…the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17, ESV)

On this Reformation Day here at Apprising Ministries we take time to remember that through His chosen vessel Martin Luther God the Holy Spirit brought back to the attention of the Body of Christ an incredble Truth that He’d actually spoken long, long ago – “the righteous will live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4). The initial meaning is that no one was ever saved by keeping the Law, but that salvation has always been by God’s grace alone; through faith alone; in Christ (God) alone.

C.H. Spurgeon put it well when he said that, “I find it happiest to sit where I sat when I first looked to Jesus, on the rock of His works, having nothing to do with my own righteousness, but only with His.” The following devotion from Oswald Chambers approaches the wonderful truth that the just shall live by his faith from another angle.

What does it then mean for us to live by this faith in our wonderful Savior and our Great Shepherd:

“Faith as a grain of mustard seed…” (Matthew 17:20)

We have the idea that God rewards us for our faith, it may be so in the initial stages; but we do not earn anything by faith, faith brings us into right relationship with God and gives God His opportunity. God has frequently to knock the bottom board out of your experience if you are a saint in order to get you into contact with Himself. God wants you to understand that it is a life of faith, not a life of sentimental enjoyment of His blessings.

Your earlier life of faith was narrow and intense, settled around a little sun-spot of experience that had as much of sense as of faith in it, full of light and sweetness; then God withdrew His conscious blessings in order to teach you to walk by faith. You are worth far more to Him now than you were in your days of conscious delight and thrilling testimony.

Faith by its very nature must be tried, and the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character has to be cleared in our own minds. Faith in its actual working out has to go through spells of unsyllabled isolation. Never confound the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life, much that we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive.

Faith in the Bible is faith in God against everything that contradicts Him – I will remain true to God’s character whatever He may do. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” – this is the most sublime utterance of faith in the whole of the Bible.

(My Utmost for His Highest, pp. 225,226)