Salvation Thru Faith

The Old Testament prophet Habakkuk saw the deteriorating spiritual condition of his nation, which frustrated Habakkuk so he let God know.

“God, things are horrible and getting worse. You can’t trust the leadership. They’re lying to the people. Things are really bad, Lord, and You’re not lifting a hand to stop any of it.”
God responded, “Habakkuk, if I told you what I was doing, your ears would tingle.” Then the Lord began to tell the prophet how He intended to bring the Babylonians as His instrument of judgment against the nation of Judah.
Habakkuk never expected to hear that and cried, “Lord, wait a minute—that’s not fair! We’re bad, yes; but they are much worse than we are. Why would You use a nation more wicked than Judah to punish Your own people?” Habakkuk concluded, “I don’t understand this at all. I’ll just go into my tower and wait to see what You do.” As he sat in the tower, watching to see how God would act, the word of the Lord came to Habakkuk: “The just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4).

“Habakkuk, just trust Me. You’re not going to understand. You’re going to see things that will shake you—but the just shall live by faith.”

This great declaration of God—“The just shall live by faith”—is the very statement that set Martin Luther free when he read Romans 1:17. As a monk, he had been trying his best to mortify the flesh. He struggled to rid his life of sin, yet the more he struggled, the more guilt-ridden he felt. He tried to observe all of the works that the church had said would enable him to be perfected in the flesh. And he felt miserable. “The just shall live by faith” set him free.
As the apostle Paul put it: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Grace is unearned, undeserved favor. It is the blessing of God poured out upon people who could never earn it. You cannot possibly work hard enough or try hard enough or keep enough rules to earn yourself a spot in heaven. Salvation is a gift—pure and simple. It’s a gift that none of us deserves. And since it is a gift given by God, it is a gift we can receive only through faith.
The rich young ruler who came to Jesus seeking the way to eternal life went away sorrowful because he valued his earthly riches more than the riches of heaven. Jesus turned to His disciples and said, “How hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It’s easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

The disciples looked at one another in astonishment and asked, “If it’s so difficult, Lord, who then can be saved?”
“With men, it’s impossible,” Jesus replied. “But with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:24-26).

Aren’t you glad God has provided eternal life for you by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ? You can’t earn it. You can’t work for it. You can only accept it by faith.

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