- By Rev. Devadosan Sugirtharaj
- Posted 05/03/2020
- Viewed 111
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- Important verse in the Biblical Theology. It is important in both Old and New Testaments (Hab.2:4; Gal.3:11; Rom.1:17; Heb.10:38)
- The righteous shall live by faith: This verse changed Martin Luther to begin the Protestant movement in the Church history.
- Righteous: Who is a righteous person?
The righteous people are all good people. But good people are not righteous people. How? The Bible tells us that righteousness of a person comes from God by becoming his child and also believing him. When they become children of God, then they bring good works as the fruit of righteous people.
Believing in Christ ( Gal.2:16) and Cleansed by the Blood of Christ as specific criteria to become righteous. Righteous people have right relationship with God. Romans.4:5; 3:28; Isa.64:6 and John.1:12
- Faith: What does it mean ‘Faith’?
Hebrews.11:1: Putting our trust in God and confidence in his promises/word is called faith ( Greek word: Pistis) in general grace to everyone.
Faith is also identified as the proclamation ( Greek word: Kerygma) gospel of Christ passed on to others ( 2 Tim.1:5)
Faith is also mentioned about the teachings of God in the bible through his apostles and prophets (Greek word: Didache means Teaching. Matthew 28:18-20)
Faith is also one of the spiritual gifts ( Greek word: Charisma) of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians.12:9
Context of the Habakkuk
- The book of Habakkuk is the eighth book in the 12 minor prophets of the Bible. Minor prophetic books are placed in the bible between Hosea and Malachi.
- God sent his prophet Habakkuk to the people of the Israel in the late 7th century BC. In those days, the people of Israel had many problems. They were: 1. Declension of Faith among the nation and fear of the Lord was fading away; 2. National calamity such as wars, pestilences and famines ravaged the land and peoples’ lives; 3. Rising of ungodly and sinful lifestyle was becoming popular such as trusting earthly prosperity, knowledge and ungodly behaviours such as pride, selfish, worldliness.
How can we live by faith?
- We can live by faith in this terrible world conditions such as in Habakkuk times by returning to God. ( Hab.3:2)
God calls us to live by faith through repentance from sins and our fallen nature to God.
God promises us that he will return when we return to him. Zech.1:3; Job.22:23; 1 Chronicles.7:14
Christ’s important preaching and parables focused on this theme: Repent, the Kingdom of God is near; The parable of Prodigal Son.
Biblical Example: King David. 2 Samuel 12:1-3
When we return to God by repenting our sins to him, we will live by faith
- We live by faith in this terrible world conditions such as in Habakkuk times by responding to God’s word ( Hab.2:1-4)
God calls us to live by faith through responding to God’s word and obeying them.
God’s powerful words are given to us as the Bible and we need to read, meditate, memorize and study and obey. They are given to us as His gift. Hey.4:12; 2 Tim.3:16-17; James.1:21
Psalm 119: is the long chapter in the Bible to emphasis this point.
Biblical Example: Ezra reading the Scriptures and People of Israel responded to God’s word by giving attention (Neh.8:3); reverence (Neh.8:5-6); understanding God’s word (Neh.8:7-8) and responded to God’s word for cleansing and change (Neh.8:9)
- We live by faith in this terrible world conditions such as in Habakkuk’s times by rejoicing in God’s presence( Hab. 3:17-19)
God calls us to live by faith through rejoicing in God’s presence.
When we face difficulties and crossroads, we do not look at the circumstances and panic like people who do not have faith. Instead, we rejoice in any circumstance because God is with us above all needs.1 Chronicles. 16:10; Psalm.40:16; Phil.4:4
Biblical Example: Paul and Silas in the Prison ( Acts,16:19-40)
In this challenging times, we (righteous in Christ) shall live by faith by returning to God, responding to God’s word and rejoicing in God’s presence.
Let us repent from where we have fallen and return to God
Let us commit ourselves to respond to God’s word everyday
Let us rejoice in God’s presence for His promises
Personal/Group Questions for Reflection and Prayer
1. What are the things that make you deviate from God and in what ways do we need to repent to God in our life and ministry?
2. What is the place of God’s word in our personal, family and church life? How can you improve your commitment to the word of God as a person, a family and all our church?
3. What robs our rejoice in our lives? How do you experience God’s presence and rejoice in him everyday?