I’m putting together a paper for the ACELC conference in Austin next week. Here are a couple more paragraphs:
The New Testament brings this to us in another account, three times quoting the preaching of Habakkuk. Habakkuk stood in Jerusalem in 635, as the Lord was preparing the Chaldeans to roll through the Promised Land and destroy Jerusalem. But Jerusalem, like Isaac, was a place of promise. This was the place where the Messiah was to be born. This was the city from which His rule was to go forth. It was this place that the Lord had prepared so that His might fulfill His promises. And it is this place that the Lord was about to destroy. “For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans” (Habakkuk 1:6). God, again, is working against His own promises. So Habakkuk preaches, “The righteous shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4).
Justifying faith stands, then, not only against the righteousness of works, but also against the “promises” or “threats” of sight. This was not lost on the apostles. When “God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness,” (Romans 1:18) the “righteous shall live by faith,” (Romans 1:17, see also Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:37-38). When it looks as if God Himself is hell-bent on destroying His own promises, faith sticks to the promise. We look around and see trouble, but we hear, by faith, that “all things work together for the good of those who love God…” (Romans 8:28). We look around and see sin, but we hear, by faith, the forgiveness of sins. We look around and see death, but we hear, by faith, that we will not die (John 3:16). http://www.facebook.com/wolfmueller