“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.'”
Did you know that this statement, “The just shall live by faith,” was first written in the Old Testament? I KNOW! That’s crazy, isn’t it?
Habakkuk 2:4 reads, “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.” Pretty neat, huh?
A literal translation from the original Hebrew would read, “The righteous person in (or by) his faithfulness (firmness, consistency, belief, faith, steadfastness) shall live!”
My Spirit Filled Life Bible commentary on Habakkuk includes this statement, “The Jewish Talmud (an authoritative instructional book of all Jewish traditions) states: ‘Moses gave Israel 613 commandments. David reduced them to 10, Isaiah to 2, but Habakkuk to one, “The just shall live by his faith.”‘”
I love this! I love to celebrate the similarities we share with our Jewish brothers and sisters. I love to gain understanding in the Jewish roots to our Christian faith. How RICH!! How intricately we are woven together by God’s own hand.
Further digging revealed that, not only did Paul refer to Habakkuk, but in Romans four, he referred to Abraham and David as being justified by their faith. Romans 4:2,3 reads, “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness. (Genesis 15:6)
And Romans 4:6-8, “…just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute (lay the responsibility for) sin. (Psalm 32:1,2)
God imparts righteousness to those who believe. We do not gain our righteousness (our right-standing with God, our just-ness) through works, no matter how grand and lovely they may be. Our righteousness comes from faith.
Our faith has a rich heritage. Through the gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of God to save everyone who BELIEVES is made manifest, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed, from faith to faith.” (Romans 1:16)
Would you like to see two more Scriptures that highlight our Old Testament foundation?
In John 8:56, Jesus is speaking and says, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
And in Hebrews 11:13, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”
Wow!! I hope that I have stirred up amazement in you as you consider our foundations and how great our God really is. I think His Word is fantastic!
I’ve heard enthusiasm is contagious.
I pray you will catch it and pass it along to other Believers.
Lord, You are incredible – totally and completely incredible!! I stand amazed at Your Word and how everything works together, line upon line and precept upon precept. Thank You for revealing Your mysteries to us as we seek to know and understand You more. I keep thinking about Your Word that says You are the same yesterday, today and forever. Forgive us for only embracing the New Testament and not understanding that Your relationship with Your ancient people, the Jews, laid the foundation for the coming of our Messiah, Jesus Christ. Somehow, beginning to grasp this causes my faith to seem more solid – deeper, tangible. I thank You for this, Lord and I pray for my friends that You would stir up that same sense of awe in them. Thank You, Lord.