The Just Shall Live by Faith (Gal 3:10-11)
“The just shall live by faith” was first recorded in the book of Habakkuk (Hab 2:4). This verse is also found in Romans 1:17, Hebrews 10:38 and Galatians 3:11. The context of Galatians 3:11 is that enemies had infiltrated the church in Galatia, and Paul was shocked that the Galatian Christians had so quickly given up the true gospel and embraced a false one.
To find salvation by obeying the law was the false gospel proposed by the false teachers. If we think we can be justified by obeying the law and following every Christian practice, we put ourselves under the curse. In order to be justified by obeying the law, God requires the continuous obeying of the law. And no man can meet this requirement. On the other hand, for those who are justified by faith, the curse is lifted. The curse is God’s condemnation of the sinner for his sins, eg: the lust of the flesh which includes addiction, gluttony, etc. God has given His children (who are justified by faith) the power to overcome these.
Many who lived by the law may be justified in the sight of man. But what is more important is to be justified in the sight of God. God looks beyond the surface of obedience. He looks into the heart. Thus, in His sight, no one can be justified by obeying the law or by doing Christian things. In the first place, we are already disqualified because we are born sinners.
We have to begin with faith, continue with faith and end with faith. We begin by being justified by our faith in Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross. He paid for all our sins by His precious blood. Jesus Christ took our sins on Himself and bore the shame and suffering for our sakes. We cannot replace the salvific work of Christ by giving offerings, coming to church, etc.
Having been justified by faith, we live according to God's Word. Our minds and motives will be different. We will serve Christ, not because of money, family or church. Our faith must be strengthened through prayer and the study of God's Word. God’s Word is the milk and meat for our spiritual growth. We cannot be spiritually strong if we do not know the Word of God.
Faith is needed in the past, present and future. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. “The just shall live by faith”: Is this your experience?