Monday, October 15, 2012

Habakkuk: The Gospel of Grace

"The righteous shall live by his faith." (Habakkuk 2: 4)

This minor prophet - minor only because of the length of the book, but the major truth defines the reason why Jesus came to the earth, why God became the perfect man.

Indeed, every person who is made the righteousness of God  in Christ lives by His faith:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5: 21)


"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2: 20)

When the Holy Spirit prompted the writer to utter the verse, he was telling him that the righteous live by the faith of God, not just faith in God! How amazing! We receive God's own faith by hearing, and hearing the word of Christ (Romans 10: 17).

What I find interesting about this prophet, in contrast to the other writers, is that Habakkuk is not afraid to ask God serious questions. He boldy comes before God demanding an answer, and he knows that he will get one! He asks more questions than other prophets, yet these are not sacrastic or despairing questions, like those of Jeremiah.

He asks the questions in the first chapter, God answers him in the second, and in the third he has a calm joy which fears nothing because he "joys in the God of his salvation" (Habakkuk 3: 18)

What gives him such pause and then peace? He has received the revelation of God who is mighty, greater than all problems, all fallouts, every enemy, every loss, every form of poverty and weakness. That the righteous man lives by faith then permits him to receive the grace of God, for we are saved by grace through faith, not by works (Ephesians 2: 4, 8).

Habakkuk gives the Gospel of Grace through the God of our Salvation, who is Jesus!

He declares very little, and because he humbly demonstrates the same dependence that we are all called to walk in, God graciously imparts to him what life is about:

"For we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5: 7)

What does God want us to be looking at? Paul shares with the Colossians:

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." (Colossians 3:1)

He is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1: 30) and seated at the right hand of the Father, we find that all of our needs are met, that His blood keeps on cleansing us from all sin (1 John 1: 7)

Not only has Jesus given us hind's feet, but by God's grace we are now seated above the heavenlies in Christ (Ephesians 2: 6) far above all principalities and powers!

Habakkuk got a revelation of this grace -- and for us, who abide in Jesus, full of grace and truth (John 1: 17), we rejoice indeed!

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