The Just Shall Live by Faith – And How!
January 15, 2017
(Martha) A few days ago, Carole and I spent several hours in the early morning listening to the Lord. And it was such a marvelous time. We’re going to try and recapture a little bit of it here. And one of the things that we’ve been promised – I won’t go into what it is, but the Lord’s word to us for us was from Habakkuk, and it was, “Though the vision tarry, wait for it, for it will surely come, and it will not tarry,” a seeming contradiction. And so, I just decided to go back into Habakkuk and see the context of that promise and what it meant. And I came to Habakkuk 2:4. So, as I was reading through I came to chapter 2, verse 4. “Look at the proud. His soul is not straight or right within him, but the rigidly just and the uncompromisingly righteous man shall live by his faith and in his faithfulness.” And that’s really not a very simple translation of that verse. I’m going to read it from the New King James. It simply says, “The just shall live by faith.” And it’s repeated in Romans and Hebrews. And it’s repeated in the New Testament twice, “The just shall live by faith.” And I realized that this is the center of the story of Habakkuk, which is a real significant little book. And plus that verse, “The just shall live by faith,” is repeated in the New Testament, so it’s a pretty central principle. For me, it has become enormously important. Ok, Romans 1:17 says, “I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it’s the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, the Jew first and also for the Greek. And in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith.” He’s speaking of the gospel. “As it is written, the just shall live by faith.” Very simple. Ok. And then in Hebrews 10:38 it quotes the two verses from Habakkuk. And Hebrews says verse 37 and 38, “For yet a little while and He Who’s coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith.” So, I just saw somehow about the centrality of this little verse, “The just shall live by faith.” And it took me back to the time many years ago, probably 35 years ago. I was sitting at a table with someone I was discipling, and I don’t remember how I got there or how it came about, but I was saying, “The just shall live by faith,” and all of a sudden I got this enormous revelation. And it was so fantastic, I was in shock. I always said I could have fallen off the chair. What I saw in that little verse is – and I saw it so clearly that there is nothing to do in the Christian life but believe. You believe God for everything. “The just shall live by faith.” And ‘the just’ in the New Testament means the justified, those who have been justified by Christ in the Cross. But I don’t know how to say it strongly enough that there’s only one principle. They said to Jesus, “What shall we do to work the works of God?” And He said, “Believe. Believe in the Son Whom God has sent.” This is the work. Romans says they who believe are the ones who God’s pleased with. So, “The just shall live by faith,” is the simplest, most essential, bottom line issue of the Christian life. It’s the only thing. Well then, when Carole and I were looking at it, I looked down in the Amplified Bible and I read the footnotes of the Amplified Bible. It says, “Moses gave 600 injunctions or commands. And as these were too numerous to put to memory, David brought them down to 11 in Ps. 15. Isaiah reduced these 11 to 6 in his chapter 33:15. Micah in 6:8 further reduced them to 3. ‘What does the Lord require of me to walk humbly with thy God,’ etc.. Amos reduced them…” Let’s see, “Isaiah once more brought them down to 2. Habakkuk 2:4 in the King James says, ‘the just shall live my faith,’ and that was reducing the law, all that vast law down to one statement, ‘The just shall live by faith.'” Everything else comes under that principle. And I saw it so clearly, that it is so simple, a child and an idiot could do it, because it’s just faith. Everything you need from God, you go to Him, you get the faith, and then you have it. And that was the answer, the principal, central thing for Habakkuk as he waited for God to protect Israel from the Assyrians. So everything in the Bible comes under this, “The just shall live by faith.” We are justified. We are forgiven. We are made righteous, but we live by faith. We exist by faith. We get everything by faith. The only thing we need is faith, and faith is the answer to every possible need. Suppose God’s given you something in your life that’s hard to bear, then you ask Him for the ability to bear it. That’s living by faith. And then He gives you the ability to bear it. So I started laughing, because I saw how ludicrous it is to make it so complicated. I did a tape of the month called The Simplicity of Simplicity, and this is again under that category of simplicity. It is so simple. And I saw that that’s all there is. That’s the only… I saw. I didn’t understand that it was a law, but I understood that it was the only thing that we needed. And that everything, it doesn’t matter what it is, how small, it doesn’t matter.
(John) Ok. So tell me about the neurotic? I know that you have a verse, and you and Carole and I memorized this in France when we were in France. But, so for the good neurotic that says, “Am I justified? What if I’m not justified? What if I don’t feel justified? What if I don’t feel worthy?” Tell me, what does the Word say, according to “The just shall live by faith.” How do you get just?
(Martha) You are justified by the Cross, and this is what He gave us in France that we memorized. It’s Romans 8:30. When you are born–again, you are justified. You were justified 2,000 years ago. Justified means ‘just as if I never sinned.’ Romans 8:30 in the Amplified is what we memorized. “For those whom He thus foreordained He also called. And those whom He called, He also justified, acquitted, made righteous putting them into right standing with Himself. And those whom He justified, He also glorified, raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being.” “If God be for us, who can be against us?”
(John) So, this doesn’t have anything to do with my feelings about the situation?
(Martha) No, absolutely. That’s under the faith principle too. Thank you, John. You come to know and believe the word that you are justified. And that’s going to be attacked over and over again. And it goes on to say in the middle of this we will also, “amid all these things we are more than conquerors.” Ok, so it was so ludicrous to me that I laughed for days. And I could not, there were no words to express or explain how simple it was and how ridiculously simple it was that the just shall live on every ground and every issue by faith. Before I came over here to Carole’s to do this session – and this happens to me all the time – I had a book in my hand 5 minutes ago and I couldn’t find it. And so, I had to live by faith. I said, “I have to have it before we go, so I need it.” And I just leaned over, pulled a book out of the way, and there it was. So it’s… The fight is for faith. The work is for faith. There’s nothing else but faith. The only thing we need is faith. And “What is the work of God?” “To believe in the Son whom He has sent.” So, then some many years later in 1993, I told this in the prayer teaching I did recently at a church. We were, and Carole was with me. We were at a meeting, a preaching, whatever. And so somehow at that meeting I started laughing. And we were in Israel. And somehow in that, the Lord showed me something, and I started laughing again. I laughed, I laughed and laughed. And what I saw was, there’s absolutely no problem. We are so ridiculous to ever worry, because everything is covered by God. “Slowly have I learned not to hurry, not to worry. Also slowly learned not to fear while I’m here. All is in God’s hands.” And it was just ludicrous to me how frantic humanity is and even Christians, how disturbed and anxious and fretting and everything we are because there’s absolutely no problem. God has solved every problem. He has solved every problem between us and Him, things that we couldn’t solve. We are saved by grace, not by works, not by anything we’ve done, not by striving, yet we strive; not by worry, yet we worry. God has solved everything. And I never associated… I laughed and laughed and laughed, and Carole had to take my arm and help me in. And all I could say was, “All I can tell you is there’s no problem,” We’re so silly. It is so simple and so wondrously simple and easy. And until that morning, last morning when we were together praying, I never associated those two events. But that verse has become and has always been implanted by the Holy Spirit as the essence of the most glorious happiness I’ve tasted in my walk; a hilarious laughter of absolute freedom from every possible worry. That’s the best I can describe it to you. And one happened 40 years ago, and another one happened in 93, and now the Lord is reminding me of it again, and I think it’s going to be my verse for the year. I want to experience that: “The just shall live by faith.”