2009-12-15 - Faith and Life
Habakkuk 2:4, "The righteous will live by his faith."
It is hard to come up with a more important pair for the Christian than faith and life. True faith always has with it vital godliness, or it isn't true. A holy life is always grounded first in an active faith in the things of Christ. The two must be together or there is certain to be an unbalance somewhere. Faith is not something that we "work up" in ourselves. Faith is said to have been "received" in 2 Peter 1:1. This is a good way of understanding faith so that we don't come down with big head syndrome. Faith, though it is something that we exercise, is given received. Faith is the act of man, and the work of God. It is not something we boast about. It is something that humbles us to the dust when we know how unworthy we are of such grace and mercy from the Living God. He gives us faith and thus we have faith. And as our passage says, we then live by faith. Faith and life are everything to the follower of Christ.
Faith is not really that complicated. Everyone has faith and everyone exercises faith everyday. The Christian faith is about as simple as it gets. We cast aside our righteousness (which is no righteousness) and trust in Christ's righteousness. We make ourselves nothing and Christ everything. Jesus has done the work for us in making atonement for sin. If we do anything, it has nothing to do with that our salvation if we do anything it is in grateful response to what Jesus has done. If we do anything it is in service to our King. It is not complicated because the work is all done for us. We can't mess it up by trying to contribute because Christ's work of atonement is perfect, but we dishonor Christ and His pre-eminency when we think so much of ourselves that we imagine we can "help-out" with our salvation. Such thinking degradates what Christ did at Calvary.
Life easily follows from this. As said, faith and life are partners. Consider this: If our new life came from ourselves and was not received as a gift from God, then that new life must die. If the new life we have is something that originated within us then it is of the flesh, and the flesh is going to die (should Christ tarry). If our holiness is something that we can take any credit for then it is not a gift from God, it cannot last, and it has no eternal value. In other words if our religiousness springs from anything inside of us it is of no value. We desire and must have a new principle given us. We need a spiritual life that is not natural but comes from above. This is where the power comes from to live unto the Lord. The power to live unto the Lord comes from the Lord Himself. It is His gift. Divine Power!...in our lives, given through faith and applied through everything we are and do. This, my friends, is what a Christian strives unto. It is Christ in us, working out faith applied through life.
Soli Deo Gloria,