Habakkuk 2:4.

I want you to notice these words "The just shall live by faith," and if you want to know what it was for a Jew in those days to live by faith, read Hab. 3:17-19. That is a fine example of it.

This verse is quoted three times in the New Testament, and I believe each time the emphasis should be on different words. Look at Rom. 1:17. Gentiles, not Jews, are addressed here. The whole point of the epistle to the Romans is justification. God is the justifier of all who believe on Jesus, and although once dead in trespasses and sins, yet through the blood of Christ, God can now justify them, and they are looked upon as "the just." So the stress here should be on the first two words "The just shall live by faith."

Now turn to Gal. 3:2. Here in Galatians, the great controversy is between "law" and "faith." The apostle mentions both words in this verse, and he is seeking to teach them that the motive power for our walk is faith, so we read "The just shall live by faith."

In Hebrews 10:38 we find the same words, but this time as showing the practical effect on our daily lives. We are to "live by faith." The just must put his faith into practice and "live by" it. In the succeeding chapter we have illustrations of this, showing how different men under varied circumstances did "live by faith." Some were very long lives, with little of faith recorded, perhaps little to record, but the Holy Spirit notices and approves what was there. Then in Hebrews 12:2 he directs their gaze to heaven, to One who did not exhibit this faith by occasional paroxysms, but who "began" and "finished in faith. Blessed Saviour! Well may the writer say, "Looking unto Jesus … consider Him."

What a wonderful book this Bible is. The holy Spirit speaking through different channels, and speaking the same words, but in each case teaching us varied lessons and attracting us, by contrast, to Christ.
(Extracted by Dr. H. J. W. Barlee.)