Just Live by Faith
"The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." Romans 1:17 (NKJV)
Every major faith has its heaven, its paradise, its Shangri-la, its nirvana. There's a final destination for those who follow, as well as a set of instructions on how to get from here to there. In that sense, every world religion has something in common.
But when you dig a little deeper, when you delve into the doctrine of the major religions, you find a striking difference between Christianity and all the others: Every world religion outside of Christianity tells its followers that if they just do this or that, if they adhere to a code of conduct, if they jump through the right hoops and clear all the hurdles, then they'll eventually make it. Notice the emphasis on what people have to do.
Christianity is just the opposite. It's not what a person has to do in order to get to Heaven, but a matter of what God has done. On the cross, Jesus cried out, "It is finished!" (John 19:30), and the "it" He was referring to was the work of bridging the gap between heaven and earth, of reconciling sinful man with a holy God.
Jesus did the necessary work for us, and He did it completely, which means we don't have to strain or strive to make ourselves right with God. All that's required of us is to believe this, to exercise faith in the fact that we can get to Heaven on the basis of what He's done—and not because of what we do.
How do we get from here to there? By faith and faith alone. And when we exercise faith, God declares us "justified," or innocent of sin. That's dramatically different from anything taught in any other religion, and it's a truth so important that it becomes the opening shot here in the book of Romans.
Think about it…
What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?