​God intends for His people to live by faith. What does it mean to live by faith? Are you living by faith today? Let’s find out.

The word “faith” is used 253 times in the King James Bible. The Bible’s emphasis on faith is undeniable. We are saved by faith in Jesus Christ. We are to live by faith in God and His Word.

Romans 1:17 

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

Some mock the faith of believers. How many times has a Christian been attacked for being “dumb enough” to believe? How many new believers have been questioned by family and friends? The intelligencia crowd ridicules a life of faith saying things like, “I won’t believe it unless I see it.”

I don’t apologize for believing in God. In fact, I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist!

Did you know that everyone lives by faith of a sort?  

“Faith is an affectionate practical confidence in the testimony of God.”~ J. Hawes Click To Tweet

We make faith-based decisions all day every day. Before you sit in a chair, you decide if it can hold your weight. Before you eat at a restaurant, you decide if it is safe. When you drive down the road, you trust the other person to stay on their side of the yellow line.  

Someone will say, “Not true! I live by science and statistics.” By their own admission, they have faith in science and statistics. Did they gather the information themselves? No. Did they correlate the information? No. Did they see the results with their own eyes? No. Did they double-check to confirm the findings? No. The list could go on. Do you see how faith is involved in the simplest decisions we make every day?

In this way, the atheist and agnostic live by faith along with the religious person. Why? We are creatures of faith. God made every human to live by faith. The only question is, “What are you putting your faith in?”

What is faith? Let’s look at the definition of faith to make sure we are on the same page and learn how to live by faith.

Faith is a big word with various meanings based on the context, but the core of it is always confidence, trust, or reliance.

For example, you can believe the assertions of another person. You can rely on the character of someone or something.  

Regarding faith in God, J. Hawes said, “Faith is an affectionate practical confidence in the testimony of God.”

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary has the following definitions of faith.


1. Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting on his authority and veracity, without other evidence; the judgment that what another states or testifies is the truth. I have strong faith or no faith in the testimony of a witness, or in what a historian narrates.

2. The assent of the mind to the truth of a proposition advanced by another; belief, on probable evidence of any kind.

3. In theology, the assent of the mind or understanding to the truth of what God has revealed. Simple belief of the scriptures, of the being and perfections of God, and of the existence, character and doctrines of Christ, founded on the testimony of the sacred writers, is called historical or speculative faith; a faith little distinguished from the belief of the existence and achievments of Alexander or of Cesar.

4. Evangelical, justifying, or saving faith, is the assent of the mind to the truth of divine revelation, on the authority of God’s testimony, accompanied with a cordial assent of the will or approbation of the heart; an entire confidence or trust in God’s character and declarations, and in the character and doctrines of Christ, with an unreserved surrender of the will to his guidance, and dependence on his merits for salvation. In other words, that firm belief of God’s testimony, and of the truth of the gospel, which influences the will, and leads to an entire reliance on Christ for salvation.

Being justified by faith. Rom. 5.

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Heb. 11.

For we walk by faith, and not by sight. 2 Cor. 5.

With the heart man believeth to righteousness. Rom. 10.

The faith of the gospel is that emotion of the mind, which is called trust or confidence, exercised towards the moral character of God, and particularly of the Savior. Dwight.

Faith is an affectionate practical confidence in the testimony of God. J. Hawes.

Faith is a firm, cordial belief in the veracity of God, in all the declarations of his word; or a full and affectionate confidence in the certainty of those things which God has declared, and because he has declared them. L. Woods.

5. The object of belief; a doctrine or system of doctrines believed; a system of revealed truths received by christians.

They heard only, that he who persecuted us in times past, now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. Gal. 1.

6. The promises of God, or his truth and faithfulness.

Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? Rom. 3.

7. An open profession of gospel truth.

Your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. Rom. 1.”

RELATED ARTICLE: 50 Bible Verses About Faith (Every Christian Should Know)

Reformer’s Unanimous, a faith-based addiction recovery program, presents this definition for faith:

“Faith is a personal measure of the level of my confidence in what God has done and will do in, through, and for me.”

Consider this verse.

Hebrews 11:1

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

This verse means that faith is the assurance of things expected, the conviction that it will happen even though you have not seen it.

I believe in Hawaii, even though I haven’t seen it. I believe in Heaven, even though I haven’t seen it. Both are by faith. You say, “But I have seen pictures of Hawaii, and I have talked to people that have been there!” True. I have seen pictures of Heaven in the Scriptures, and I have testimony from people who have been there.

Replace Hawaii with any place or thing that you have believed the assertions of another. The fact is that we all live by faith to some extent. Are we living by faith according to the Scriptures? That’s what truly matters.

In light of these definitions, what does God mean when He tells us to live by faith?

1. Living by Faith is relying on the Character God.  

To know God is to love God. The more you learn about the character and perfection of God, the more you will trust Him. Consider these characteristics of God.

God cannot lie.

Titus 1:2 

“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

God is generous.

James 1:17 

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

God is Love.

1 John 4:16 

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

God is Light.

1 John 1:5 

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

God is just and right.

Deuteronomy 32:4

“He is the Rock, his work is perfect: For all his ways are judgment: A God of truth and without iniquity, Just and right is he.”

We can trust the character of God. He is perfect and will never change.

Malachi 3:6

“For I am the Lord, I change not; Therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

Living by faith is believing God in every area of life and walking in obedient faith. Click To Tweet

2. Living by Faith in Believing in the Gospel of Christ

Romans 1:14–17 

“I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. 

So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. 

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

The Apostle Paul was consumed with preaching the Gospel to every creature. He understood that the Gospel was for everyone, so he was prepared to give his all to spread the Good News all the way to Rome and beyond.  

One of his motivations is found in Romans 1:16.

He was not ashamed of the Gospel because He knew it was the power of God unto salvation for all who would believe. What a fantastic truth!  ​

Romans 1:17 

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

The Gospel reveals how to be righteous in the eyes of God.  

Then verse 17 includes a powerful phrase, “from faith to faith.”  

The first faith is saving faith. The Christian life begins with the New Birth through faith in the Gospel.

Jesus explained that no one could go to Heaven unless they are born again.

John 3:3 

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:7

“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

How is one born again? By confessing their sin and trusting in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. John 3:16 is found in the same conversation with Nicodemus telling him how to be born again.  ​

John 3:16 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Living by faith begins at salvation.  

3. Living by Faith is Trusting in the Word of God.

Consider the following verse again.

Romans 1:17 

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

Consider the phrase “from faith to faith” once more. 

The first faith is saving faith. The second faith is living faith.  

“The just shall live by faith” means applying faith to everyday life. It is a quote from Habbakuk 2:3.

Habbakuk 2:4. 

“Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: But the just shall live by his faith.”

The context in Habbakuk is the prophet speaking of the turmoil of the Babylonian captivity. The Chaldeans were to come upon the land and destroy it. However, the judgment wouldn’t be forever. God would eventually restore Israel. He admonished His people to live by faith in even the most trying times.

How can we live by faith today? How do we know what God wants us to do?  

God’s Word is our guide in this life.

The will of God and the Word of God are never in conflict.

God’s Word is Inspired.

2 Timothy 3:16 

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

God’s Word in Preserved.

Psalm 12:6–7 

“The words of the Lord are pure words: As silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 

Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, Thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.”

God’s Word is Sufficient. 

2 Peter 1:3–4 

“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

The Bible doesn’t tell us everything we want to know, but it tells us everything we need to know.

Make decisions based on the Word of God. The principles of the Bible are sufficient to guide you in any era on any subject. Live by principle. 

The indwelling Holy Ghost will teach you the Word and apply it to your life. Also, He will guide you in personal matters.


Everyone lives by faith. They have no choice. God made man to operate on faith. Yet, the Creator allows you to decide where to place your faith.

Saved or lost. Religious or not religious. Educated or uneducated. Everyone lives by faith.

What will you put your faith in?

Living by Faith as a Christian means:

  • Relying on the Character of God.
  • Believing in the Gospel of Christ.
  • Trusting in the Word of God.
Living by faith is believing God in every area of life and walking in obedient faith. Click To Tweet

Let’s live by faith today!