“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:4
Habakkuk wrote down the words from God on a tablet, which included this brilliant statement. “The righteous will live by his faith.” This means that those who want to be righteous and live righteous lives must believe in God’s promise. This truth can’t be changed. As a result, ungodly people will die in their unbelief. So we must believe the writing on the tablet if we want to live now and forever. We must believe that Christ will come with his kingdom. But when things appear otherwise, when we are troubled in this world, we must not lose our way. God’s Word holds things for us that are beyond our senses and higher than our understanding. We feel troubled because we look at our current condition. By faith, we need to get beyond these feelings,. Even when surrounded by trouble, we must be confident that the kingdom will come and be established in a glorious way.
In this passage we see a clear example of how the prophets in the Old Testament preached and emphasized faith in Christ, just as much as we do in the New Testament. We see that Habakkuk was so bold that he condemned all other works. He attributed life exclusively to faith. Habakkuk states very plainly that unbelievers won’t succeed on their own. Let them pray and work themselves to death. Their efforts are already judged. Their works won’t be worth anything, won’t achieve anything, and won’t help them at all. Meanwhile, believers will live by faith.
Edited by James C. Galvin
Timeless insights from one of the most important people in church history. Resounding across the centuries, Martin Luther’s prolific writings as a pastor, theologian, scholar, Bible translator, father, and more, remain powerful and richly relevant. Faith Alone is a treasury of accessible devotionals taken from Luther’s best writings and sermons from the years 1513 through 1546. This carefully updated translation retains the meaning, tone, and imagery of Luther’s works such as this gem:
Some people value good works so much that they overlook faith in Christ. Faith should be first. It is faith—without good works and prior to good works—that takes us to heaven. We come to God through faith alone. —Martin Luther
Through daily readings, Luther’s straightforward approach challenges you to a more thoughtful faith. Read one brief section a day or explore themes using the subject index in the back of the book. Faith Alone will deepen your understanding of Scripture and help you more fully appreciate the mystery of faith.