What Saith the Scripture?


Fellow ship > Living By Faith

              Thy WORD Is Truth.

Living By Faith

by Tom Stewart

April 30, 2001

"The just shall live by faith"
(Romans 1:17).

George Mueller of Bristol is remembered for his ministry of supporting thousands of orphans without advertising his needs to man, but God only. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). At times, lacking the very bread to place before the orphans, their needs were always met, when mealtime actually came. "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread" (Psalm 37:25). Mueller believed in the literal necessity of praying, "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11). Because he loved his God supremely, he desired that all men, and especially the Saints, would know the faithfulness of God. "O Thou That Hearest Prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come" (Psalm 65:2). And, loving his neighbour as himself, he desired to relieve the material and spiritual needs of the homeless orphans. "Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow" (Isaiah 1:17). But, as touched as he was with the plight of the orphans, he desired more to prove that he was no different from his fellow Christians, in that, if God, the "Father of the Fatherless" (Psalm 68:5), would answer his prayers, then He would do the same for the Brethren. "Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not" (James 5:17).

As exceptional a man as George Mueller was, when compared to contemporary Christianity, George Mueller only did what all True Christians must do, which is to live by faith.
"The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17). Likewise, Abraham is held up to us as an example of a righteous man who was justified before God; but, Abraham merely did what all men must do. He believed God. "2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness" (4:2-3). Ordinary Christians are expected to "live by the faith of the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20), to provide for them-- body, soul, and spirit. "25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 33 But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" (6:25-34).

Briefly, what is living by faith?

Those who realize their need to live by faith must read, meditate upon, and study much the Word of God. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). It can be seen that every Saint throughout the ages has had the responsibility and privilege to trust God and live by faith. "The just shall live by his faith" (Habakkuk 2:4). Whenever we find ourselves making decisions and judgments without asking the Spirit, "What saith the Scripture?" (Romans 4:3), or consulting the Father through prayer, then we are walking like the world, and "not after Christ" (Colossians 2:8). "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, [the Holy Spirit] saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left" (Isaiah 30:21). Recognizing that God is able to direct our thoughts, we are to consciously choose out "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Philippians 4:8) with the understanding that this is walking by faith. This is thinking God's thoughts after Him. "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (John 5:17). This then is discerning the pattern of action that best corresponds to our understanding of His Word. "I being in the way, the LORD led me" (Genesis 24:27).

In addition to the supremacy of the Word of God and a continual attitude of praying
"without ceasing" (1Thessalonians 5:17), to those who walk by faith, many other factors need to be considered:

Amen, and Amen.


Tom Stewart

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