"The just shall live by faith."
Who are the just?—They are only those who are of faith; because men are justified only by faith.
For though we all "have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," yet we are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
For "to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Those who are of faith, and those alone, are the just in the earth.
Now faith is entire dependence on the word of God, that that word shall accomplish what that word says. "It shall accomplish that which I please." Isa. 55:11
To be justified by faith, then, is to be justified by entire dependence upon the word of God. The just are those who are of the word of God. This is how men become just.
Men must not only become just by faith,—by dependence upon the word of God,—but being just, we must live by faith. The just man lives in precisely the same way, and by the same thing, that he becomes just.
We become just by faith; faith is entire dependence on the word of God. We, being just, must live by precisely the same thing by which we become just; that is, by entire dependence upon the word of God.
And this is exactly what Jesus said: Man shall live "by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." When Jesus said that, it is perfectly plain that he simply said, in other words, Man shall live by faith.
There is no other way truly to live than by faith, which is simply living by the word of God. Without faith, without the word of God, men only die.
Indeed, without the word of God everything only dies; for in the beginning everything came by the word of God. The word of God is the origin and life of everything; for, "He spake, and it was."
All things animate and inanimate,—sun, moon, and stars, animals and men,—all are entirely dependent upon the word of God for existence. Only in the case of men, God has bestowed upon them the wondrous gift of choice as to whether they will do so or not. This gift opens the door to faith. And when a man does choose to live by the word of God, which is the only means of life, faith—entire dependence upon the word of God—is the means by which he lays hold on the means of life.
Thus "the just shall live by faith," and thus "whatsoever is not of faith is sin;” which is simply to say, The just must live by the word of God; and whatsoever is not of the word of God is sin.
"We can not have a healthy Christian experience, we can not obey the gospel unto salvation, until the science of faith is better understood; and until more faith is exercised."
"Hast thou faith?" Have the faith of God. Here are they that keep "the faith of Jesus."