For people of the kingdom, having faith is not negotiable, since it is impossible to please God without faith (Heb. 11:6). However, today we would be looking at faith from a different angle. Not just as a key to pleasing God, but as imperative in our stance as righteous people.
In the book of Hebrews, in chapter 11, the author takes us on a journey right from the beginning of creation to more recent events…as at that time. He makes us see the importance of faith and what it does. Apostle Paul in Romans 4:1-22 helps us to see how faith is credited to one as righteousness. And this is still the case. We never gave God the perfect sacrifice, Jesus did. We never did anything worth our justification. But through our faith in Jesus Christ, we can receive the righteousness that comes from His own sacrifice (John 3:16; Rom. 4:5).
Righteousness means to be in right standing with God. That is, to be in His good books. If faith can be credited to people as righteousness, then faith is key to being righteous. This is one of the reasons why only believers can be in right standing with God. Faith is key!
Romans 1:17 makes us understand that the righteousness of God revealed by the gospel springs from faith and leads to faith. The statement “righteousness of God” here refers to God’s declaration of righteousness on those who believe. Therefore, what this scripture means is that righteousness –as far as God is concerned –generates from faith, and the more this righteousness generates, the more it leads to faith. That is why we say that the righteous live by faith. The initial faith of a person leads to righteousness and births more and more faith. The focus here is that the righteousness of God is only birthed from faith. We cannot be called the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus when we lack faith. We cannot live as God’s righteous ones without faith.
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed in a way that awakens more faith]. As it is written and forever remains written, “THE JUST and UPRIGHT SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”Rom. 1:17 AMP
Unfortunately, this is where many Christians miss it. They think the just are only saved by faith. They forget that the just ought to live by faith as well. We accept everything in faith up until the fact that Jesus died for our sins but then proceed to pray, work, study scripture, relate with people, and basically live without faith. This is wrong. It contradicts what has been said concerning us. The Just are saved and live by faith. It is clear that righteousness is by faith. Not works or the flesh. We became righteous through faith and we would only stay righteous by faith. (Rom. 1:17)
Since we have understood how important faith is to a believer, especially in relation to their righteousness, we must establish how to keep our faith strengthened.
In last week’s post, I made a statement that we can build up faith in another person through our own faith. This is true and scripture is evidence. When you feel dismayed and you pick the scripture and read places like David’s battle with Goliath in 1 Samuel 17 where for forty days Goliath had weakened the faith of the Israelites. He was terrifying and boastful and the people of God lost faith. However, through David’s own faith in God, the people of God found their faith as well.
When you see the faith of another brother, it can strengthen your weakened faith. This is the importance of having a Christian community. As iron sharpens iron, so so one person sharpens another (Pro. 27:17). When we stay in consistent and constant fellowship with our brethren, our faith can only get stronger.
Once again, faith is key for anyone to be declared righteous by God. It is also as important in our quest to righteous living. Therefore, we must actively seek ways to keep our faith growing. Regular fellowshipping with the brethren can and will strengthen our faith.
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