Summary: The importance of God’s Word is reiterated throughout its pages and no more powerfully than in Romans 10:7 where it states, "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"
FAITH COMES BY HEARING
INTRODUCTION: It is amazing how little people know about the Word of God, especially here in America where virtually everyone has access to the Bible. Back when Jay Leno was hosted the Tonight Show, he frequently did "man-on-the street" interviews. One night he collared some young people to ask them questions about the Bible. "Can you name one of the Ten Commandments?" he asked two college-age women. One replied, "Freedom of speech?" Mr. Leno said to the other, "Complete this sentence: Let he who is without sin..." Her response was, "have a good time?" Mr. Leno then turned to a young man and asked, "Who, according to the Bible, was eaten by a whale?" The confident answer was, "Pinocchio." While such misunderstandings may seem to be humorous, they are in fact tragic. The Bible is far more than just a book. It is the Word of God and provides us with all things that pertain to life and godliness. The importance of God’s Word is reiterated throughout its pages and no more powerfully than in Romans 10:17 where it states, "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" As such we need to know it, stow, sow it, and show it.
I. The Word of God must be heard. (Know it)
A. Romans 10:14 declares, "… how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?"
B. Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is no vision (open revelation), the people perish; but he who keeps the law, he is blessed."
C. Romans 10:17 declares that faith is the result of hearing God speak through the Word of God.
D. The Word of God produces faith in the matter of Salvation
1. 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."
2. Lord, as a pastor sometimes I feel like I’m in sales and promotion. Help me remember that the idea, at the heart of it all, is not to "get" the word out, but to "let" the Word out. – Dick Rasanen, Leadership, Vol. 8, no. 3
3. Philippians 2:16 "Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain."
E. The Word of God produces faith in the matter of growth
1. "I prayed for Faith, and thought that someday Faith would come down and strike me like lightening. But Faith did not seem to come. One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, ‘Now Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.’ I had closed my Bible, and prayed for Faith. I now opened my Bible, and began to study, and Faith has been growing ever since." – Dwight L. Moody, Leadership, Vol. 10, no. 4.
2. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
3. Every Christian should own a read Bible.
4. A man who loves his wife will love her letters and her photographs because they speak to him of her. So if we love the Lord Jesus, we shall love the Bible because it speaks to us of him. John R. W. Stott
5. 2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
6. I am sorry for men who do not read the Bible every day. I wonder why they deprive themselves of the strength and the pleasure Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)
7. Acts 17:11 "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
F. Other books were given for our information; the Bible was given for our transformation.
G. When you hear or read God’s Word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, "It is talking to me, and about me." – Kierkegaard
II. The Word of God must be believed and received (Stow it)
A. Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
B. A person can read the Bible every day of his or her life and still go through life unaffected by its pages and unchanged by its power unless he or she is willing to believe it and receive it.