Live by Faith

Live by faith…it is all over Scripture.

Habakkuk 2:4:  See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness.  Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38 quote Habakkuk and say, the righteous will live by faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, For we live by faith, not by sight.

All of Hebrews 11 tells us story after story of people who by faith, followed and obeyed God.

Christ followers are charged by Scripture to live by faith.

Galatians 2:20 says this, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

I live by faith, IN the Son of God.

So it is not simply “live by faith,” but we see Paul’s faith, was tied to a person.  That person being the Son of God, Jesus.  His faith was in Jesus.

Paul says, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.

So when you become a Christ follower, you’re transferring your faith away from yourself and putting it in Jesus.  It is no longer I who live, but Jesus who lives in me.  Just as Christ was crucified for my sin, so in His death, I have also died to my sin and selfish way of living.  So I live by faith in Jesus, the Son of God, and NOT in myself.  The object of a Christian’s faith has moved from self to Jesus.

When Habakkuk 2:4 speaks of living by faith, it is in the context of contrasting that the righteous will live by faith, but the proud are puffed up.  The proud believe that faith in self will lead to a firm foundation.  That faith in self will lead to abundant life.  But the righteous will live by faith, we’re told.  The righteous doesn’t mean the self-righteous, because that would be the proud.

The righteous meaning, the ones who are pursuing humility in Christ and have come to understand the reality that Jesus died in their place, and through His death and resurrection, through faith, we are given a right standing, or made righteous before God.  Our sin has been forgiven and covered by the blood of Jesus.  He took on all our sin, and in exchange, through faith and by grace, we are given the righteousness of Christ.

So the object or focus of a Christian’s faith is in self, but in Jesus.

In some sense, the Christian lives with “faith in Christ” glasses on at all times.  The lens of these faith glasses shape everything we see.  They are the view in which we see the rest of life.  It is by faith in Christ we live.  So to live by faith is not just a Sunday morning thing, but it permeates all we are and do and colors how we see and live our lives.

So we live by faith in the mundane, and in the risky.  We live by faith, when we walk into work and school.  Or when we go and watch our kids’ activities.  We live by faith when you walk into that college class, or go out with your friends.  We live by faith when we get baptized, and when we open our Bibles.  We live by faith which impacts how we are entertained or find our rest and joy.  We live by faith, which effects how we date, or how we approach work.  We never take off these ‘faith in Christ’ glasses, because to live by faith is full-time, not part-time.

And all through Scripture, we’re told and we see example that to live by faith led to action.  James 2 tells us that faith without works is dead.  Our works don’t lead to saving faith, but to live by faith will lead to a life of action and works.  In Hebrews 11, we’re given example after example of people in Scripture who lived by faith in God, and how that lead to action.

Hebrews 11 begins with this verse…Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 

So biblical faith is not wishful thinking, or just blindly walking into the dark, hoping it will work out.  Biblical faith is anchored to our God who is faithful, true, and good, whose character does not change.

Even though we may not see it all, we know the One who does.  Who is all powerful, who knows all, and who has our best, eternal interests in mind, and who is unfailing in His love.

We live by faith, and when we live by faith in Christ, it leads to action.  In this life, we’ll have seasons marked by suffering or stress.  Relationships will sometimes be strained and hard.  We’ll experience loss and hurt.  And I’m not saying anything you and I don’t already know

And yet, in all of those seasons and moments, we are still charged to live by faith in Jesus.  Circumstances and our personal feelings do not dictate our willingness to follow Jesus and walk by faith.  Because circumstances and feelings change like the wind and weather.

Pastor Paul Tripp says this…As a Christian, you’re called to live by faith and obedience – and you have the ability to live by faith and obedience – because Jesus is faithful and with you every step of the way. Regardless of your situations, locations and relationships, you can live by faith without wavering.

To live by faith, doesn’t mean life will be trouble or pain free.  If you read Hebrews 11:35-38, in that same chapter with all these incredible stories of Noah, Abraham, Moses, and others, you read that to live by faith in God, didn’t end well for some, and that’s an understatement.

So circumstances and feelings don’t determine whether we live by faith.  And neither do the results.  We see in Hebrews 11 that to live by faith, a variety of things resulted.  Some incredible results such as building an ark.  Some devastating results such as being sawn in two.

As God’s people, we live by faith in the Son of God.  We walk by faith and not by sight.  So feelings, circumstances, and potential results don’t determine if live by faith.  We live by faith in Jesus, because Jesus is good, and He is love, and He is true, and He is grace, and He is strength, and He is hope, and He is eternal.  And He is also never forsaken those who trust and hope in Him.

Crosspoint, we must be a church that lives and walks by faith.  From the beginning, this is what we’ve been doing as a church.  And the temptation that we face, the longer we go, is to slowly drift into living and walking by sight, rather than by faith.  Or to live by faith in ourselves, rather than faith in the Son of God, who is our Savior and Lord.

How is your faith in God leading to action?

What areas of or relationships in your life are you prone to try and avoid living by faith in?

Where are you resisting obeying by faith?

How has the Holy Spirit increased your faith over the past 6-12 months?

Crosspoint, may the words of Galatians 2:20 be our words…I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.