. . . they shall mount up with wings as eagles . . . Isaiah 40:31

Faith Comes by Hearing

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

This is part of the Pauline revelation. It is a mystery revealed to us by the Apostle Paul as he speaks to the church at Rome about the subject of being saved through Christ. It’s the mystery of how faith comes.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Notice the three questions Paul asks. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? In other words, we must first believe there is a Lord before we can call on His name. Secondly, how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? It would be impossible to believe in someone or something we have not heard of. And thirdly, how shall they hear without a preacher? Or, in other words, someone has to tell them before they can believe.

Someone preaches or declares the word about Christ dying to save men from their sins. Someone hears that word and believes it. Then they respond to what they heard by calling upon the name of the Lord. Where did they get the faith to do that? By hearing and believing what was spoken to them.

This is how faith works for salvation in Christ. But the principle holds true for any situation where faith is needed for anything. In fact, the very use of the word faith implies that something was first said or presented to a hearer, because without the presentation of something to believe, then there is nothing to have faith in, and thus faith cannot exist.

Working Up Faith

There is a common misunderstanding on the part of many Christians, that faith is something we can work up and thus move God to respond to our prayers. People will say things like, I’m going to pray really hard about that, as though hard and laborious praying is more likely to move God to respond with an answer.

But the truth is that we cannot work up faith through any striving of the mind. The Bible tells us that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. And that’s the only way it comes. To have faith, we must first hear something, the word of God, and then allow ourselves to believe it. At that point we have faith. It isn’t worked up. It is simply received.

By the Knowledge of God

2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and [the knowledge] of Jesus our Lord,
2 Peter 1:3 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:
2 Peter 1:4 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.

How are these promises given? By the knowledge of Him who has called us. The knowledge of God we get from the word of God allows us to be partakers of the things He has already provided for us by His grace or His graciousness, which consist of all the things that pertain to life and godliness. And those great and precious promises are the things that produce faith in us.

The Bible tells us that the Lord has already given us exceeding great and precious promises within His word. Faith is based on what the Lord has already done for us by His grace. How do we receive what God has already given us by grace? We receive those things by faith. For by grace are you saved . . . through faith. The answer we are looking for comes by God’s grace, not our ability, but we lay hold of it by our faith in His promises.

This is a principle of faith, not only to receive the salvation provided through Jesus Christ, but also to receive anything God has promised us in His word. If we are believing outside of what God has already done for us by His grace, then we are not in faith, but rather in presumption, attempting to believe something we have no basis for.

It is not hard work to believe God. It is merely the receiving and believing of what He has already promised in His word. The word of God is the key to our faith. Without the word of God there can be no faith. But with the word of God, it is merely the act of hearing and believing.

Immersing Ourselves in the Word

The word “immerse” has been used sometimes to describe this hearing of the word. We immerse ourselves in the word of God. You might say that we let the word of God wash over us and fill us. As we do that then the word of God begins to become our reality. We begin to see into the world of the word, which is hidden from those who do not take the time to receive it. And in that world of the word, God has already provided the thing we need, whether it be salvation, or healing, or the meeting of our needs, or peace of mind, or anything else we might need in life.

The Rest of the Lord

We could say that having faith is entering into God’s rest, which perfectly describes having faith.

In the account of creation in Genesis, God created all things before He made Adam. Everything man would ever need was already provided by the Lord. He had food to eat, water to drink, air to breath, work to occupy himself with, and everything else that he might need. And at that point creation was finished and God rested on the seventh day.

Later, in the book of Exodus, when God rescued Israel from slavery in Egypt, He led them through the wilderness to a place that He referred to as His rest, the promised land of Canaan. And when they refused to enter in and take the land because of their fear of the giants, it says that He swore in His wrath that they would not enter into His rest.

But we will recall that after forty years of wandering in the wilderness Joshua led Israel into the land of Canaan where they defeated many of its inhabitants and settled there, which implies that they entered into God’s rest, as He had called it.

But, there is further mention made of entering into God’s rest in Psalm 95, which was written many generations after Israel settled in Canaan.

Psalm 95:7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,
Psalm 95:8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

This indicates that Israel, although they entered into and settled in the land of Canaan, did not actually enter into God’s rest. And the Bible confirms this in the book of Hebrews.

Hebrews 4:8 For if Jesus [that is, Joshua] had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

If Joshua had given them God’s rest, then there would be no need to make mention of it again in the Psalms.

The promise of rest, the promise entering into God’s rest, still remains for the people of God. And it is the rest of trust and faith. God entered into rest on the seventh day of creation. And He has prepared a way for man to enter in with Him into His rest, which was always His intention.

Hebrews 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
Hebrews 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

The same example of unbelief. Notice here that failure to enter into God’s rest is an example of unbelief, or, that is, failure to enter into faith. So, the rest of the Lord is entered into by faith.

Labor, therefore. What is this labor the writer is referring to? It is the labor, the act, the work of ceasing from one’s own works, as God did from His. And that is what the faith life is about, the life that the writer of Hebrews is talking about. It is the full surrendering of ourselves to believing and trusting in the promises that God has given us in His word.

Confessing the Word

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession [or confession] of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Confession of the word of God is another principle of faith. There is power in confessing what the word says about us. Yes, to the natural mind this seems like foolishness. But the Bible says that the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, neither can he understand them, because they are discerned and understood spiritually.

Speaking the word over ourselves has great power where faith is concerned. Faith, once we have it from hearing it and believing it, is expressed and released with words. And these faith words or confessions operate on things in the unseen world, in the supernatural world, in the world that the natural man is not aware of.

Since this is the case, it may not feel like anything is happening when we confess the word. But if we have received faith into our heart then faith is indeed being released. It is having an effect on something we cannot see.

The Bible says that the power that works within us and toward us and through us is the same miraculous power that raised up Christ from the dead. How is that power released in our lives? By the hearing of faith and the confession of that faith with our mouths.

The Law of Faith

Romans 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

What is Paul saying here? He is saying that since God has justified all men through faith rather than works, then where is the boasting and glorying? It is excluded, it is shut out, it is turned out the door, it is prevented. By what law? What law shuts it out? The law of works and good deeds? No. The law of good deeds would give us somewhat to boast about if we were justified before God by our good works. We could certainly boast in that if we had done all the right things. No, but it is excluded by the law of faith. Since justification is by faith, then there is nothing for us to boast about.

The law of being freely justified in Christ prevents us from having anything to boast of in ourselves.

The point that should be noticed here is that there is a law of works and there is a law of faith. Faith is a law. A law works the same way every time. The law of gravity always produces the same result. The law of planting and harvesting, or sowing and reaping, always work the same as with any established law of nature.

The law of works says that if we do good deeds, we will be rewarded because of those deeds. And since it is a law, it can be trusted to be true. But it is not and it cannot ever be our good works that justify us before God. It is the law of faith that justifies us in His sight. If we believe that God has provided something for us by His grace as a free gift, then we can receive that thing through the faith we have in it, without having to earn it through works.

What is the law of faith? Well, part of the law of faith is that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. That’s how faith comes. That’s a divine principle. How do we do that, how do we implement that principle? Very simply, we take time to hear what the word of God says about a particular thing, even when we already may be somewhat aware of what it says. There is just something about opening our heart and allowing the word of God to wash over us.

Clean Through My Word

John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Jesus disciples were clean because of the words He had spoken to them. How could Jesus’ disciples be clean as the result of His words? Because words have the ability to impact the human spirit. Can we be cleansed and renewed by hearing His words? Absolutely. Can we receive faith by hearing the word of God? Yes, that’s how faith comes to us. Our born-again human spirit responds to the word of God.

There is a superabundance of online videos available that provide scripture reading with background music, hours of scripture verses on about any subject imaginable. These can be a source by which the believer can place himself in a position to allow the word of God to wash over him and thus open the door for faith to come in for any situation he may be facing. The mere act of allowing oneself to hear the scriptures invites faith to come, the way faith is supposed to come, by hearing the word of God.

So then, the thing necessary to build up our faith is to take the time to set ourselves apart for the hearing of the word. Let us immerse ourselves in His word and allow faith to come into our hearts. And out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth will speak.

Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

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