Unlimited: By Faith
Apr 15, 2022 189
…just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith” (Romans 1:17c).
This is the phrase which thundered in Martin Luther’s mind, and which precipitated the Protestant Reformation. It is central to the message of Paul’s letter to the Romans.
The underlying Greek can be translated in two different ways. The first option is as it appears here “The righteous will live by faith”. The emphasis here is on the idea of “living by faith”. The second option is “The one who by faith is righteous will live.” The focus here is on being righteous through faith as the way to have eternal life. This second option appears to be more in line with the overall message of Paul in this letter.
The one who is righteous by faith will live.
The one who attempts to be righteous by works will die, but the one who is righteous by faith will live. This is what Paul is saying.
However, even here, let us be careful, lest we think that faith is some kind of “work” that we must present to God in order to be saved. In terms of our salvation, faith is always instrumental and never causative.
The cause of our salvation is the atoning death of the Son of God upon the Cross, compelled by the eternal love of God for us who were lost, and offered to us as a free gift of grace.
Only the person who by faith is righteous will live. That not only applies to eternity, but to right now as well, because eternity begins today for the one who has believed in Jesus. Only such a person will truly live. As yourself: “Are you truly living right now?”