For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”I’ve always thought of this last line as saying that if someone is righteous, they have faith. In other words, without faith in our Creator God & Savior, you can’t truly be righteous. I still believe this to be true, but today as I read these words another meaning came to mind.
~ Romans 1:17
What if these words are not just describing a characteristic of a righteous person? What if these words are a “heads up”, a warning if you will, to those who are pursuing righteousness? It is not worded to say, to be righteous you must have faith – it says the righteous live by faith.
I think this very well may fly in the face of many of the “prosperity” messages we often hear in Christian circles today. Why? Because when everything is going good in your life and everyone likes you and agrees with you – what need do you have for living by faith?
Maybe living by faith means that even when in the world’s eyes things are falling apart around you (finances, relationships, health, etc) you still have hope, peace and love because you know the Lord is directing your path. He is holding you up in your weakness and you are trusting in the future He has for you, no matter what it may look like to others.
This is not to say that if you are righteous your life will be falling apart around you, or that if things are going well in your life, you are not righteous. But I do have to wonder if Paul is referring to the fact that when you are truly living for God, you will be required to live by faith because things are not always going to be rosy. Just look at Paul’s life. By the world’s standards once he started following Jesus, his life took a total nose-dive. But by heaven’s standards a different story is told.
The righteous live by faith – am I ready to be righteous?