Faith Comes by Hearing
Faith is belief, particularly, belief that is strong enough to govern conduct. The Bible says it comes by hearing God’s word. It is not a blind leap or wishful thinking. It is not something you just have or something that God implants directly into your heart. It is a conclusion based on testimony, the response of trusting what God says. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). That being the case, several implications necessarily follow.
First, everything we believe needs a Biblical foundation. We can no more know God’s thoughts apart from Him communicating them than we can know each other’s thoughts (1 Corinthians 2:11). When someone says, apart from solid Biblical evidence, “I believe such and such,” he is really saying, “I imagine such and such.”
Remember, the Bible is objective revelation directed by the Holy Spirit, not the subjective thoughts of the Bible writers (2 Peter 1:20-21). The validity of faith is that its foundation is what God says, not human thinking.
Can you not also see the fallacy in reasoning that God surely approves something because “the Bible doesn’t say not to”? How can there be any faith about something that is based on no communication at all?
Second, we need to include all the Bible says in order to have accurate faith. The Psalmist said, “The sum of Your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). We may reach erroneous conclusions if our faith is based on only part of what God says on a subject. For example, if one concludes that all salvation requires is believing in Jesus, basing his faith solely on John 3:16, he is ignoring other requirements stated elsewhere, such as repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10), confession (Romans 10:9-10), and baptism (1 Peter 3:21).
Faith requires that we believe all God’s testimony. We cannot just dismiss Bible verses which contradict what we believe.
Third, we must reject the popular notion of contradictory yet equally valid faiths. The Bible says there is one faith (Ephesians 4:5), just as there is one Lord and one God. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). Truth is not self-contradictory. God has spoken, and He has given only one Bible. There can be no such thing as “your truth” and “my truth.” If we differ, one of us wrong—perhaps both.
The Pharisees believed in resurrection, the Sadducees did not. Jesus did not dismiss this as “just your interpretation.” He told the Sadducees, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures . . .” (Matthew 22:29).
If faith comes by hearing, more faith comes by more hearing. Let’s spend more time in the word!