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Understanding the Book of Hebrews

A Word-by-Word Commentary

Michael Pearl

148 pages
No Greater Joy Ministries
Excerpt: 10:38 The just shall live by faith is taken from Habakkuk 2:4-a seventh century BC prophet anticipating this present grace dispensation. It is quoted in the NT three times: Here in Hebrews 10:38, in Rom 1:17, and in Gal 3:11. When we look at the original we find clarity in our interpretation, for it contains one word omitted in the three NT quotes, although it is implied. It is the word his; “the just shall live by his faith.” There has been an almost universal misunderstanding of these four passages. Most students interpret the passages, ... to be saying what is otherwise true, that by faith one is justified from sin by the atoning work of Christ. That is true in other passages, but the subject here is not new birth justification; it is manner of one's daily walk. To paraphrase the text: Just people will live their lives by the means of faith. Or to put it another way, we continue to relate to God by faith alone. It is not a formula for being justified from our sins; it is a formula for how those who are indeed just will live their lives. Without resorting to the original quote, a plain reading of the three NT quotes clearly lend themselves to the same interpretation. The just shall live…is a statement about how one lives, not how they come to have life. There are two kinds of people—the just and the yet unjust. The marked characteristic of the just is that their life is characterized as living by faith. The emphasis is on the ongoing process of living by faith until death or until his return. Living by faith is enduring in continuous confidence in the promises of God until the end. To draw back is to stop the faith living, to stop anticipating his return. It has nothing to do with sinning. It is about where your faith resides in lieu of your sinfulness. Since he warns against drawing back from faith, it must be that we are all in danger of doing so. If one does draw back God will not take pleasure in him- which is defined in the next verse.
Author Bio
Michael Pearl was raised in Memphis, Tennessee, in a good home, by parents who were faithful to point him to God. Mike, a graduate of Mid-South Bible College in Memphis, has been active in evangelism and the work of the ministry since he was a teenager, studying and teaching the Bible for over 60 years now. He worked with Union Mission in Memphis for 25 years, while he and his wife Debi also ministered to the many military families in Memphis and pastored churches. Later they moved to rural Tennessee where they continued in the work by holding Bible studies in local homes, which eventually led to regular meetings of the local body of believers, and to starting a prison ministry where Mike preached every week at his local prison for nearly 20 years. God eventually led them into the ministry of writing on child training and family relationships, which they now feel is their life’s work and calling. In addition to the child training ministry, the work of weekly online Bible teaching, the prison ministry, missions, and family life is still ongoing. The Pearls have been married since 1971, and have 5 children and 27 grandchildren (and counting!).