You already know where faith comes from. It comes from God. How do you know this? Ephesians 2:8 says: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.
Salvation is a gift from God. With it comes grace and faith. Left on our own, we are without hope. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God (Rom. 3:10-11). But God hasn’t left us to wallow in our ignorance. He has given us a choice. We can choose to accept His grace by faith.
But how does it get to us? Remember in Lesson 1 you learned that faith is a belief or conviction based upon something you’ve heard? (You were told to remember that!)
Almost everything you know has come to you from somebody else. You’ve heard it and believed it. For example, you know the sky is blue. You can walk outside and put this knowledge to the test. But how do you know that what you’re looking at is the sky? How do you know that particular color is blue? How do you even know blue is a color? Somebody, somewhere along the road, told you so. You heard it. You can “hear” things through conversation, reading, or through non-verbal communication (behavior, facial expressions, actions).
Can you think of anything you know that you haven’t heard from some source at some time in some way?
When you were a child and somebody explained the sky to you, you had to have faith that the person was telling you the truth. But once you know that person is truthful, you don’t need to have faith in the color of the sky. It’s there to look at anytime (unless you live in Los Angeles). You can put your knowledge to the test.
But it is different with intangible things. Take love, for example. You learned at a young age that your parents loved you because they told you so. You heard it. You believed it. But you would begin to wonder if you never heard them say it again. If you couldn’t put the knowledge to the test, you would soon doubt. The original message wouldn’t stand up for very long.
In order to have faith in your parents’ love, you need to hear about it over and over again in one way or another.
OK, so what about faith in God? First of all, how did you first hear about God and what He has done for you? Who told you, or where did you read it?
Does that knowledge ever waver? Is there ever a time when you feel like you need to put that knowledge to the test?
You’re probably way ahead of this study. You’ve probably already thought about Romans 10:17: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
The faith talked about in this verse is faith in God. It comes to us by hearing. And where do we hear about this faith? In the Word of God. If you need to put your knowledge of God to the test, you turn to the Word of God.
What is the Word of God?
Did you say “the Bible”? OK, that’s right, but it goes deeper than that. Much deeper. Read John 1:1-2: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. The Word is Jesus Christ — the revelation of God in the flesh. The Bible is the printed expression of what He has to say.
Here’s an example to help you understand: Suppose you came home from school and discovered that your parents had to make an unexpected trip out of town for the night. Your dad left a note on the table explaining what had happened. And then he listed things he wanted you to do — put out the garbage, wash the dishes, be in the house by 9:00 pm and don’t have anybody over. Now suppose that you did none of those things — the garbage didn’t get put out, the dishes weren’t washed, you stayed out until midnight and then had a bunch of friends over until 3:00 am. You couldn’t argue your way out of trouble by telling your dad that he hadn’t told you what to do because you only saw his written words. His note carried the same weight as if he’d been there talking to you.
It’s the same with God’s Word.
So to review, faith comes from hearing, hearing comes from the Word of God, the Word of God is Jesus Christ talking to mankind. Jesus Christ is God and His Words are God’s Words. We’re right back where we started from. Faith comes from God by hearing.