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Faith Tied to The Word of God

Romans 10:17 (ESV) … “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

So faith comes from hearing the message (v. 17). As the NEB puts it, “Faith is awakened by the message.” Although it is true that faith is our response to the gospel, it is also true that the message itself awakens and makes faith possible.

God is at work even in our response to his gracious offer of forgiveness. The message is heard “through the word of Christ,” that is, it is Christ himself who speaks when the gospel is proclaimed. All effective preaching is accomplished by God himself. The messenger is at best merely the instrument used by the Holy Spirit as a necessary part of the process. It is God’s own voice that confronts the sinner and offers reconciliation. This existential reality is what constitutes the gospel, “the power of God for … salvation” (Rom 1:16). [1]

Preachers are to preach the Word in order to nurture the faith of their listeners. Few preachers preach to nurture faith. Many preach to nurture their own fame or fortune but not faith. So they do not preach the Word of God well but use the Word in clever ways to simply entertain their audiences. In order for faith to occur in a person he must listen to the preacher and the preacher must preach the Word. [2]

[1] Mounce, R. H. (1995). Romans (Vol. 27, p. 212). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers. [2] Butler, J. G. (2009). Analytical Bible Expositor: Romans (pp. 112–113). Clinton, IA: LBC Publications.


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