When The Word Is Heard

When The Word Is Heard


“so then Faith commeth by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom 10:17)

So then”, those first two words in the passage is a phrase that provides the logical conclusion of that which has gone before, it’s a lead to a summary of what was just spoken about. Consider again the context of the few verses prior;

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. (Rom 10:12-17)

Those two words are a vital aspect of this verse because it commands that we consider the context.  The claim that those two words make is that faith in the word of God relating, in this case, to the Gospel, is sufficient enough to save the soul.  It is the Gospel through the Word of God heard that is the object of faith. 

so then faith commeth by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”.

The passage makes the point respecting the effect of the word of God upon all those that hear. The context of this passage relates to the preaching of the Gospel specifically. 

There is no doubt that the word of God continues to do its work within our lives after we have responded to the call of the Gospel. 2 Tim 3:16-17 is clear that All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

It has the miraculous ability to perfect a man, to make him throughly furnished, that is, to perfectly equip him, unto all good worksBut here, in this particular passage, it is that work that is specific to the Gospel itself, expressly that which is heard through preaching. 

so then faith commeth by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”.

Take care not to misapply the text, or to apply it only in one manner! We know that the word of God has the continuing ability to transform us even as Christians, we know that faith commeth by hearing, and we will speak to that in the last point, but here the passage relates specifically to the Gospel.

Faith Commeth By Hearing

We might be able to use it in another application, but we need to take care we don’t take away from its original intended purpose.

For example: The same items that are used to make a table can also be used to make a stool, there does not seem to be anything wrong with it. But when we focus the items in making a stool when it was originally designed for a table, we no longer have a table do we?  It’s the same when it comes to focusing a passage in the scriptures in areas not related to the immediate context, and we need to be careful not to do it. 

This passage might well be applied to encourage the faith of believers, but it is designed to save the damned. That is a BIG misapplication!

Paul makes the statement in verse 14 saying; ‘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?

It is then that he concludes with the summary statement “so then Faith commeth by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom 10:17). Paul states that it is the word of God that will do the work in the soul to stir mankind up to respond to the Gospel.

To those who believe, THE WORD HEARD HERALDS HOPE. The word of God becomes the clarion call, A LOUD AND CLEAR cry for the GOSPEL. This verse is not for the encouragement of believers, but for instruction into what it is that will affect the gospel to a lost world.

When we misapply the focus of a text, we look for other ways of doing that which God ordained. In other words, we employ means to share the Gospel in a manner that has no power to change the heart. 

APOLOGETICS is not for the heart but for the mind. It is useful only in part, because the mind is deceived by the heart. The heart KNOWS GOD EXISTS!

Paul wrote in the first chapter of this epistle that mankind already knows God exists, and it is their unbelief that stirs up the wrath of God against them. 

Turn again there with me to Rom 1:18;

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewedit unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

You can search all you like through the Bible and you will discover it spends no time whatsoever attempting to prove the reality of God. It presumes what is already known regarding him.

The word of God is both a witness against man, but also a HERALD OF HOPE FOR MAN.

It is the Word HEARD THAT HERALDS HOPE, and we do not need to even go beyond the book of Romans; It is known as The Romans Road of Salvation

Mark it in the scriptures, six short verses we will see, but certainly more can be used.

  1. First Romans 3:10 

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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.

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

As a preacher of righteousness, as one who has with him good tidings and would be identified with that wonderful description of Romans 10:15 “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things, these verses are all you need to memorize.



so then Faith commeth by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom 10:17)

There is a stirring up in the heart when the word of God is heard. It always does a work in man, man cannot be neutral when it comes to the scriptures because the scriptures themselves carry in themselves an authority that must be responded to. That response is rarely ever neutral. There will generally either be an acceptance or a rejection of it. 

This does not mean the response will always be evident, be careful never to be the judge on matters relating to the effect the word of God is having on a soul lest you employ that judgement in a way that is contrary to Gods words.  THE WORD HEARD ALWAYS CHALLENGES CHOICE.

It will always do a work in the heart and it is not for us to know it.

Turn to Isaiah 55:6-11

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For asthe heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Please beloved, do not be a judge over things that are seen only with your own eyes, trust God at his word, his thoughts are not like your thoughts, his ways are much higher than our ways. If his word has the same effect as the rain that comes and nourishes the earth, then trust that it will do its work in the heart.

PAUL writes in 1 Cor 3:6 “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER think in your mind that the Word of God should be hidden or behind the scenes simply because it is not evidently palatable in others in your sight. It will do its work!  And What is its work?

THE WORD HEARD CHALLENGES CHOICE! It will either condemn man or convict him. It is NEVER NEUTRAL! This is evident all through the Old Testament. The word of God went to all the people but there was ALWAYS a CHOICE determined by those who heard it. Sadly, and so very sadly, most people rejected the word of God.

Jesus condemned the pharisees about the treatment of all the Prophets who brought the word of God to the people, turn to Matthew 23:31-37 

“31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 

34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”

Even Steven, the first of the Christian martyrs recorded in the scriptures, and just before they stoned him to death said; 

Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: 53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.” 

Acts 7:51-53

And yet there will be those also who believe the word of God; 3000 people believed the word of God in a single day because they were pricked in their hearts through the preaching of the Gospel by Peter in Acts chapter 2. And again, Peter and John preaching in the Temple in Jerusalem “many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand” (Acts 4:4).

Now that same chapter made clear that there was nothing special about Peter and John, those that witnessed them, verse 13 says “perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus

It was Christ and his words they trusted in, that gave then the boldness to preach to the people.

You recall chapter 7 and the martyr Steven, a godly man, brave and faithful, unwavering in the word of the Lord, pricking the hearts of the men that heard. And You would think for a moment that his witness which he witnessed unto death was of no benefit? But at whose feet did those that killed Steven lay their garments?

It was a young man named Saul, who became Paul the Apostle, the greatest Biblical evangelist of them all. Entire cities came to the knowledge of Christ, so evident it was that those in Rome claimed they “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6), “So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed” (Acts 19:20).


The word of God will have an effect on all people. Some will believe, some will reject, but a CHOICE WILL ALWAYS BE MADE.

Lest you think for a moment of the “Almost Christian” Agrippa (Acts 26:28), or the “Convenient Season Pause” of Felix (Acts 24:25) as not making a choice, everyone who chooses to sit on the fence have made a choice. A temporary rejection is still a rejection.  

Last passage for this point;

2 Corinthians 2:12-17

12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord, 13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia. 14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.


so then Faith commeth by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom 10:17)

We believed the Gospel because the word of God has authority inherent within itself. Scripture is not a delegated authority! In other words, it is not an authority that is handed down, it is not assigned or imparted, it is authoritative in and of itself. It is the reason the Bible itself has been the product of attack in both an active and passive form for centuries. 

Courts delegate authority to the Police who impose that authority upon the communities they are also charged to serve. People today despise authority and as such the attack against the delegated authority of Police will only get stronger.

In the home it is men who are under constant attack, fathers in particular, because they too have a delegated authority given by God to govern the home. As a result efforts even in society work to demean that authority, this is most clearly evident in family law.

 Not just fathers, but most evident today is men in general. The radical feminist movement who take full advantage of the Curse laid upon Eve in Genesis chapter three, desire to rule over and govern men. They desire men to be subordinate to them. Scripture speaks of a part of his judgement against man’s unwillingless to submit to his words saying As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them… (Isa 3:12).

These, including Kings and leaders of the world, have a delegated authority.

But scripture does not.

The word of God is authoritative in and of itself.

“so then Faith commeth by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Only an absolute authority can have the power to inspire faith. The world looks to “expert opinions” and to other delegated authorities, before a thing is believed. Phrases such as “Who are you to judge” or “Who’s to say” assume an authority to judge or to say.

When Faith is affected through the word heard, authority is admitted! Understand, I said it is Admitted, not acknowledged.  It is admitted by the response OF BOTH, but ONLY acknowledge by the conscience of ONE.

Perhaps that sounds a little complicated, let me explain.

The Gospel affects the heart and not the mind. The natural affect of the gospel should be humility, I say it SHOULD BE humility because it tells us of things about ourselves that is often contrary to what we thought. 

The Gospel tells us that we have sinned, that the wages of sin is death, but that if we call upon the name of the Lord we shall be saved.

The humbled heart acknowledges the offence against God, recognises his own inability, and accepts the Gospel. 

It is the humbled heart who’s conscience is pricked and understanding is given. But not so the proud.

The scriptures say that “ the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)

But scripture also says 

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom(Prov 11:2)

The Bible says in Daniel 12:10 that “the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand

The point is that the Humble in heart have their minds affected to understand, they ADMIT THE AUTHORITY OF GODS WORDS BOTH BY RESPONSE AND ACKNOWLEDMENT OF THE CONCIENCE, 

But the wicked and the proud ADMIT the authority of Gods words only by Response.

Now this is an evident witness every time you share the Word of God to the lost. The responses by the proud is often foolish and sometimes aggressive.  

Many years ago we would attend nursing homes and sing carols during Christmas or Easter, and afterward most of us would take the opportunity to speak one on one with those who came to hear. 

The response was almost always the same when I asked about whether or not a person believed they would be in heaven when they died. Sometimes the answer is a confident YES, but most of the time it is simply “I hope so”, and this is the time we share the gospel one on one.

One time I had a lady who simply did not believe the Gospel nor the existence of God. I responded by telling her simply what the Bible said. Frustrated by my constant reference to the Bible she spat out “O the bible the bible the bible, don’t you have your own mind?” 

There was simply no way she would replace her own authority with the word of God. Even in the prideful lost, THE WORD HEARD ADMITS AUTHORITY.


so then Faith commeth by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom 10:17)

So, the conclusion of all this is the incredible and incomprehensible miracle of the work of the Word of God upon the heart of man.

We might wonder why it is this way, we might wonder how it can be this way, we might wonder about the word of God and its effect upon all things for all the ages we yet spend with the Lord in heaven, but what we should not doubt and what we should not wonder about is the truth of it all.

We should not wonder that the word of the Living God can change the heart if it was first able to bring the worlds into existence.

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Heb 11:3)

We should hardly wonder that the word of God can draw men to saving faith when the very name of the Saviour is the Word of God;

            “and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. (Rev 19:12-13)

It was he that was in the beginning, “and the word was with God and the word was God”, “and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:1 & 14)

We marvel that the word of God can so condemn a man of sin that he rises up in anger, he responds against it as an authority and yet it is this same word that has discerned the thoughts of his own heart;

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb 4:12).

With all that the word can do, with all the miraculous qualities and power that is admitted by the scriptures themselves, can I ask you why you prefer to gain your knowledge from YouTube?

Why do you invest so much of your time in books that profess to tell you about the word of God, but little time in the word of God?

Why spend hours upon hours every week listening to sermons that you have NO ABILITY to DISCERN THE TRUTH OF because of your reluctance to read the book they profess to teach?

In rejecting the reading of the word of God, are you so foolish to think yourself as ‘Backslide proof’? 

As you look at this world that has rejected the word of God, and now thinks;

  • The common man is changing the weather of the entire planet, 
  • that we can borrow money to get out of debt, 
  • That it’s sane for people to have dismembering operations because they identify as amputees
  • That such confusion of sex and gender has led a movement to refer to newborn babies as ‘theybe’s’
  • That a man can get pregnant and school children are taught in schools that boys can have a menstrual cycle. 

Beloved, there is no STATUS QUO when you decide the word of God has no value to you.

The book that has the power to save a soul from death, has the same power to make one wise. The rejection of the word of God will also dam the unrepentant soul and make fools foolish. 

God SPOKE LIGHT INTO EXISTANCE if he did not darkness would have remained upon the face of the deep.

Are you reading the word that made you wise unto salvation?

If you are not, I can’t help you. 

If you are not, then chances are your resources are untrustworthy at best.

Turn to Isaiah 8:19

1And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? 20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Notice that when a word is spoken that you have no idea whether it is of the Lord or not, there is no light in them.

It is inevitable that you will turn to that which WILL NOT HELP YOU, in fact, it could be the ruin of you.

The world has rejected the word of the Lord, and when they seek after him there is a good chance he responds to them as he did to Israel;

Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. (Isa 47:13)

But Gods word FOSTERS FAITH.

Faith commeth by hearing, and hearing by the word of God

WHEN YOU SHARE THE GOSPEL, USE GODS WORD! Because the Word Heard Heralds Hope!

IF YOU SEE NO EFFECT, TRUST THAT ‘The Word Heard Always Challenges Choice’.


Finally remember that that same word that you believed that saved your soul, is the same WORD HEARD THAT FOSTERS FAITH!



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