By Jerelyn Pearson


One of the benefits of Bible study that I love the most is seeing the connections God has placed throughout his Word that reveal the validity of his message. I hope you will receive the same joy as we explore these scriptures.

As Christians we face troubles in our lives. We know that Christianity is not promised to be a walk of ease and comfort. Many Christians and non-Christians alike battle with the question, “Why does God allow such suffering in the world?” 

The Prophet Habakkuk struggled greatly with this question. He was a prophet of God who lived in Judah during a time of spiritual decline and widespread injustice before the Babylonian invasion. The name Habbakuk means “he that embraces”.  Imagine a parent whose child has been bullied and injured. While embracing the hurt child to give comfort, the parent finds bitterness entering his own heart and wonders, “Why did God let this happen?” In this way Habakkuk embraced hurting Judah and the righteous remnant in it and cried out to God.

Habbakuk 1:2-4
2 O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!
3 Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.
4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.

In verses 5-6 God answers that he is in fact doing something.

5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.
6 For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs.

This response troubled Habakkuk even more. The Chaldeans, sometimes referred to as Babylonians, were known for their ruthlessness. Why would God allow them to punish his own people? So Habakkuk asked another question.

Habbakuk 1:12-17
12 Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.
13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?
14 And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them?
15 They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad.
16 Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.
17 Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?

He painted a picture of Judah as fish captured in the nets of an enemy who rejoice over their catch, and sacrifice, and burn incense. They empty their net and continue to slay the nations. 

Habakkuk waited silently in his watchtower for God’s reply.

Habakkuk 2:1
I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.

Habakkuk waits on the Lord expecting an answer even though that answer might be a reproval.

The Lord does answer.

Habakkuk 2:2-4
2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. [Emphasis added]

The Lord assures Habakkuk that this vision is not for now but “yet for an appointed time”. God knows that the enemy’s soul is puffed up and not upright, but in the end, “The just shall live by faith.” What an amazing answer to Habakkuk’s question!

I mentioned earlier that I love to find connections God has placed throughout his Word. Fast forward to the New Testament. Having begun in Habakkuk, this statement is revisited in the New Testament three times. Each section addresses a different aspect of the verse.

“The just” is addressed in Romans.
“Will live” is addressed in Galatians.
“By faith” is addressed in Hebrews.

The Just

Who are the just? The simple answer is those who believe.

Acts 13:39
And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

When we accept the gospel of Christ, we are justified. The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to those who believe. His righteousness is revealed through faith.

Romams 1:16-17
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. [Emphasis added]

The just are we who believe. We are justified in Christ. His righteousness is revealed through faith.

Will Live

What will the just do with their faith?

The just shall live. How we live our life is important. Here is a comparison of those who would live by the law and those who would live by faith.

Galatians 3:2-11
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. [Emphasis added]

As long as we have breath, we must live. We can’t receive justification and faith and then do nothing. We will do something. We will either walk according to God’s will or according to our will. Let’s aspire to do what the Lord would have us do with the time that we have. Thankfully, we are not left to figure out our path of life all by ourselves.

How shall the just live?

The just shall live by faith.

What is faith?

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Here is an example of faith.

Hebrews 11:3
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Why is faith important?

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

How can we live by faith?

Hebrews 12:1-2
1 …let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Why do we need to run with patience?

Hebrews 10:36
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

When do we need to live by faith?

Hebrews 10:37-39
37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

The just are to live by faith from the time Christ ascended into Heaven until he returns. We are to live by faith now, while we wait for his return.

In the Old Testament before the Babylonian captivity, God revealed to Habakkuk that in a time yet to come, “The just shall live by faith.” He doesn’t leave us wondering what that means.

In the New Testament we find in Romans 1:16-17 a clear explanation of who the just are. (Those who believe)

In Galatians we see the emphasis on how the just shall live. (by the law, or by faith? By our will, or by his will?)

In Hebrews we learn:
what faith is, (substance of things hoped for, evidence of things not seen)
why faith is important (to please him),
how to live by faith (looking unto Jesus), and
when to live by faith. (until our death or Christ’s return)

Hebrews 10:37-38a
37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
38 Now the just shall live by faith.... [Emphasis added]

THE JUST shall live by faith.
The just SHALL LIVE by faith.
The just shall live BY FAITH.


Presented in Pride, Louisiana on March 10, 2019