"For in the gospel righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.'"
The original statement, "The righteous will live by faith," comes from Hab. 2:4, where God's Word compares the treacherous, the wicked, and the proud with the people of God. And the glaring difference is that the righteous live by faith rather than by treachery and manipulation and self-exaltation. This simple verse, "The righteous will live by faith," is the Old Testament verse that is most often quoted by the New Testament writers. So what is biblical faith?
I contend that there are three types of faith described in the Bible: saving faith, walking faith, and mountain-moving faith. Let's consider them separately.
Eph. 2:8 - “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Jesus says: “Come, follow me, I am the way.” Saving faith is what enables you to respond to Jesus' call, to follow Him, and to be saved. Saving faith is TRUSTING that what Jesus did for you -- living a life of righteousness and obedience, dying in your place, and demonstrating His victory over the grave -- is sufficient. YOU CAN’T BE SAVED WITHOUT FAITH!
In 2 Cor. 5:7 (NASB) we read: “. . . for we walk by faith, not by sight.” Friends, Christianity is at least as much about how we live every day as it is about what happens when we die. Biblical faith isn’t JUST about being born again and then dying and going to be with Jesus. It is ALSO about every moment in between. 2 Cor. 5:7 is about how faith relates to the way we live our lives – hour by hour, day by day, step by step. It is significant that our text says, "The righteous will LIVE by faith," not "The righteous will BE SAVED by faith." The statement was made regarding the people of God, of course; but its focus is on them living their lives by trusting in God's provision. It often surprises me to see people fervently trust Christ's provision for eternity but constantly question His provision for today. Even though I sometimes catch myself doing the very same thing! YOU CAN’T LIVE AN ABUNDANT CHRISTIAN LIFE WITHOUT WALKING FAITH!
In 1 Cor. 12:9 Paul includes “faith” in the list of spiritual gifts. Mountain-moving faith - the gift of faith - is extraordinary faith and not all Christians have it. Let me try to explain why this kind of faith is special. . .
We all can understand what Christ has done for us so that we can be saved. It seems reasonable to us and we believe it and, by God's grace, we trust it. It seems rational that a God who loves us and has promised to “supply all our needs” would be able to do so - to save us and to direct our steps and to provide for us in this life. But the gift of faith doesn't operate according to what's reasonable. In fact, it is the supernatural ability to believe and trust God to do what seems to be impossible. It is trusting God to heal the incurable. Trusting God to mend the irreparable. Trusting God to save the unreachable. Trusting God to take a shattered life and make it whole again. George Muller said: “Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man's power ends.” When he said that, he was talking about mountain-moving faith. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, . . . you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.’” -- Matt. 21:21. WITH THE GIFT OF FAITH, WHATEVER GOD PUTS IN YOUR HEART BECOMES POSSIBLE!
--- Pastor Keith Andrews