I would like to talk about what hearing really means in the Bible. The Word declares that faith comes from hearing.
Romans 10:17. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
The Word is telling us we have to hear before we believe. We often ask God for faith, but that is not what the Bible says. It comes from hearing and hearing the Word of God. Often times we have to hear something over and over before we get the revelation of it. That’s what the Word is saying when it says faith comes by hearing and hearing. No where in the Bible does it say that faith comes by praying, or faith comes by fasting. It comes only by hearing and hearing the Word of God. Praying and fasting are both certainly scriptural, and I'm not minimizing their importance, but they do not create faith. If you can hear the Word of God, you have the opportunity to believe. I'm not talking about the natural kind of faith that comes from the senses, I'm talking about the kind of faith that comes from our heart, or our spirit. This is the first step in receiving God's promises. We see example after example of this in God's Word. The process of the new birth comes this way as well.
Romans 10:13-14. For "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
The question being asked is; how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? The answer to that question is they can't. You did not get born again without hearing the Gospel message did you? God gives us the ability to believe Him when we hear His Word. The promise comes when we act on what we have heard and believed. You see, we all have the right to choice. We all have the right to act on what we have heard and believed. God will respect our right to go to hell if we want. The question I would like to ask is, why would anybody want to?
Deuteronomy 30:19. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
It is our choice to choose life or death. God even tells us the right choice, He tells us to choose life. He can lead us to the truth but he can't make us partake of it! He can only prompt us by the Word and His Holy Spirit. We have to step into the light, we have to be obedient to what we have heard. We have to act on the faith that is produced when we hear.
The Word tells us Jesus went about teaching and healing. Jesus was producing faith in them by teaching them the Word. Faith has to come before you can receive healing, just like faith has to come before you receive Jesus as your Savior. You have to hear what the Word has to say before you receive either one of them. Faith for healing comes the same way. If you don't believe healing is part of the redemptive work of Christ, don’t worry you're not going to receive divine healing. God is not going to force it, you have to choose it. I am not saying this to be offensive, I just want you to see the importance of this. Jesus taught every where He went, and He healed every where He went, right? Let's look and see what the Word has to say.
Mark 6:1-6. Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, "Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! "Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?'' And they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.'' Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.
Jesus taught as He always did, yet He could not do any miracles or mighty works there.
The Bible does not say He would not, it says He could not do mighty works there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. One translation says; He laid His hands on a few who were out of health and cured them.
Some have said Jesus was the Son of God He could anything He wanted. It’s true, Jesus was, and is the Son of God, yet according to the Word we just read, He couldn’t over ride their unbelief. They did not receive Him or the message He gave. The Word goes on to say that He marveled because of their unbelief. They would not receive His teaching; another way of saying this is, they would not hear the words that He spoke. That is the same as saying they would not receive Him. If we are rejecting His words we are rejecting Him. There is great importance put on God's words, we should take heed to hear them. If we will not hear His words, we are not going to receive from Him. There is no way to get around it. Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God.
Proverbs 2:1-5. My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.
We have a part to play in this, God is giving us instructions on how to receive his promises and be successful. Many people believe that blessings will just fall on us as God sees fit. Yet, He is telling us we must receive, we have our part to play in receiving. God never forces His will upon anybody. If that were the case we would all just get saved and go to heaven, yet we know this is not what the Bible teaches, we all have to receive salvation. We know that salvation is God's will, for the Word says that He is not willing that any should perish, but all should come to the knowledge of repentance. We know even though this is God's will, not all are going to get saved. If we won't receive the message, we will not get receive the new birth. God does not over ride our free will. We are free moral agents. We have to receive all the blessings of God in this same way. I believe hearing, is an integral part of receiving any of God's promises.
I would like to look at a few scriptures in the Gospels and see this principal at work. Everywhere Jesus went, it seems, there were a few who stood out, these were people who did something above and beyond what others were doing, these people were written into the Gospel message as an example to us. There were times Jesus would tell people, your faith hath made you whole! Lets look at a few of these. (There are many more, I would like to encourage you to do a study on this yourself.)
Mt:9:29: Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith, be it unto you.
Mt:15:28: Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Mk:10:52: And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
Lk:17:19: And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
Lk:18:42: And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.
Healing all that came to him in faith. As the scriptures we just read say. Jesus came along and demonstrated the reality of the Word of God. For the first time, these people saw the reality of their Covenant, and responded in faith! And received the blessing for it. You had to hear the salvation message preached before you could get saved didn’t you? Faith came when you heard. It works the same way for all of God's promises. You have to hear the Word first, and then receive it.
Mk:5:25-34. And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, (Daughter), thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
Jesus called her daughter because, she was a daughter of Abraham, and she had a right to the blessings that God had Promised Abraham through the Covenant He made with him. Let's break these verses down and see what this woman did that was different, and got her written into the Gospel message for all time. The first thing the Word of God says about this woman is that she heard of Jesus. Hearing created faith. Faith comes by hearing. She spoke faith. She spoke what she believed. She said if I may touch the hem of his garment, I shall be healed of the plague. She acted on her faith. She made her way through the crowd and touched His garment. She received. She felt in her body that she was healed of the plague. She proclaimed it. She fell down before Him and told Him all. Then Jesus said an amazing thing, He said (Daughter), thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. He said her faith made her whole. He did not say His own faith made her whole, Jesus who can not lie said her faith did it. As a matter of fact He didn’t even know what had happened, He had to look around to see who had done this. And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. There aren’t any other recorded miracles in this portion of Scripture only hers. She acted above and beyond the others to receive her healing. We see that first of all she heard, then she spoke, she acted, she received, and she proclaimed, and Jesus said her faith made her whole. There is a lesson in this for us all, if we will only receive it. The new birth starts this way as well. If you haven't received the new birth and want to know you are a child of God then I would like to invite you to meet Him right now, all you have to do to come into a personal relationship with Him is pray this prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, “…and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” (Jn.6:37), So I know You won’t cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, “…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.” (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, “… with the heart one believes to righteousness…” and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God! Glory to God! Amen.
The Olive Branch