Faith Comes by Hearing
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1). And then the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His Glory (John 1:14). Everything changed when the Word (Jesus) became a man of flesh, blood, warmth and personality, transforming the letter of the Law into a relationship with our Creator. The scriptures came to life as Jesus Christ gave them context and understanding, connecting the right scriptures to whatever the issue was at the moment.
Today, while a book that sells a million copies is considered a best seller, more than 150 million copies of the Bible are sold every year in more than 500 languages. While most homes in America have at least one Bible on their premises, most remain unread until the hearing of the Word on radio, TV or a public place prompts someone in that home to read it. Unfortunately, the stereotype of it being an outdated book of rules that no one wants to follow anymore has added greatly to this paradigm.
More than 50% of our population identifies itself as being Christian while rarely, if ever, reading the Bible or stepping inside a church. Unless they hear the Word of God from someone they trust, their spiritual status is unlikely to change. Indeed, there’s a spiritual dynamic between hearing the Word and coming to faith that’s intrinsic to scripture: Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Without question, the Word is alive and the Holy Spirit is active in reaching the hearts of the unsaved through the reading and recitation of scripture.
On a more personal basis, our personal testimonies are powerless when they’re devoid of scripture. No matter how impressive we might sound, only the Word of God breaks the yoke and sets the captive free. Your personal story is a testimony to the truth of scripture. Connecting it with the appropriate scriptures will authenticate your words and lead the people you’re sharing with to Jesus. Everything else is context. Reading out loud or reciting scripture inspired by God and powered by the Holy Spirit is where the transforming power of the Bible enjoys its greatest success.