In Hebr 10:38, we read, “And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” In Rom 1:17, we read, “For the gospel reveals God’s righteousness that comes by faith from start to finish, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” And Habakkuk 2:4, we read, “but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness –”
Are you righteous by faith?
We remember from the last chapter how we become righteous by faith and a descendant of Abraham. All those who believe in righteousness and show they believe by obeying they are righteous by faith because they choose to act on what they believe. So what is righteousness, according to the Bible? 1. John says righteousness is obeying the Torah; the Torah is what we Christians call Moses’s law.
If you are righteous by faith, and a descendant of Abraham, the Bible says in Hab 2:4, Heb 10:38, Rom 1:17 you are to live by faith. What does that mean? Live by faith?
Hab 2:4 says it means live by our faithfulness. So if we remain faithful to Yehovah, if we remain righteous by faith, we will live. And remember, we are righteous by faith because we believe in and obey righteousness. Righteousness is the Torah, so it says here that if we are faithful to the Torah, we will live.
In Heb 10:38, Yehovah has given us a warning we need to adhere to. Here He says, if we shrink back, He will have no pleasure in it. What does it mean to “shrink back?”
Heb 10:38 is saying here that we are called to be so faithful to the Torah that everyone around us will know and understand by the way we live how we obey righteousness. If we try to hide our faithfulness, it will be displeasing to Yehovah. So we must never conceal our allegiance to the Torah.
This works in two ways; we can conceal our allegiance and shrink back by adhering to human-made laws in addition to the Torah. And we can hide and shrink back by believing some parts of the Torah do not apply today. If we do, Heb 10:38, says we will be displeasing to Yehovah.
But if we stay faithful to the Torah, we will have life and live.
What does it mean when it says, “the righteous will live by faith?” We know it means we are to remain faithful to the Torah at all costs, but what does it mean when it says, “we will live?”
Life in the Bible is defined in two ways: spiritual, everlasting life and physical life where all our needs are met here on this earth. The Bible uses the word Shalom for both. Shalom means more than just peace; it means completeness, wholeness, a state of living where all our needs are met physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
So what the Bible promises us in Heb 10:38, Rom 1:7 and Hab 2:4 is Shalom if we remain faithful to the Torah.
Therefore, there is no question we should always have the Torah as the object of our faith. Everything we say, everything we do should be done and said with the Torah in our minds (Joshua 1.) The next question is, how is that even possible in our modern-day and age?
Yehovah expects us to keep thinking about the Torah in everything we do. Driving down the freeway, thinking of the Torah, can be very dangerous because it will make you a distracted driver. Sometimes we have to stay so focused on the job we are doing; it would be impossible for us to keep thinking of all the 613 commandments that apply to us.
In both the Old and the New covenant, Yehovah wanted His people to keep thinking of the Torah. Whenever He says, “Write it on your heart,” the heart is always referring to the mind. The difference between the Old and the New Covenant is not the Torah; it who is doing the writing on our minds.
In the Old Covenant, our forefathers had to write it on their minds themselves. In the New Covenant, in Jer 31, the Holy Spirit in us is the one who writes it on our minds.
Of course, this does not exempt us from learning the Torah, but it does exempt us from being a distracted driver and gives us the freedom we need to concentrate when we need to focus on the task at hand.
If you believe in what Yeshua did for you at the cross, and His teachings telling us to obey Moses (Matt 23:2) you will become righteous by faith. John 14 says that the Holy Spirit, Yehovah, the Father, and Yeshua will come and live inside of you. They will be the ones who will write the Torah on your mind and cause you to think of it 24/7 even when you need to focus on other things. And as long as you stay faithful, they will continue to write it on your mind.
Do you still need to do something? The Bible says you need to stay faithful and have the intent to want to obey the Torah, even though, at times, you might not be able to remember every commandment.
There is an interesting verse in James 2:19 most Christians know by heart, even though we tend to misinterpret it. Most of us read it as “you believe in God/Jesus? Even the demons believe that and they shudder,” when the verse read, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-and shudder.”
So what makes the demons shudder is not Jesus or that there is a God, it is the fact that God is one.
Of all the Torah commandments, Yeshua says in Mark 12:29, the most important one is this “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”
Have you ever wondered why James 2:19 says the demons shudder because Yehovah, our God, is one? And why Yeshua says the most important commandment is the oneness of Yehovah?
There is an obvious connection here that is very important to us that should not be overlooked. Even though it might be difficult, and sometimes impossible to keep reminding ourselves of 613 commandments, we can most of the time remember this one in Mark 12:29. And consider this is the commandment that makes the demons shudder, and Yeshua says it is the most important one, this is the one we should bring to mind if we have to choose between all of them.
I have seen, in my own life, how this commandment helps in more ways than one. Even though I know the Torah, I have studied it; I do not have the brain capacity to meditate on 613 commandments 24/7 and, at the same time live a hectic life driving a car, working at an office, remembering what to buy of groceries that day and so on.
In Deut 6, Mark 12:29 is straightforward to meditate on this one commandment, and it does not require a lot of effort. What I do is that I try to be conscious of my breath. Every time I take a breath, I go, “Yehovah is my God,” every time I exhale, I go, “Yehovah is one.” Then meditating on this commandment becomes second nature to me, and I am also able to focus my mind at other things simultaneously.
We are all different, so it would not work to do what I did for some of you. But what I encourage you to do is remember what Yeshua said in Mark 12:29 and at least try to make this commandment the one you meditate on 24/7. When you know James 2:19, which says this commandment makes the demons shudder, this is a significant one for us to meditate on.
I hope you are righteous by faith and have chosen to live by faithfulness and obedience to the Torah. Then and only then will you be able to walk in and experience Shalom, which we all need.
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