For in it (the gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Romans 1: 17

 

Faith does not exclusively belong to religious minded people, for everyone exercises faith all of the time and during each day of our lives. For example, it takes a form of faith to trust that the air outside is safe to breathe, faith is required by people to cross a bridge or to enter a large building, and faith in the basic civility of others is certainly needed when we venture forth into public and believe that we will not be harmed in the process. We live in an environment that operates out of faith in its fundamental design and construction, and in so doing, we actually enter into one of the most basic forms of faith in God, Himself. Now, in order to recognize this specific aspect of faith, it is necessary to accept that God, in some form, is the one who made, devised, or created the physical universe and all of its components. Still, this is something that most people do in fact embrace to some degree; so, they enter into faith in God as they accept His creator role.

 

Yet, faith in God has a considerably more important place in this listing of aspects of existence that are built upon some form of faith. For, faith in God does, in fact, lead to a reshaping of life, itself. It helps to define what it does mean to truly be alive. People were designed, devised, and made to live rightly in relationship to each other and to our world. This righteousness is the state of being that brings us into the most balanced and healthy of relationships with other people, and it allows us to engage in living in a manner that brings out all of the gifts, talents, and skills that we possess intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Righteousness requires us to look outside of our own wishes and wants and toward the needs and desires of others as we set our personal goals and objectives for life. It is righteousness that leads people into engagement with the world around us in order to understand points of view beyond our own and so that we can enter into bringing about healing for those aspects of creation that we have caused to become broken.

 

Acceptance the Gospel of Jesus Christ is an act of faith, for in so doing we enter into a relationship with God that is based upon agreement with Him and submission to Him in all matters concerning what it means to be a person and to live out that reality as a follower of Christ. The terms of this agreement are written in a book that was completed thousands of years ago by people who were far removed from our world today, and its content was given to those authors by the Spirit of God in a manner that always contains some form of the mystical in its description. Today we still submit to and engage with the Spirit as God reveals Himself and speaks truth, counsel, and encouragement to our hearts and our minds; so, in this process of engagement with God in all three of His persons, we are living squarely in the center of the arena that is defined as faith. This is the place where we are made alive by Christ in the ways that God designed us to be truly and fully alive, and this place called faith is where we are led by Christ into living out the calling that He has for us so that the days that we possess are full of His life-giving presence.

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For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

Romans 1: 17

 

Faith may be all that there is to cling to, and it might be the sum total of all of the resources that are available to face the day. When this is absolutely true, life can seem to be a very long ways beyond scary. Yet in times when tangible power and quantifiable personal strength are not present, faith is all that is left. We have faith that the physical laws of nature are still in operation, we exercise faith that our human relationships are more or less functioning along the same lines as they were yesterday, and we accept as true that our society is following the same rules as it did in the past. Faith takes us beyond control and creates a platform to stand upon in order to function throughout the day.

 

Still, as important as faith is in these global areas of life, it matters most when it comes to understanding who we are and our place in the world. We were placed into this life with a purpose to fulfill. We are granted the opportunity to have an impact on Creation that is restorative and transformative. God has given the message of absolute truth to His people, and He has also gifted us with the ability to understand the deep implications of that truth for every aspect of our world. People need to embrace this fact and stay true to the pursuit of righteousness for the sake of Christ, and this requires faith. There will be times, situations, and circumstances when our human reason and the voice of the masses will call to us with an utterance that is too loud and too persistent to ignore. Then the only way to continue on the course that Christ has set out is found through trust in His gospel of love and peace.

 

Each step that is taken in response to Christ’s call moves us deeper into His will. The deeper we go into the will of God the better we know Him. As we know God we also come to know ourselves as we are intended to be. This is the true journey of faith. Stepping out of the mainstream of our world and into the powerful, minority current of righteousness takes a very special form of courage. This is the sort of courage that Christ took to the cross and beyond and that His Spirit gives to us. This is the sort of courage that is formed in our hearts through faith in God.