“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
Our exhortation this morning is from our Fighter Verse this week. Consider with me the links that Paul is stringing together here. Faith is the end result of an activity that we do that is created by something God does. Let’s think about it together by beginning with where Paul ended.
The word of Christ. We know from verses 15 and 16 that the Word of Christ is the gospel. The full wrath of God was poured out on Jesus Christ so that all those who would repent and put their trust in him will be restored to fellowship with God. Those who reject this will suffer everlasting punishment in a real, horrible, physical place called hell.
Now, for those who hear this gospel with spiritual ears, faith is granted. The gospel is proclaimed by people, it is heard by others, and it is received in faith by some. Faith comes through hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
And what is faith? It is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen. As we move into confession of sins this morning ponder where your assurance is of that which God promises. Is your heart deeply convicted that Christ will come to judge all of us? Is your heart convicted by that which is unseen? If you are a believer this morning, the same faith that you were saved through is the same faith that God promises to give us all his promises by. Faith doesn’t appear for a moment in salvation and then fly away. It is active in receiving the promises of God in the Bible.
By faith we have atonement of sins (Proverbs 16:6). By faith our hearts are cleansed (Acts 15:9). By faith we are justified and have peace with God(Romans 3:28, 5:1). By faith we are seen as holy in the sight of God (Acts 26:18). By faith we receive more faith (Romans 1:17). By faith we walk, not by sight (II Corinthians 5:7). By faith we are to live every day of our life (Galatians 2:20). By faith we understand that this world was spoken into existence by God (Hebrews 11:3). You can read Hebrews 11 and see all the great things that men and women of God did that were through faith.
Without faith we were held captive under the law and imprisoned (Galatians 3:23). Have you been set free by grace, through faith in hearing the good news of Jesus Christ? Is your assurance in the promises of the words of Christ? Is your heart stirred, moved and convicted that what the Bible promises to happen will happen? If not, than I urge you to take inventory of your life and consider whether you are a believer.
For those who are believers, is your faith rising because you are hearing the word of Christ in your devotional reading of the Bible? Are casting off sin and running with endurance the race that has been set before you, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Let us go before God this morning, confess our sins, and ask him to cause our faith to increase by the work of his Holy Spirit and the hearing of his Word preached this morning. Let us than rejoice in the assurance that he will not cast off a broken and repentant heart! His grace is all sufficient.