So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
For over thirty years, I heard this verse emphasized more than almost any other scripture in the bible. Sermon after sermon I heard about why I needed faith. How I could get faith. How I could build my faith. How I could exercise my faith.
The process is simple. I must believe in my heart and confess with my mouth. Beloved preachers taught me, “Faith is like a seed. Plant it and take care of it. Over time it will grow and produce a harvest.” To work this principle, first I must find a verse or a promise in the bible that concerns my need. It will be my seed. Then I must get sin out of my life so that my heart is good ground in which to plant the seed. Then I must begin speaking the verse out of my mouth repeatedly in order to plant the seed in my heart. The more I speak it, the more I will hear it. The more I hear it, the more I will believe it. The more seed I plant, the larger my harvest will be. Then I must not worry because worry will choke the seed like a weed. I must never speak anything contrary to my faith because that will cancel out my seed. Then I must water my seed by continually speaking my faith over it. Then one day, when my faith has grown large enough, I will be able to speak the word with enough faith to get my miracle.
Do not misunderstand me. For the most part, these are real bible principles that have greatly enriched my life. I have seen countless miracles because beloved preachers taught them to me and I worked them. But everything always depended upon me and my faith. If I did not work them, they did not work. The focus was always on me.
Yet I struggled to understand why I could not find any stories in the New Testament where someone got a miracle by building their faith like this. Repeatedly people just came to Jesus and received their healing. I knew they could not have heard any sermons on how to build their faith. I knew they had not spent the time needed to build their faith. Yet obviously, they had faith to receive. How did they get it?
Then one day I read Romans 10:17 from a transliteration of the original Greek language text.
ara hē pistis ex akoēs hē de akoē dia rhēmatos Christou (Romans 10:17 GNT)
So faith is by hearing, moreover hearing by the word of Christ (Literal English)
(I do not know Greek. Nevertheless, I have learned some very important things from studying the Greek New Testament.)
Did you notice that the last word of this scripture is Christ, not God? Some of our most common Bible translations say, “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. But it is clearly the Greek word Christou not Theos
So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.
What difference does that make?
Jesus knew that Cleopas and his friend did not understand what had happened and were slow to believe all the prophets had prophesied. So how did Jesus open their eyes to understand and comprehend the scriptures? He revealed Himself in the scriptures.
Faith does not come when you hear about the life and times of Joseph. Faith comes when you hear a preacher reveal how Joseph is a type of Jesus, condemned by His brothers, yet He forgives them and saves them.
Faith does not come when you hear about Moses and the ten commandments. Faith comes when you hear a preacher reveal that the law was given through Moses a servant, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Faith does not come when you hear about David and Bathsheba. Faith comes when you hear a preacher reveal how David prophesied about the new covenant of grace saying, “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven and whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”
Faith does not come when you hear about the Kings to whom Isaiah prophesied. Faith comes when you hear a preacher reveal how Isaiah 53 perfectly describes the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross hundreds of years before it happened.
These are just examples. But the main point is, faith comes when you hear about the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ towards you.
That is why the people could receive from Him. When they heard Jesus speak, they believed His grace towards them. You cannot convince me that Jesus went about doing good and healing all those who understood how faith works and had gotten sin out of their lives. No! He went about doing good and healing all those who were oppressed by the devil. Everyone who desired to receive received from Him! That is love. That is compassion. That is mercy. That is grace!
Faith comes when you hear about how much Jesus loves you and wants to take care of you. The more you look at yourself, the more you see imperfections that disqualify you from receiving. The more you look at Jesus, the more you realize that He has already qualified you to receive from Him.
That is why we are to tell people about the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. When you see His grace, you know you are not disqualified. You do not have to be somebody special. You can be real and come just as you are. You cannot earn His love and you cannot lose it.
Copyright (c) 2016 Rob Gore Ministries