A Daily Email Devotional from the
by Pastor Ricky Kurth
"I can understand why Romans 10:17 might say, 'faith cometh by hearing the Word of God.' Why does it rather say, 'faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God'?"
It is sometimes taught that an unsaved sinner is so spiritually "dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1) that he cannot even hear the Word of God in the gospel, let alone respond to it in faith. It is argued that if you go to a funeral and tell the deceased to rise up out of the coffin, he cannot even hear the words of your command, let alone respond to it. It is then argued from this that the Spirit must first regenerate a lost sinner so that he can hear the gospel and believe it.
While that sounds logical, the Lord Jesus gave a different explanation for how a sinner who is "dead in sins" is "quickened" (Eph. 2:5) when He said,
"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63).
The Lord here asserts that His words "are spirit." That is, His words have the spiritual power to raise a dead sinner from spiritual death. The Lord also taught that His words "are life." Thus, if a sinner must be given life in order to be able to hear the gospel, then the Lord's words are able to give a dead sinner all the life he needs to hear and respond to the gospel in faith.
This is why Romans 10:17 is worded in that manner. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, to be sure, but even the hearing comes by the Word.