Bible Study Key No.4 - Faith Comes By Hearing
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17
Above all other keys this is the easiest to implement. I have listened to literally hundreds of hours of quality teaching, the audio Bible and other faith related audio, and can testify with 100% certainty that it has played a major part in my spiritual growth.
It is interesting to note that faith does not come by the Word of God, rather ‘hearing’ does. Faith comes when we hear the Living Word, the Lord Jesus, speak by the Holy Spirit to our spirit. Our time in the Word tunes our ear to hear His voice, excluding the multitude of other voices scrabbling for our attention. Through the written ‘logos’ (word) we sensitise our hearts to hear the Living ‘Logos’ (Word), Jesus Christ. John chapter 1 makes it clear Who the Living Word is. (John 1:1-3)
Points To Ponder
Take a few minutes to consider different ways that we can open opportunities to ‘hear’ God’s Word.
“The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.” (Psalms 119:130 NKJV)
Write down on a piece of paper or jot into your iPad or whatever device you take notes on 3 or more ways in which you can give entrance to the Word (ie: “hear” the Word)
Suggestions: Read the scriptures aloud, listen to the scriptures or preaching/teaching on CD, take opportunities to discuss the scriptures with friends, listen to the scriptures on CD as you sleep, listen to CD’s as you travel in the car, carry a pocket Bible with you and grab opportune moments to read portions…
Related to this key is the whole process of meditation on the Word.
The Hebrew word for meditate means “to turn-over in the mind, to mutter, to imagine, pondering the meaning of.”
It includes the following ideas: “to ponder, i.e. (by implication) converse (with oneself, and hence, aloud) or (transitively) utter:—commune, complain, meditate, muse, pray, speak, talk (with).” [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance]
One way that I have made meditation in scripture a part of my daily life is to stick a short scripture to my computer monitor at work. I then read it quietly over and again throughout the day, attempting to memorise it and draw from it it’s fullest meaning. This practice allows God to ‘paint’ a picture of the truth you are pondering on the canvas of your imagination. You see yourself living it! Look through the gospels and see how many times Jesus begins His teaching with the word, “Behold”. What does “behold” mean? It means “Look at this!”, “See this with the eye of faith!”, “Use your imagination and picture what I am saying!”
“Meditation chews our spiritual food and gets the sweetness and nutritive virtue of the Word into our hearts and lives. Meditation has a digestive power, and turns truth into spiritual nourishment.”
It’s like a cow bringing the same food back up and chewing it again and again until all the juice is squeezed out of it.
Larry Kreider, in his brilliant series Biblical Foundations (‘The New Way of Living’ House to House Publications ISBN 1-886973-01-6) says this concerning Biblical meditation:
“There is a big difference between the meditation practiced by Hindu gurus, and meditating on the Word of God. Various cults instruct their followers to empty their minds and meditate. This opens them up to demon spirits. The Scriptures encourage us to fill our minds with (meditate on) the Word of God! As we do so, the Holy Spirit illuminates the Word of God in our minds and we are changed. The Word become a vital part of our lives.”
A New Way of Living - Biblical Foundations