“And Hearing by The Word of God”
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17 (KJV)
Some might say, “I can understand why Romans 10:17 starts with, “faith cometh by hearing the Word of God” … but, why does it rather say, ‘faith cometh by hearing,” AND “hearing by the Word of God”?
It is sometimes taught by students of ‘Calvinist theology’ and denominations that an unsaved sinner is so spiritually “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1) that he cannot even hear the Word of God in the gospel, let alone respond to it in faith. It is argued by them that if you go to a funeral and tell the deceased to rise up out of the coffin, he cannot even hear the words of your command, let alone rise up to it. So, it is then falsely argued by them from this that the Spirit must first regenerate a lost sinner so that he can then hear the gospel and believe it.
While that sounds logical, the Lord Jesus gave a different explanation for how a sinner who is “dead in sins” is “quickened [made alive]” (Eph. 2:5) when He said,
“It is the spirit that quickeneth [makes one alive spiritually]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I [Jesus] speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life [His words bear the God-life to the hearer]” (John 6:63).
“Even [that is] when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us [made us alive] together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (Ephesians 2:5 (KJV)
The Lord Jesus here in John 6:63 (above) asserts that His words “are spirit.” That is, His words have His spiritual power to raise a dead sinner ‘alive’ from ‘spiritual death.’ The Lord also clearly taught that His words “are life [Grk. zoe, the God-Spirit of life].” Thus, since the sinner must be given life in order to be able to ‘hear’ the gospel, then …
… the Lord’s ‘Words’ contained in the Bible, being shared, are able to give a dead sinner all the ‘life’ he needs to ‘hear’ and then ‘respond’ to the gospel … in faith… to then receive the Lords resurrected “Spirit of life” to become their new life.
This is all in accord with the Apostle Paul’s “revelation of the mystery [Grk. musterion. God’s secret plan of grace, which Jesus from heaven revealed to Paul],” which Paul taught all men as “the [one] Apostle to the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13). And this is why Paul, by the Holy Spirit, worded Romans 10:17 in that manner.
- So, we can say “FAITH comes by hearing the Word of God.” to be sure, but even the HEARING itself… comes by the life-giving “Word.”
- I believe God’s “word of truth” being read or shared is able open the ‘spiritual ears’ of any and all individuals whom the Lord in His foreknowledge knew would respond to receive Christ as Savior.
We can be thankful that the Lord knows our soul’s greatest need and … He has the very “words of life”
“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of [the] eternal life.” John 6:68 (KJV)