ROM.10:16,17 – However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Paul has just given us the clear path to salvation in the passage above, Rom.10:9,10 – “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation”.
This is not a formula to get to heaven but rather an observation, our confession with our mouth flows from what we believe in our hearts. Obviously, man’s eyes and ears are closed to the gospel until the day of his new birth. A spiritual blindness blocks every person from the beauty and majesty of the gospel. It is only faith that can penetrate that veil and faith is not in the heart of the lost man or woman. Faith is the results of the sovereign work of grace in our hearts. What Paul is getting at in this passage is how faith comes. He says it clearly in vs.17, faith comes by hearing, an hearing by the word. The word Paul is speaking of is rhema in the Greek language. It means a spoken word. This shows the importance of proclaiming the scripture, that is what creates an atmosphere for our ears to be opened. Here is how Matthew Henry describes it.
“He shows that the word preached is the ordinary means of working faith (v. 17): So then though many that hear do not believe, yet those that believe have first heard. Faith cometh by hearing. It is the summary of what he had said before, v. 14. The beginning, progress, and strength of faith, are by hearing. The word of God is therefore called the word of faith: it begets and nourishes faith. God gives faith, but it is by the word as the instrument. Hearing (that hearing which works faith) is by the word of God. It is not hearing the enticing words of man’s wisdom, but hearing the word of God, that will befriend faith, and hearing it as the word of God.”
Henry says that the word of God begets and nourishes faith. The Lord sets apart men and women as anointed vessels to proclaim His word. In the atmosphere that anointed preaching produces faith comes alive.