for we walk by faith, not by sight--2 Corinthians 5:7(NASB)
Justification, like sanctification, is a gift of grace. The former is God's gift of grace to the unsaved sinner, and the latter is God's gift of grace to the saved saint. Both are accessed by faith, as demonstrated throughout Scripture.
It was the constraining love of Christ that motivated Paul to proclaim the gospel of God and present the glory of the Christian faith to the people of his day. Paul needed these believers to understand the nature of the New Covenant. An unbeliever cannot earn his salvation through works of the Law, nor can a Christian live a God-honouring life through deeds of the flesh. We are saved by faith and not by works of the flesh... and we must walk by faith and not by sight.
Faith is believing all God has said in His Word - first, for our justification and then, for living a sanctified life. Faith is accepting scriptural truth as a firm fact. Faith is having the assurance that what we hope for in Christ will certainly come to pass. Indeed, without faith it is impossible to please God.
The Christian life of faith appears to be a paradox, for it seems to fly in the face of logical thinking. Instead of earning salvation by merit or by working hard to gain it... we can only receive it as a free gift of God's grace. And having been saved by grace through faith, we are to die to self, and everything that focusses on ME, in order to live for God.
Walking by faith in this life, means we are to rely completely on all that God has said in His Word. The life of faith filters our thoughts, actions, attitudes, and words, through the holy Scriptures, as we listen to the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit, follow His directions, and trust in the Lord with all our heart.
We are saved by grace through faith in Christ, and we are to walk by faith and not by sight. Nor are we to live by trusting in what we imagine or what we feel. But sadly, many Christians are diverted away from this path of faith to living by sight, by signs, by senses and emotions, by imagination, by feelings, by worldly philosophies, or extra-biblical revelations, especially when they see life's stormy seas and the mountains of difficult circumstances rising up to block their path.
However, the man or woman that lives by faith as well as being saved by faith, accepts the truth that God uses all the storms and problems of life, as well as times of great joy and rejoicing, to remove all the pride and selfishness of our old sin nature, as He gently conforms us into the beautiful image of the lovely Lord Jesus.
The man or woman who lives by faith uses life's stumbling-blocks as stepping stones. Faith allows obstacles to be changed into opportunities, and wounds that are inflicted become a witness to the generous grace He pours out into our lives in great abundance. When we live by faith, we remain in fellowship with the Lord, and can become healing balm and a godly comfort in the lives of others, who are facing similar difficulties.
Living by faith frequently contrasts the visible unreality of this fake, false, and failing world, with the invisible reality of true, glorious, eternal, heavenly things, that are our promised inheritance, in Christ.
Happy is the one who understands that faith is not only required for salvation, but is the necessary ingredient to live a victorious Christian life. Living by faith simply means that we trust completely... all that God has said in His Word.
Loving Father, thank You for my great salvation. I pray that You would help me walk by faith, to live by faith, to pray in faith, and to trust all that is written in Your Word of truth - by faith. I pray that I may die to myself and my own abilities, and rest entirely on You and Your sufficient grace in all I say and do. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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