Summary: Faith does come by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The more we read the Bible the more we can expect our faith to grow.
March 28, 2004
Text: Romans 10:17
Subject: Hearing the Word
Title: A Change of Attitude
Have you ever considered how people learn? There have been many studies done on that subject. People learn in different ways. It doesn’t mean that one will learn from listening and another from reading, but that people assimilate information in different ways. That is one of the problems that teachers have; they must attempt to teach in a way that students with different learning techniques can be taught appropriately. One thing that experts do agree on:
We retain 20% of what we read.
We retain 20% of what we hear
We retain 30% of what we see
We retain 50% of what we see and hear.
Scientists have spent many hours and dollars on this topic. And I find it interesting that there is such a variance in the ability to learn. Perhaps that is why, as we read the Bible, we retain mostly what we have heard repeatedly i.e. “you are saved by grace and not by works.” “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” How did you come to memorize those passages? For some it was constant repetition in Sunday school. For others it has been from continually hearing those passages in church or while reading them. Repetition is one of the best ways for us to learn.
Now let’s skip to another subject. Believing! We have read all the aforementioned passages repeatedly. We can quote them frontward and backwards. We read, we study, we talk, and we do Bible studies. But at what point does knowledge turn to faith? We learn by retaining information… but Faith Comes By Hearing the Word of God.
Romans 10:17, “So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” NIV, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”
I. THE PURPOSE OF THE WORD
A. To Teach You God’s Will For Your Life. . 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness… that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The Bible has been given to you as God’s revelation of Himself to man for equipping you for ministry (every good work). Last Sunday night I spoke about the ministry gifts that God has given the church. “Some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.” The purpose is to equip the saints for works of ministry. How are these people who are given to you supposed to get you to that point? By teaching you the word of God. “FAITH COMES BY HEARING…”
B. To Bring You Back to God’s Will for Your Life. Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” What does it mean to hide God’s word in your heart? It requires study. Repetition. Memorization. Those are all good things, but if that were enough wouldn’t it say, “I have hidden your word in my head”? There is nothing wrong with memorization; in fact, I believe we are required to do that, so the Holy Spirit can bring to our remembrance the Word of God. But we are not told to hide it in our heads. But in our hearts. How do we transfer what we have in our heads to our hearts? By faith! FAITH COMES BY HEARING.
C. To Confirm God’s Will For Your Life. Do you know what God’s will for your life is? I’m not talk about generalities but specifics. Generally speaking we know the word says we are to be witnesses, to love one another, to care for one another. But what is God’s will for you specifically? How can you know God’s will for your life? There are many ways to discern God’s will for you and every one of them deals with what God has to say. 1) Be familiar with the word of God. If you feel led in a direction that does not line up with God’s word back off, you are going the wrong direction. A case in point – A man at a revival meeting walked up to Kenneth Hagin one time and said, “Brother Hagin, I know that it is God’s will for me to marry this certain young woman. Now how do I go about getting her divorced from her husband?” Friends that’s not God’s will. 2) We can know His will through prayer. It is when we sit and listen and experience the peace of God as it rules in your hearts (Colossians 3:15) that we can know we are in His will. Again, line it up with God’s word. 3) Through godly counselors. Proverbs 19:20, “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days.” 4) Circumstances, the inner voice of the Spirit speaking to us, dreams. All must line up with the word. FAITH COMES BY HEARING!