Read Habakkuk 2
“The Just Shall Live By Faith”
God said through the prophet Habakkuk, “Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). In this truth, God presents a contrast between the one who proudly chooses his own path without regard to divine guidance and the humble one who submits to the will of the Almighty.
Three times in the New Testament the last part of that verse is quoted: “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38). What exactly does this mean? Does it mean as long as you believe, you can live however you wish? Certainly not, but that seems to be the way a lot of folks interpret it! When you look carefully, this statement answers three questions: who, what, and how?
Who? “The just.” What does it mean to be just? The original Hebrew word is most often translated “righteous.” Thus, “the just” is one who is righteous, who conforms his life and mind to what God has revealed.
What shall “the just” do? He “shall live.” Living is more than just breathing. Living encompasses everything you do every day. It includes going to work or school, family time, recreation, and worship. Any activity in which you are involved, that is a part of living.
“The just shall live…” How? “By faith.” If a person is righteous, it is because they have learned God’s Word and strive to obey it. It is more than simply believing in God. Rather, the decisions you make every day are influenced by that belief! You make just or righteous decisions because of faith.
The next time you are faced with a moral decision, remember the words of Habakkuk: “The just shall live by faith.” Allow your decision to be influenced by the faith that was once for all delivered and live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age. Don’t go along with the crowd; don’t be like the proud man whose soul is not upright. Do what God commands because your faith demands such.