perfection of Him and His perfection, we have all.
Then we get to Hebrews 10:38 and a new theme comes forward: the just shall live by faith. Only two verses later, chapter 11, what some have called “The Faith Hall of Fame”, we see something very striking: the phrase “by faith” appears 18 times in this one chapter alone. No other book of the Bible comes even close. And it’s all in one chapter.
So, we get the message, loud and clear: The just don’t live by do, or strive, or struggle, or trying — the just shall live BY FAITH.
Now our attention is captured with the necessity of faith in the Christian life. It is striking that the language of faith — words like “faith”, “believe”, “trust”, “hope” — is used a whopping 677 in the New Testament alone. More than the use of the word “love”. That alone should cause us to sit up and take notice.
In the mind of God the necessity of faith is paramount.
Indeed, “the just shall live by faith”!
Why should it be of faith? Romans 4:16 says:
 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all
We see 2 reasons why “the just shall live by faith” from this verse:
1. That it would be according to grace. Grace speaks of God loving us, totally accepting us and fully blessing us, not because of our performance, but purely because of His infinite goodness. Grace therefore maximizes the glory of God, as it lays man’s pride, striving and self-righteousness in the dust.
2. “So that the promise might be sure [guaranteed] to all the seed”. We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ (Rom 8:17), blessed with all spiritual blessings (Eph 1:3), having the blessing of Abraham (Gen 3:14), made partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). All of that is given to us guaranteed by the grace of God.
It is according to faith, that all this would be according to grace!
So, we might be tempted to say, “OK, I’ve got to buckle down and have faith, have faith, have faith!” Alas, now we’re back to miserable square one: it’s all about me.
No, even our faith doesn’t come from our trying, striving, struggling. Look at the incredible truth of Hebrews 12:2
looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hallelujah! Even Jesus is the Author and Finisher of my faith! He is the source, He is the completer of my faith. He is the Alpha and Omega, all of my faith from A to Z and everything into between!
And you know what? JESUS gets all the glory! My Christian life works — amazingly well — because God the Father in His infinite brilliance has made it all of His Son Jesus Christ! Even the needed faith comes from Him who is the Source.
Looking unto JESUS, the author and finisher of my faith!
And here’s the best part of it all: Jesus isn’t “way out there, somewhere”, He is in me. Colossians 1:26-27 (NKJV)
 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.  To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
The Looking to JESUS The Author & Finisher of Your Faith by Mark VanOuse, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.