Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr.
Delivered On
November 16, 2014 at 10:45 AM
The Just Shall Live By Faith
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday November 16, 2014
The Just Shall Live By Faith
“...the just shall live by faith his faith...” ( Hab. 2:4 )
Human life is but a sojourn on the pathway from birth 
to death. Preparation for this travel starts in early childhood 
and continues to adulthood. It includes training in the 
family, school, church, and informal associates. Another 
often overlooked influence is known as unique experiences - 
an expression used to denote thoughts and events that 
only the individual knows about. In the process of time, 
each individual develops an outlook on life and tends to 
follow it as his/or destiny. These outlooks can include 
pessimism, worry, anger, and despondency; in contrast 
they can entail optimism, confidence, and happiness. 
It is an unfortunate fact, however, that the time, location, 
and events - all can disrupt one’s tranquility. In such a 
situation, the individual has two options, namely, surrender 
to desperation for seek succor by faith. The sermon for 
today was prepared to extol the role of faith on the pathway 
of life. It has been entitled, The Just Shall Live by Faith. 
It will include the following three considerations, namely: 
the Habakkuk dilemma, the chronology of the faithful, and 
the impending faith challenge for us. 
Since the first division of the sermon is historically 
oriented, the traditional biblical background of the anchor 
will be omitted. Instead attention will be directed to the 
Habakkuk dilemma. “Very little is known about Habakkuk 
except his name, which means...the wrestler”. This word 
usually brings to mind a person who has, or is seeking, an 
opponent. When placed within the context of ideas, the 
word dilemma can be used because it denotes an individual 
wrestling between two opposing options. Habakkuk, in this 
connection, was “wrestling with the question of why God 
would let evil go unpunished and why He would bring 
calamity on His own people” ( Hab. 1:13 ). Habakkuk 
addressed his concern to the Lord as noted in the first 
chapter of his book. Therein he inquired, “O Lord, how long 
shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! Even cry unto thee of 
violence, and thou wilt not save! He, further, complained 
of spoils, strife, and contention around him and, therefore, 
wondered if the law is slack and judgment not forthcoming. 
Habakkuk’s litany of complaints, he appeared to be 
bewildered by the rampage of evil, despondent by the 
lack of divine correction, and impelled to inquiry of the 
Lord as to why wrongdoing was so prevalent. 
In the Lord’s response to Habakkuk, no condemnation 
nor reprimand was given! The Lord, rather, gave have an 
extensive reply and told Habakkuk that He “...will work a 
work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be 
told you.” ( Hab. 1:5 ). Following the lengthy communication 
from the Lord, Habakkuk vowed to stand his watch on the 
tower to see and write the vision of the Lord’s work. He 
further concluded that “ the just shall live by his faith.” 
( Hab. 2:4 ). 
That conclusion leaps across the annals of time and 
echoes loudly to contemporary humanity the need to 
learn, believe, and embrace that verity -i.e., the just shall 
live by his faith! 
This affirmation will undergird the second dimension of 
of sermon which is - The Chronology of the Faithful. It is 
found in the 11th Chapter of Hebrews. Just a few of the 
lengthy references on faith are herein presented. Faith 
is defined as “...the substance of things hoped for, the 
evidence of things not seen.” ( Heb. 11:1 ). Faith is acquired 
and not inherited. It “cometh by hearing, and hearing by the 
word of God”. ( Rom 10:17 ). Faith is a requirement to please 
God for the Bible asserts that “ ...without faith it is 
impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must 
believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that 
diligently seek him.” ( Heb. 11:6 ). Faith is theme of the 
11th Chapter of Hebrews; that book is often referred to as 
the designation Chronology of the Faithful owing to its 
lengthy identification of Old Testament personalities - all of 
whom showed a tenacious grip on faith. Those committed 
persons believed God, remained steadfastly to ‘the 
promises’ and “all died in faith, not having received the 
promises, but having seen them afar off, and were 
persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed 
that they were strangers and pilgrims on earth” ( Heb.11:13). 
This synopsis of faith and some of the historical faithful 
pioneers leads to the final phase of the sermon which is - 
the impending faith challenge for us. Beloved, we have 
either read or listened to this message entitled, The 
Just Shall Live By Faith. Its contents included some 
highlights on Habakkuk’s dilemma regarding the 
preponderance of strife and violence vs the Lord’s 
slackness in imposing judgment. However, he was 
blessed with a response from the Lord. Afterward, 
Habakkuk said, “I will stand upon my watch, and set 
me upon the watch...” He, later, penned “...the just shall 
live by faith”. Although that episode occurred Centuries 
ago, it yet speaks to events in our contemporary world. 
There are those of us, especially in the body of Christ, 
who are appalled by the widespread pathologies at the 
International, National, State, and local levels : political 
corruption, racial injustices, human trafficking, murder for 
hire, price fixing, near perpetual warfare - to mention but 
a few of the social ills. Sadly, many of them include ‘so 
call Christians’. Yet let the remnants of us - like Habakkuk, 
be keen observers of the social scene, carry our concern 
to the Lord, wait on the Lord’s response and be ever 
committed to Habakkuk’s assertion that “the just shall 
live by his faith” and “... he embraced the conviction by 
faith in the salvation of the Lord”. ( Heb. 2:4; 3:18 ). Amen.
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