Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

How do we get Faith?

Meditation for the week of July 18, 2010

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

Words are powerful.  They inform us, educate us and motivate us.  Our emotions are greatly affected by words.  Sometimes a word is the vehicle that conveys a message.   Other times a word is the message itself.  The Lord is both the vehicle that explains the message and He is the message that is being explained.  He is the way we know Who God is.  He reveals God to us because He is God. 

People are greatly influenced by the words that they hear.  I have a friend who has been diligently studying His Bible now for nearly ten years with me.  He finally asked if there was a book that would help him with some of the things we have talked about.  I found him the Believer’s Bible Commentary by William McDonald.  I got him the commentary because I believed it would be a help to him, but I cautioned him that it wasn’t the Bible.  It is one man’s understanding of what the Bible says.  The last time we were together he told me that he was wondering whether he should read the commentary before reading the passage he was studying.  He said it made the Bible seem so much clearer when he did it that way.  I cautioned him not to study that way but to read the passage and to try to understand it before reading the commentary.  Otherwise he would learn what McDonald knew, but he might not learn what the Holy Spirit would be trying to teach him.  Because McDonald would make sense, he might not realize that there were other ways to look at the Scripture he was reading.  I pointed out that we want our faith to be in the Word of God and not in what man says about the Word of God.  My friend realized and agreed that he should continue reading the Bible before turning to helps that were written to explain the Bible.  Since faith comes by hearing, we want to make sure that we are hearing the word of God.

When I am at Christian camps,  I sometimes help the counselors deal with those in their cabins who tell them that they have trusted the Lord.  I suggest that they ask their campers how they know that trusting the Lord will actually save them.  I try to get them to have the camper find a verse of scripture that assures them that they are truly trusting in what God has said.  Faith comes by hearing and in order to have the right faith we have to listen to the right message.  The message that saves is the message that is found in the Bible.  Romans 5:8 summarizes the word that must be trusted this way, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

We come to faith in Christ through the hearing (actually through listening and responding) to the message of the Bible.  We learn to trust the Lord after we are saved with our daily problems, our financial needs and our daily service to the Lord by listening to what the Word of God says as well.  Faith has to have an object and whether we are wanting to be saved or whether we are wanting to please the Lord after we are saved, our faith has to be in the Word of God.  All of us like being “spoon-fed” and we like to have men simplify the Bible and its teachings for us.  While teachers are helpful when they intelligently and accurately explain the Bible, we are ultimately going to have to answer to God as to why we did what we did; and no person is going to be there defending us.  Only the Lord who loves us will be able to be the advocate for us (1John 2:1).  He may have to plead His blood before the throne of God with regard to a lot of things that we thought pleased God that didn’t just because we read the books of men that “made sense”  before reading the Word of God. 

Words are really powerful.  We need faith in the Lord which means we have to have faith in what He says.  I often wonder why there are so many conflicting opinions today about what the Lord has said when He says that He is THE way, THE truth and THE life (John 14:6).  We want to make sure our faith is in the right message.  If faith comes by what we hear, then we need to be hearing the word of God.

Bruce Collins

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