The New Birth

Faith Cometh by Hearing,
and Hearing by the Word of God

Living Abundantly 
According to God's Word Series

Read Time: 12 Minutes

When Adam sinned he lost the spirit that God had created within him, the Devil was given dominion over the earth and man no longer communicated with God on a spiritual level.  Ephesians, a church epistle written to the Body of Believers, talks about man's relationship with God after the fall and before Christ.

Ephesians 2
:11 Wherefore remember, 
        that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, 
            who are called Uncircumcision 
                by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
:12   That at that time ye were without Christ, 
            being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, 
            and strangers from the covenants of promise, 
                having no hope, 
                and without God in the world:

Before Christ came to make available salvation and redemption man was without God and without hope.

:1 . . . who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Dead in trespasses and sins. We were dead spiritually, without spirit, born into trespasses and sins. How then can man, who is without a spiritual connection, make that connection? 

I Corinthians 2
:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: 
        for they are foolishness unto him: 
    neither can he know them
        because they are spiritually discerned.

The natural man of body and soul can only know things by his five senses; how is he ever going to know spiritual things? How does he obtain the ability to know spiritual matters? 

Faith will give him that ability, how is he to get faith?

Romans 10
17: So then faith cometh by hearing, 
    and hearing by the word of God.

". . .and hearing by the word of God." To obtain faith one must hear the Word of God so by the Word man is going learn how to obtain faith.

What is faith? The Word of God uses the Greek word pistis for faith. Faith is given to man when he believes Romans 10:9 and 10 (emphasis on the word believe is mine).

Romans 10
:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, 
    and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, 
        thou shalt be saved.
:10   For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; 
        and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
:11   For the scripture saith, 
            Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. [disappointed in ones expectations]
:12   For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: 
        for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
:13   For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed
    and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? 
    and how shall they hear without a preacher?
:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? 
    as it is written, 
        How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, 
        and bring glad tidings of good things!
:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. 
        For Esaias saith, 
            Lord, who hath believed our report?
:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, 
    and hearing by the word of God.

The word believe is the verb form of faith, pisteou, to believe, it is an action. These two words,  faith and believing, are not synonymous. When you examine each instance in the Word of God of believing and faith you will find that faith in full measure is what one receives when we believe and it is by grace. Believing is a verb, an action which man does with his mind. Everyone can believe but not everyone has faith. Faith comes my hearing and believing the Word of God.

Galatians 3
:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, 
    that the promise by faith [pistis] of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. [pisteou]
:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, 
        shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, 
        that we might be justified by faith.
:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
:26 For ye are all the children of God by [through] faith in Christ Jesus.

Before faith there was the law. Jesus Christ lived, believed, obeyed, died, was raised from the dead, and ascended into heaven so that we may have faith. Before Christ there was no faith. The unsaved man, the man of body and soul, the natural man, does not have faith. However, he can believe which gives him the ability to believe the Word of God which you and I speak so that he may receive faith.

This brings up a question; was there faith in the Old Testament? When we do a word study on "faith" we find that it appears twice, Habakkuk 2:4 and Deuteronomy 32:20 but,  by looking at the context of both verses it means "faithfulness, steadfastness." 

One may be under the impression that Old Testament Believers had faith because Hebrews 11 says, "By faith Abel . . . By faith Enoch . . . By faith Noah . . ." But these people believed God. By going back and reading the records of these people we see that they believed what God said and reaped the benefits. They were never given faith, it was not available until Pentecost when all was fulfilled. Hebrews 11 should be more accurately translated "By believing Abel . . . By believing Enoch . . . By believing Noah . . ."

Galatians 3
:6 Even as Abraham believed God, 
    and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

They believed God, they had a mind and they could believe. The uses of faith in Hebrews 11 regarding the Old Testament Believers mean believing.

We were also given faith in full measure.  You cannot have more faith than your neighbor. 

Romans 12
:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, 
    to every man that is among you, 
        not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; 
        but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Ephesians 2
:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; 
        and that not of yourselves: 
    it is
the gift of God:
:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, 
        which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

There were no works that you had to do to be saved or get this full measure of faith, Jesus Christ obeyed, sacrificed his life, God raised him from dead, and he ascended so that you and I could be saved, made whole, body, soul and spirit, and have the faith of Jesus Christ. We have been given the full measure of faith, you cannot get any more or less. So, to be biblically correct, you cannot have more faith. You can put the Word in your mind so that you believe it more readily but you cannot have more faith.

With this faith comes added benefits.

Galatians 2
:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, 
    but by the faith of Jesus Christ, 
    even we have believed in Jesus Christ, 
        that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, 
        and not by the works of the law: 
            for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

We are justified. We are also made righteous (Romans 10:10), sanctified, redeemed (Corinthians 1:30) and have the ministry of reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:17 &18) because we believed Romans 10:9 and 10. Is elaborated on in "My Rights as a Son of God."

When the natural man of body and soul hears and believes the Word and becomes saved he then becomes part of a family, the family of God,  the household of faith. God is the father and we are His sons and daughters.

Galatians 6
:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men
        especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Take heed, this is the Word of God, we are to be especially good unto the household of faith. Yes, preferential treatment to the family of God. God works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure; when we incline our hearts toward him and seek him He will guide our paths and give us the desires or our hearts.

Ephesians 2
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, 
        which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

So far we have seen the faith of Jesus Christ and the household of faith, there is also the manifestation of faith, and faith as a fruit of the spirit. The manifestation of faith is one of the nine manifestations that we have as a result of being born again.

I Corinthians 12
:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
:8     For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom;
        to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
:9     To another faith [believing] by the same Spirit; 
        to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
:10   To another the working of miracles; 
        to another prophecy; 
        to another discerning of spirits; 
        to another divers kinds of tongues;
        to another the interpretation of tongues:
:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, 
    dividing to every man severally as he will.

The manifestation of faith is the ability to believe to bring the pass revelation that is received via the revelation manifestations: word of knowledge, word of wisdom and discerning of spirits. Renewing our minds to God's Word by reading, studying and keeping the Word in our minds, builds us up so that we may believe to bring to pass the revelation God has given us.

Faith is also mentioned as a fruit of the spirit.

Galatians 5
:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is 
:23   Meekness, 
    against such there is no law.

Fruit is the result of planting good seed in good ground with a good amount of water and good fertilizer. God, the greatest sower, has planted in us His seed (our spirit) and it is up to us be good ground by feeding ourselves the Word of God so that we may operate the manifestations and bear fruit. Fruit of the spirit is produced by operating the manifestations of the spirit. 

John 4
:24 God is a Spirit: 
    and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

In Galatians 5:22 God puts fruit in the singular and not plural even though there are nine items in the list because the fruit of the spirit comes as a cluster, like a cluster of grapes. Also in this verse, the King James Version has the word 'spirit' capitalized, it shouldn't be, for the spirit mentioned here is the spirit that God has placed inside us when we believed and not Him.

Do you ever wonder why some believers have a charisma about them and just exude love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance? They operate the manifestations of the spirit much. 

Jude 1
: 20 But ye, beloved, 
    building up yourselves on your most holy faith, 
        praying in the Holy Ghost, [speaking in tongues]

When we have the faith of Jesus Christ we have holy spirit in us and the ability to operate these nine manifestations, we can speak in tongues, and in a believer's meeting speak in tongues with interpretation, and prophecy, we can receive word of knowledge, word of wisdom and discerning of spirits, we can manifest believing, perform miracles and bestow gifts of healing. We are able. Since we have been given these abilities it is our responsibility to know God's Word and believe God's Word in order to do God's Word. The more we know the Word and believe the more we will see God work in our lives.

We see in God's Word that the word pistis is translated faith most often and then believe, assurance and fidelity. We need to take each occurrence of pistis and understand its meaning in context. For example, since faith wasn't available until after Pentecost then all of the occurrences in the Gospels must mean belief or believing. Prior to Pentecost man could see and believe. 

John 6
:30 They said therefore unto him, 
        What sign shewest thou then, 
            that we may see, 
            and believe thee? 
        what dost thou work?

Man had to see in order to believe, they couldn't understand spiritual matters, only what was in the senses realm. The record of Thomas is a familiar example of one needing to see first then believe. He wasn't with the other disciples the first time Jesus appeared unto them so he didn't believe Jesus Christ had been raised from the dead.

John 20
:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, 
        We have seen the Lord. 
    But he said unto them, 
        Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, 
            and put my finger into the print of the nails, 
            and thrust my hand into his side, 
        I will not believe.
:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, 
        and Thomas with them: 
came Jesus, 
        the doors being shut, 
    and stood in the midst, and said, 
        Peace be unto you.
:27 Then saith he to Thomas, 
        Reach hither thy finger, 
            and behold my hands; 
        and reach hither thy hand, 
            and thrust it into my side: 
        and be not faithless, 
        but believing.
:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, 
        My Lord and my God.
:29 Jesus saith unto him, 
            because thou hast seen me, 
                thou hast believed: 
            blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

For our day and time after Pentecost and before the return of Jesus Christ we must believe first and then we shall see and receive. God tells us what to believe and how to receive so that we may be saved and receive holy spirit

Romans 10
:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, 
    and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, 
    thou shalt be saved.
:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; 
    and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Can we see the holy spirit that we receive? Can we feel it, touch it, smell it, hear it? No, it is spirit. Now God can and does communicate to us by way of the spirit that is in us. God, who is Spirit, communicates with our spirit and our spirit teaches our mind so that we may know, it is called revelation. I have received visual revelation, God kept me out of a severe car wreck. God has given me inspiration to act and thoughts to speak that have been the right thing at the right time. God will communicate with His people in ways that they understand and will act on. The subject of revelation requires much more elaboration but you can ask God to teach you and He will. Keep your head in His Word and talk to Him.

II Corinthians 4
:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, 
    but at the things which are not seen: 
        for the things which are seen are temporal; 
        but the things which are not seen are eternal.

That which we can ascertain by our five senses are temporal, that which is spiritual, which we cannot see: the spirit of God, the faith of Jesus Christ, righteousness, justification, sanctification, redemption and more are all eternal. The verses preceding verse 18 are as follows:

:14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, 
    and shall present us with you.
:15   For all things are for your sakes, 
            that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound [abound] to the glory of God.
:16   For which cause we faint not; 
            but though our outward man perish, 
            yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
:17   For our light affliction, 
            which is but for a moment, 
        worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

The five senses and spiritual matters are contrasted in many places in the Word of God. It is important to know that in order to know spiritual matters we must first have the faith of Jesus Christ which we get by believing God's Word, specifically Romans 10:9 and 10. Then we must study diligently to know His Word.

II Timothy 2
:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, 
        a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

I Timothy 2
:4 Who [God] will have all men to be saved, 
    and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

" . . . and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."