Life-Study of Psalms, by Witness Lee

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There are many principles in the Bible and of the Bible which can help us to understand the Bible in a proper way. It is very difficult for many students of the Bible to understand the Bible because they do not know the principles of the Bible. In order to understand what these principles are, I want to present a few illustrations.

During Martin Luther’s time, the Catholic Church taught that to be saved and justified by God, one had to do good works and keep the law. Then Luther stood up to say that justification is by faith. Faith is a principle in the New Testament. Genesis 15 says that Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness (v. 6). God counted Abraham’s faith as righteousness. This shows that we do not need to do anything to build up our own righteousness. We simply need to believe in Christ.

The book of Habakkuk talks about the Babylonians coming to devastate the entire country of Israel. In this book there is a verse which says, "The righteous one will live by his faith" (2:4). Faith is a big principle in the Bible. According to the entire Bible, faith is to stop our work, to stop our doing—on the negative side. Then on the positive side, faith is to trust in the Lord. Faith is to stop our doing and to trust in His doing.

The principle of faith is related to the principle of the Sabbath. The principle of the Sabbath is this: you have to cease your work because God is everything to you. If you need something to be worked out, God works for you. That is what it means to enjoy the Sabbath. The Sabbath is in the same principle as faith. The real believing, the real faith, means to stop your doing. Whatever you do is an insult to God. In the principle of the Sabbath and in the principle of faith, you do not need to work or to do anything, because God does everything and works out everything for your enjoyment. You just trust in Him and trust in His doing, in His working. This is faith.

Psalm 1 says that if you keep the law, you will be blessed (vv. 1-2), but Psalm 2 says that the one who takes refuge in the Son is blessed (v. 12). The only way that we can take refuge in the Son is to stop our doing. We need to take refuge in Jesus, to believe into Him. This is the principle of faith. According to the teaching of Catholicism, you have to work, to labor, and to suffer to be justified by God. Then Martin Luther found out that God’s principle of His salvation is not by doing, not by working, but by believing in God and in all that He has done and is going to do. This is to take refuge in the working God and to stop our work. This principle of faith should govern our entire Christian life.

On the one hand, we need to stop our work. On the other hand, we still need to labor, but this labor is not in ourselves and by ourselves. Paul said, "I labored more abundantly than all of them, yet not I but the grace of God which is with me" (1 Cor. 15:10). The grace of God is Christ. Paul said, "Yet not I but the grace of God." This is similar to Galatians 2:20, where Paul said that he had been crucified with Christ and that it was no longer he who lived, but Christ lived in him. This is to rest, to keep the Sabbath, to take refuge in the Son, to believe into Him. Our entire Christian life should be according to this principle of the Sabbath and of faith.

Faith is one of the many principles in the Bible. Paul defined the principle of faith thoroughly in his Epistles. He said that no flesh can be justified by the works of the law (Rom. 3:20; Gal. 2:16; 3:11). There are many other principles of the Bible.

(Life-Study of Psalms, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)