“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message,
and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17 (NIV)
WOW! Are you doing your best to present yourself to God as one approved?
When I observe Romans 10:17; “to have faith in God one must not only know the word of Christ but believe the word of Christ, which can only happen when the word is internalized” internalizing God’s word effectively comes to mind. To accomplish this we must hide the Word in our hearts so that it becomes a part of everything we do, decide, speak or think. The above-referenced scripture does emphasize the need for Christians to study their bibles but also stresses that other than hearing the word, it is impossible to acquire faith through any other source. We must study to show ourselves approved. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)
To correctly handle the word of truth one must first accept it as truth. In my case, I have found it necessary to read passages of scripture, as well as entire books of the bible more than once to get an acceptable sense of clarity. I used to get frustrated with myself because I struggled to memorize multiple scriptures. However, one day I noticed that many scripture literate Christians were failing to respond to God’s Word in a big way.
A few weeks ago, my thirty-six-year-old daughter and I were discussing outreach work, feeding the hungry and responding to communities in distress. I was concerned about her outreach work in certain neighborhoods at night. During our discussion, my daughter said, “mother if you and other so-called Christians in the church want to sit back and do nothing but pray, do that but I want to do more. Well, she is right. The early church looked nothing like the contemporary church looks today, believers and leaders back then went where the people were, beyond their comfort zones. The church was everywhere. When Jesus returns, every human will be judged, I want to be ready.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?” Matthew 25: 34-46 ESV
I agree with Paul’s view on faith, where he accepts as a principle that before there can be faith in the gospel, there must be hearing of the gospel.