In the preceding blog post, I wrote about how we are saved by faith, and only by faith.
God offers us the gift of salvation, which can only be obtained by believing and receiving.
How sad it is then, that some people will move on from their faith-based salvation and begin pursuing a works-based sanctification.
The truth is our life after salvation is to be lived by faith as well.
Hebrews 10:38 states “But my righteous one shall live by faith.”
Back in the first century, the apostle Paul spent a lot of time starting up churches throughout Asia Minor. One of the churches he established was located in a region known as Galatia.
Paul introduced the Galatians to a Gospel message that was to be received by faith. And receive they did!
But awhile later, after Paul had moved along with his missionary efforts, word got back to Paul that the Galatians were trying to add works to their faith.
Paul exploded with frustration:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you,let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:6-9)
Paul was mortified to think that some of the Galatian Christians had decided that faith wasn’t enough to maintain their walk with God.
In frustration, Paul later asks them this question:
You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? (Galatians 5:7 ESV)
In fact, the entire letter written to the Galatians centers on Paul’s strong desire to see the Galatian Christians get back to the place where they are living their life trusting God as opposed to trusting their works.
When we live by faith, we place ourselves in the position of trusting in God’s word, as well as trusting God’s power.
The supremacy of faith over works is highlighted in the book of Hebrews. In Hebrews 11:1, the writer offers us a snapshot definition of the substance of faith:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
In fact, the entire contents of Hebrews 11 is dedicated to describing what extraordinary “living faith” looks like, employing the examples of several Old Testament personalities, including Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Moses and more. And the overall challenge of the chapter is this: live like these people!
Living by faith isn’t just some mystical, theoretical approach to life, but instead provides concrete, tangible results. When we live by faith in what God says, it shows up in what we do. For example:
- Faith drives us to be caring and compassionate toward others (James 14:17)
- Faith motivates us to share Jesus with others (Matthew 28:19-20)
- Faith causes us to act in obedience to God (Romans 1:5)
- Faith helps us to confidently take forward steps in life, even though we don’t have all the answers (2 Corinthians 5:7)
- Faith reveals itself in how we love others (Galatians 5:6)
Regarding the value of living life by faith, the writer of Proverbs said it well with this short but powerful statement:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)
Here’s the deal: we enter into a relationship with Jesus based solely on faith, and it produces our wonderful salvation.
And it is God’s plan that we continue our relationship with Jesus in faith, because “without faith, it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6)
May we please God by trusting Him to work through us, rather than us trying to work for Him.