The Righteous Man Shall Live by Faith

man walking in the forest
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For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” (Romans 1:17, NASB)

I’ve been texting with a friend, a sister in the Lord, about what it means to live by faith.  We are both learning what it means to trust in God and to wrestle with Him; we are learning how to live by faith through the hard times of life, through the difficulties, the pain, the struggles, and the circumstances that tempt us to trust in the world or to trust in religion.  Through all of this, through the storms of life, we are learning to remain steadfast and to trust in the Lord, to depend on Him for our strength. . .when we are obviously so weak.

I have been walking down this new path of freedom for 12 years, and my friend has been walking it for just a few, yet we are both learning the same thing . . . because the learning never ends.  And in 20 or 40 years, I will still be learning to trust in the Lord – because He is infinite and I am depraved.  While I remain on this cursed earth, I will grow to trust Him more and more as I experience the difficulties of life .

My friend and I began this texting discussion after both listening to a radio program by Aaron Budjen on “Living by Faith.”  In his message, Aaron talks about Romans 1:17 and the quote from Habakkuk that says that the righteous man will live by faith.

“Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.” (Habbakkuk 2:4)

Although I was saved 28 years ago, I spent 14 or 15 years not trusting in the Lord, even though I was born again and had a relationship with Him.  I spent those years trusting in religion and trusting in my church.  I was trusting in the acceptance of other people, in the attempt to earn their acceptance through working so hard doing ministry work.

I looked to and trusted in religion which is really just an aspect of the knowledge of good and evil. (The Lord God said not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but we did, so the tree is a part of this world that we live in, it’s a part of this fallen world.)  Although I was not necessarily doing evil, I actually was, because Jesus said there is only One who is good.  He alone, God, is the only One who is good.  Other than Him, there is none good.

So even though we try to live according to the knowledge of what is good, it ends up being a life of evil, because our motives are wrong.  Our “good deeds” are often attempts to earn the acceptance of others, to earn the acceptance of God.  We try to remain in a relationship with God by doing good works, repenting of our sin, asking God to forgive us, and then being firmly devoted to living a life of obedience . . . but all of that is a life of vanity and emptiness.

Being set free from such a life by discovering that I am a forgiven person, started me down a path that will never end.  As long as I am in the flesh, I will always be discovering and anticipating and growing. Learning every day what it means to live by faith.

9 thoughts on “The Righteous Man Shall Live by Faith

  1. Lee Poskey

    That’s a very excellent truth that you shared here miss Lisa!

    I recently read a post where someone lamented the same frustration with serving in church for years, and feeling empty in the final analysis of all that effort to feel right with God.

    I am going to link this article as a comment to that post, so that your words can help a struggling saint.

    God bless you sister.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. momforfreedom

      Thanks, as always, for your encouragement, brother Lee! Yes, all of that “effort” leads to emptiness, ’cause it’s a life of self-effort, self-righteousness … too much self, and not enough real trust in Jesus. We mistakenly think we can impress God with all of our devotion to being “holy,” but I love what Bob George said once on his live radio program, “God is not impressed with you; He’s impressed with Jesus!”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lee Poskey

        I love that statement! 🤠
        “God is not impressed with you; He’s impressed with Jesus!”

        Amen and double amen!

        And I linked this article of yours to that other post just as I said I would. So whether you hear from them about their struggle or not, you can be sure that your effort has a purpose in the body of Christ.

        God bless you sister, and I appreciate your kindness and zeal to share the light that God has given to you.

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  2. Tom M. (palm trees :)

    Thank you once again for reminding us to keep our focus on and our trust in the Lord no matter what happens to us while walking through this fallen world! So true that we are “to live by faith through the hard times of life, through the difficulties, the pain, the struggles, and the circumstances that tempt us to trust in the world or to trust in religion.”. I clicked on your link “forgiven person”. I reread your post there as well. You wrote: “Being set free from the Law allows you to live a life of rest knowing that Jesus Christ has done it all – He has done all the work. Your only job now is to live in the fulfillment of the Sabbath Day.” So very true. Trust and rest! How sweet the sound of those two words! Many blessings to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. momforfreedom

      Thanks so much, Tom! It’s always great to hear from you! You have such a kind spirit. . . . And, ugh, why is it so hard to trust Him!!?? …. I guess our (my) lack of faith is necessary in a way because it keeps us dependent on Him, keeps us leaning on Him, and continually reminds us of how weak we are.

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  3. Tom M. (palm trees)

    Hi! Hope you don’t mind me asking some questions of you. Just finished listening to Aaron Budjen’s lesson in Romans on KBRT radio. He, as usual, enlightened me about the Law. Hope I got this correct. He stated that regardless whether a person has or does not have the Law (10 Commandments, etc…), God can use whatever ‘law’ man has set up for himself to show how depraved he is. Thus, revealing to that person that he/she is in need of God’s grace and mercy for salvation. Couple thoughts and then my questions. 1. Regardless of whether it is the Law (10 C’s) or the laws of man, God will use either one to show a person’s depravity and need for God’s grace and mercy. 2. Neither the Law or the ‘laws of man’ are fulfillable for salvation. Thus, abiding by them will not save. 2. Creation in and of itself is testimony to a Creator, God.(Romans 1:19-20) 3. A person, whether or not that person has ever heard the Gospel or not, will be judged on Faith. Faith in the Creator and the need for His grace and mercy. Correct?

    Hence, your thoughts on Acts 4:12, ‘no other name (Jesus) given to men by which we are saved.” Jesus is the means of our salvation through His death (forgiveness) and resurrection (making possible regeneration through the Holy Spirit). Even if a person who has not heard the Gospel or of Jesus, God is capable of providing salvation to that person? Even so, whether there are missionaries or not, God is capable of saving? We will see people who have never heard of Jesus that are saved based on faith in the Creator and a realization of their need for His grace and mercy? Your thoughts? Thanks for your time. Hope you have a nice 4th of July!

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    1. momforfreedom

      Hi Tom! Always good to hear from you! And I’m so glad you are listening to and learning from Aaron the genius; also loved to hear that his teaching in Romans has spurred you on to such great thoughts. To everything you said and asked, I give a hearty YES; I am in full agreement. (Love all the verses you mentioned!).

      Now, of course, there is so much that we DON’T know regarding those who have never explicitly heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, but from what the Scriptures DO say, I believe we can rest in the fact that our God can be trusted. It can be so difficult and overwhelming to ponder long on what we DON’T know; it can easily lead to worry and doubt. (Our intentions are good; our worry and doubt is rooted in our love for mankind and our fear that anyone would be sent to hell.)

      So, maybe this is naive of me, but I have to conclude that it is a topic that I should not think about too much. I have to assume that my God does not want me dwelling on such depressing thoughts. He wants us to think about what is good and what is true and what is praiseworthy, right!? And we can dwell on the fact that our God can be trusted. He is good and kind and merciful, and He is not mean and arbitrary. He does not delight in the judgment of damnation, and I believe He is extremely careful and calculated and would never flippantly cast anyone into hell. And yes, as you mentioned, since all of creation declares His glory and speaks of His wonders, everyone has been “witnessed to.” Everyone has the opportunity to believe in a Creator.

      Acts 4:12 helps us determine that an outright rejection of Jesus Christ is a crime worthy of the death penalty (the second death). Many will refuse to turn to Him for His grace and mercy and instead say, “I’m a good person,” or “I go to church every Sunday,” or “I have no sin,” — those people are easy to spot. They want nothing to do with Jesus the Savior.

      But for those who only know that the heavens declare the glory of God and who know they are not so great, not such a good person; people who know they are lacking something, missing something …. well, first I think God is able to communicate the gospel to them somehow (through some miraculous intervention), and if not, then He is good and kind and can be trusted to make the right decision regarding their eternal destiny.

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  4. Tom M. (palm trees)

    Thank you so much for your reply! Your articles and exhortations always encourage us to keep focus on God’s eternal righteousness, trustworthiness, faithfulness, and kingship; regardless of what occurs on this fallen planet and its inhabitants. Unfortunately, when one follows politics too closely, as I do, and reads about daily societal woes, it is all too easy to get distracted from God’s long-range plans. Yes, thank you for the reminder that our God reigns and He has it all under His control and care; especially in regards to His call to salvation! Appreciated your reference to Philippians 4:6,7,8 and copied it below. Need to ‘wash, rinse, repeat’ our minds with those type of thoughts on a daily basis! Thank you so much for your wonderful insights into God’s work in our lives!

    6. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

    “Wash, rinse, repeat!” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. momforfreedom

      You are too kind! And yes, this world has so many distractions as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. But hey, I wanted to share a story that I heard from Bob George, https://bobgeorge.net, I heard him tell it many years ago (when he used to have a live Q&A radio program), and this story still encourages me. So, there once was a man who lived in a remote third-world country, I think in Africa. As he wrestled with the questions of life and religion — with no Christian worldview whatsoever, and with no missionaries in sight, but with the faith that ‘did’ have — he looked up to the sky one day, and said, “God, what is the truth?” He sincerely wanted to know. And then through a series of circumstances (that Bob did not go into the details of), this man ends up getting saved, finds himself in America, and meets Bob George in person at a Classic Christianity conference and tells him this story.

      😁 I think about that story when I need a reminder that our God does NOT have a problem communicating the gospel to anyone on this earth. He is so capable! . . . And, I love the wash, rinse & repeat reminder too!!

      And really, Tom, thanks so much for your brotherly encouragement to me; I very much enjoy writing blogs, but often struggle with doubt and insecurity and thoughts of quitting. Thank you for the much needed and priceless pats on the back.

      Like

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