17 August 2015

Faith Comes by Hearing

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ~Romans 10:17, NKJV
This is a verse that I've heard quoted many, many times. I've also heard it explained, but I wanted to know, thoroughly, for myself what it means. Lucky you, you get to read my first thorough word study. :o) The following definitions are from the Blue Letter Bible mobile app. (LOVE that one. It runs quickly on my old phone.)

Faith = Greek pistis: conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the New Testament, of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship with God and divine things.

Hearing = Greek akoe: the sense of hearing; the organ of hearing (ears); the thing heard (instruction--namely oral preaching of the gospel)

Word = Greek rhema: that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word

So, my understanding of the verse has now become this:
Conviction of the truth of our relationship to God comes by hearing the inspired teaching of what God has spoken to mankind.
Preaching is teaching, directed by the Holy Spirit, and calibrated by the Holy Spirit to teach the things that those listening need most to hear in that moment. This ties directly into 2 Nephi 33:1.
And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men. ~2 Nephi 33:1
 Preaching is so vital. And so is being prepared to hear. When the speaker and the hearer are both filled with the Holy Spirit, miracles happen. Minds are renewed (Romans 12:2). Hearts are brought to repentance. Lives are changed. Souls are saved.

Father God, renew my mind and teach me through everything that happens in my life. Let me see Your hand in all things, let me see You moving in everything around me. Teach me how to manifest Your mercy and greatness, your love and grace, to everyone around me. Give me the words, give me the resources, give me whatever You know I need to do the work You have for me to do in my life, in my family, in the body of Christ, and in the earth, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!