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August 13, 2017

"LIFE BY FAITH"

TEXT: Romans 1-17 (Read vv. 13-17)
READING:  Isaiah 53: 1-12

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SUBJ: The just and the faith by which he lives as the answer to the revelation of the righteousness of God from faith to faith.

AIM: That we should walk by faith indeed and we lay hold on the truth of imputed and imparted righteousness given us in Christ Jesus our Lord.

INTR: We begin by noting that the thought of righteousness and the “The Just” are integrally connected in that they are both derived from the same word.
1. It is certainly understood that we have no righteousness of our own and therefore we can make no claim on God apart from pleading His mercy which He has shown in Christ.
2. The thought here is of the righteousness of God realized in the life of those made righteous and the fact that they live by that faith wherein it is revealed.
3. It is not such a righteousness as may be obtained or attained to by obedience to the Law – it is rather the righteousness which Christ alone manifested to us and in us and which faith apprehends.

THESIS: “A Just, or righteous man is, not everyone who thinks himself, or is thought by others to be so; nor are any so by their obedience to the law of works; but he is one that is made righteous by the righteousness of Christ imputed to him, which is before said to be revealed in the Gospel.” John Gill

I. Who are the Just
1. The word “Just,” as we have already noted, is essentially the same thing as righteous and so the “just” may be as easily said to be “the righteous”
1) The reason of the translation in this way is an accommodation of the English language and
2) It only loosely relates to some other thoughts of being “just.”
2. According to Barnhouse, the Oxford English Dictionary gives as a first definition “That does what is morally right, righteous. Just before God. Just with God, or simply, just: righteous in the sight of God: justified.” Then calls it archaic (no longer relevant).
1) Man are given to think of such things as honest, upright, fair in the sense that men see it.
2) Such falls short of the mark in defining one as just in the sight of God.
3. The “just” (one who is to live by faith) is none other than the man who has been made righteous by the work of God through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. (From Barnhouse).
4. It is certain that the things which typically draw out a definition of being just (fair, etc.) are things to expect from one with such a designation. But, regardless of one’s status before men to be just requires and only comes by an act of God.
5. Faith does not save, but is an essential manifestation that one is justified.
6. It is critical that we never lose sight of the means of God to justification.
1) First, to know that it is impossible to be classified as just apart from life that enables one to live by faith – thus “ye must be born again.”
2) Such is communicated to us in regeneration and so enables all spiritual activity
7. It is essential that we discover that our hope of heaven lies in the fact that “Christ was wounded for our transgressions that you are healed from all of sin’s effects by His stripes.”
1) That is what is believed in, relied upon, and ever our claim to an identity with God.
2) So then, it is not a good man who lives by faith but one who has been redeemed by the blood of Christ Jesus our Lord!
3) That same is required regardless of the old walk of life from which one comes.

II. They that shall live
1. It does not say that they presume while remaining attached to this present world.
2. This not the idea of physical life continued with a slightly different bent to it (we all die as natural men).
3. In that it embraces the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ it is a life in intimate connection with Christ, Indwelt by Him and by the Father. Simply put it is Spiritual life.
4. It is more than merely being alive; it is being alive unto God, through God, and in Christ.

III. By faith
1. We would be reminded of the other places in Scripture where this is found:
1) All references in the New Testament point to this: Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:4
i. We give attention here to the fact that pride is particularly excluded.
ii. And further note that the reference is to a “possessed faith” – “his faith.”
2) That law-works are particularly excluded is seen in, But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. Galatians 3:11
3) In Hebrews, it is stated as being in contrast to one who draws back. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. Hebrews 10:38.
2. Faith may be defined as trust, confidence, or belief. Each of those four are defined in terms of the others and so a simple thought is derived.
1) In a study of word origins it was found that “belief” is much weaker than “faith” so that the expression “belief in God” is not so strong as “faith in God.”
2) I quote again, “They who know what is meant by faith in a promise, know what is meant by faith in the Gospel; those who know what is faith in a remedy, know what is meant by faith in the blood of the Redeemer; they who know what is meant by faith in a physician, faith in an advocate, faith in a friend, know, too, what is meant by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.” Bishop O’Brien as quoted by Donald Barnhouse.
3. Thus while belief may be accepting of a report on the word of another, faith implies the casting of one’s hope for eternity on that which is reported concerning God’s Son and that which He has accomplished.
4. It is to cast one’s self, in hope and practice onto the ability and promise of another.
5. Daniel W. Whittle expressed the life of faith so well: “Dying with Jesus by death reckoned mine, / Living with Jesus a new life divine, / Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine / – Moment by moment, O Lord I am Thine.