“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” — Romans 10:17
It’s not enough to say we must grow into the fruits of the Spirit if we wish to fulfill God’s plan for us. God is not capricious nor neglectful, but He has taught us in His word how we are to acquire these fruits and become all that He desires of us. The Bible devotes many words and Scriptures to the subject of faith, for it is of vital importance.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” — Hebrews 11:6
“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” — Matthew 19:26
Faith does not grow in a vacuum, simply because we will it to be so. The Bible tells us that “faith cometh by hearing,” and further, what this hearing is and how we are to acquire it.
Our hearing has nothing to do with our physical ears, the powers of our intellect, or our perceived ability to understand. Hearing in the Bible is mentioned over and over in a phrase that has become familiar and almost cliché to our ears.
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” — Matthew 11:15
When Jesus used this phrase throughout the New Testament, He was referencing a theme throughout the Old Testament that the Father applied often to Israel.
“And he [the LORD] said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” — Isaiah 6:9-10
“The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them.” — Proverbs 20:12
The ability to hear and to understand does not come from our own power, but comes from the Lord. Hearing is the ability to perceive the word of the Lord and understand its meaning, more to listen to that meaning and put it into action.
“What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.” — Romans 11:7-8
Israel under the Old Covenant did not receive the full promises of God and the full fruit of salvation, but rather, the Bible says, “the election hath obtained it.” This election is us, if we give diligence to obey the commandments Christ gave us.
“Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” — Romans 11:5
“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:” — 2 Peter 1:10
We are supposed to have ears to hear, for Christ sent us the Holy Spirit to “guide [us] into all truth.” (John 16:13) But that does not mean that hearing is simply a gift, any more than faith is a mere gift. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit, something that grows in us naturally through our walk with the Holy Spirit in obedience to the Spirit’s direction. Hearing is a promise. If we do our part, God will do His.
As the Scripture said, “…hearing [cometh] by the word of God.”
“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” — Luke 4:4
“But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” — Luke 11:28
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” — Joshua 1:8
“But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” — Psalm 1:2
It is our job to put God’s Word into our minds, to read His Bible daily and to further think upon it on every possible occasion. It is not our job to quicken our understanding and bring those words to life. It is our job to read them, study them, meditate upon them, then the Holy Spirit will bring those words to our remembrance and our understanding, and we will be granted ears to hear.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” — John 14:26
As we read, God will give us understanding. We have our own personal Teacher, whom Jesus has promised to us and promised that will not only open up the Scriptures for us but will help us to remember them as we go about our daily lives.
“It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” — John 6:45
The more we understand what the Word of God says and what the words of our Lord Jesus mean, the more we will grow in faith, for we will see that the words are true, playing out in our lives and in the world around us. As we understand God’s law, then everything becomes clearer to us until we can see the way God sees.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” — Isaiah 55:8-9
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” — I Corinthians 13:12
— Megan Payne