16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
The righteous shall live by faith is Paul reaching back into the Old Testament and drawing from the writings of Habakkuk to show that our justification in Christ is not something new, but has been true for all believers in all times. We will see that later in this great book when Paul details this truth in the life of Abraham.
The righteous shall live by faith, that is our justification, is the cornerstone for three of the greatest and most important epistles in the New Testament – Romans, Galatians and Hebrews. A lifetime could be spent in the study of these books and you would but scratch the surface of the depth of the truth for which they contain. In fact, I don’t think it would be a stretch of the imagination to say that all the study of these books since they were first written to now would but fill a thimble compared to the ocean of truth God has revealed.
That being said, the truth that we are saved by faith through grace and that salvation is a declaration that we have been made righteous before God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is so simple that even a child could understand and believe it to be true.
We are saved by faith, but we are also told here that we live by faith. The Christian life is one in which we constantly need to be reminded of the grace of God in our lives. We must constantly remind ourselves that we are daily saved through that same faith in what Christ has done for us. My friends, every morning as you awake remind yourself that God’s grace is upon you today because of Christ. When you lie down to go to sleep at the end of the day do the same thing asking God to forgive you of your sins for that day because of the grace given to you in Christ through faith. This is what it means for the righteous to live by faith.