For about 40 years I have heard believers state, “the just shall live by faith.” For that whole time I have taken that to mean, that by their faith, or following their faith, they will live on this earth. That is, we follow the blueprint that God laid down in the Bible for us to live by, not by law but by faith. The focus being on the living by faith, trusting in the living God. That view seems to be supported by these New Testament Scriptures:
Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
I understand when Paul wrote in Romans 1:17 “it is written” he was quoting from the Old Testament Scriptures.
Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
This verse also seems to support that view. But it all depends where you put the emphasis. When we read,
Ezekiel 18:9 Has walked in My statutes, and has kept My judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD. (KJVER)
Looking at the expression from these verses now, I would now read: “the just shall live by faith.” That is, the focus is on living. We were dead in sins and Christ made us alive.
Ephesians 2:4,5 But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (KJVER)
Though the mechanism God employs is salvation by His grace through faith, the imputed righteousness of Christ, apart from the penalty of the law, these verses are really talking about the fact that we now live, when once we were dead.
Though my original understanding was not wrong, this puts a whole new slant on living by faith. It is not a choice between living by faith and living by the law or any other way, but it is more correctly a choice between living and continuing in death, being spiritually dead.
“I AM HE THAT LIVETH” – REVELATIONS 1:18
“IN CHRIST SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE,” for He has conquered death for us. Jesus once died in our stead; He now liveth at the right hand of God. He is the fountain of life. Because he lives, His people shall live also. He lives in heaven to see the fruits of the travail of His soul, in the regeneration, sanctification, preservation, and glorification of His beloved family. He lives to intercede for them, to sympathize with them, and to pour down blessings upon them. He lives to watch over them, to counsel and direct them, and to save them for evermore. He lives to execute the purposes of the Father, to direct all the concerns of His church, and to glorify us with Himself for evermore. Gracious Saviour! earthly friends may die but Thou livest; temporal comforts may be lost but we still have a place in Thy heart; Thou art our Friend before the Father’s throne! May we ever remember, Jesus liveth who was dead; and He is alive for evermore and has the keys of hell and of death. O to live for Him on earth who lives for us in heaven! O to live like Him, that as He is, so we may be in this world – representatives of God and holiness! O to live by faith in Him, in sweet and holy fellowship with Him. All because Jesus liveth! — Daily Remembrancer February 28th Morning