FAITH COMETH BY HEARING
ROM 10:17: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Our text says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Does this mean that faith comes by hearing the gospel with the human ear? No! V:18-20 says, "But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth...All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people."
Faith comes when the Holy Spirit quickens the soul, EPH 2:1, and speaks the Word home with power to the heart! The natural man is spiritually dead and cannot discern the things of the Spirit.
1CO 2:14 says, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." ROM 8:7 tells us why, "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." True Christ-centered, imputed faith, "cometh by hearing." The Holy Spirit speaks the Word of God to a soul whom He has quickened.
When the Holy Spirit works regeneration in our soul, His first work is to reprove us of sin, JOH 16:8-11. He shows us how many sins we have charged to our account. He brings us to see the wretchedness of our heart: then we see the righteous demands of God under the law and realize that we are not able to satisfy that law.
Then He comes with that blessed revelation of what Christ has done to satisfy that law. When the Holy Spirit comes with those blessed revelations of the faith of Christ, He delivers us from the power of the prince of this world.
JOH 16:8-11 says, "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment...Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." When the Spirit passes judgment upon the prince of this world in our hearts, the power of sin is broken. Then the Spirit takes those precious things of Christ, and reveals them in our soul. Jesus said in JOH 16:14, "He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
Faith comes by hearing. It is when the Spirit speaks the Word of God in our souls, and seals it with that Spirit of Christ, that faith becomes ours. Now we are not robbers and thieves in the house of God because the faith of Jesus Christ is imputed unto us.
Until the Holy Spirit has wrought a genuine conviction of sin in the soul, there will be no true sorrow over sin or a turning from sin. There will not be any true hunger or thirst after righteousness. Until we are made to understand our leprosy of sin, we will never come to the "fountain opened... for sin and for uncleanness," ZEC 13:1.
Jesus said, "They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick...I am not come to call the [self-righteous], but sinners to repentance," MAT 9:12-13.
Oh, beloved, what a flimsy salvation we have if it is founded upon our faith of human reasoning. A person cannot use some power of the mind through some strong emotion, and claim to be justified. Abraham's and Peter's faith fell flat on its face when they mistook human reasoning for faith. If our faith is not the imputed faith of Jesus Christ, it will also fail.
EPH 2:8 and GAL 2:16 bring out so beautifully that we are not justified by anything from within ourselves, "But by the faith of Jesus Christ," which is "...the gift of God." This is the faith spoken of in EPH 1:11-16 wherewith, "...ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest," or assurance of our salvation. Amen.
This is the word of truth and love,