Q. In June 6, 2009’s post, I was reading the verse about faith comes by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17). I have been intensely thinking on this verse for some time now, because something about it has caught my attention. I need to know what the missing element is. I looked it up in several translations but what I am seeing isn’t explaining the missing piece.
I am reading it and understanding it as follows: Faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the Word. As I understand this scripture, the Word is the starting point to faith. It does not say that faith comes by hearing the Word. It says that faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word. If faith comes by hearing the Word, directly, then why not just say “Faith comes by hearing the Word preached”?
It seems to be saying that the ability to hear comes from the Word. And once that ability to hear is in place, then our faith is built. Could it be that our faith cannot grow until we first acquire the ability to hear the voice of our God, who helps us understand the scripture, when we read it and truly get to know Him, via His very own Word?
I tend to think this way because when I’ve read the Word out of obligation I didn’t grown at all. When I asked God to help me find Him, for real, I was immediately driven into such a thirst for His Word that I couldn’t leave it alone – for over six months! That’s when I grew. That’s when I learned to hear the voice of my Lord. And my faith has increased tremendously.
A. Romans 10:17 is part of a passage on salvation that begins in verse 13. Essentially it says that the process begins with preachers being sent to preach the Word. People who hear the word being preached believe, and believing, they call upon the name of the Lord and are saved. So when Paul said that faith comes through hearing and hearing comes by the Word, he meant the preaching of the word by the preacher who is sent. Remember the faith to be saved is not something acquired by us. It’s a gift from God. (Ephes. 2:8). We can’t accept the gift if we don’t hear the Word.
With God, the motive has to be right to make the action right. That’s why so many of our “good” works will be destroyed in the fire (1 Cor. 3:12-15) Reading out of obligation is using the wrong motive and your action got you nowhere. When your motive changed to desire your action was blessed. The Lord promised, “You will find Me when you seek Me with all of your heart.” (Jere. 29:13)