For years we have preached on “How Do We Get Faith?” Up until recently, everyone was agreed that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). But not anymore. There are those today, even some among us, who are contending for a faith that does not come by hearing. They are claiming that faith comes into our hearts through experimentation or from some source other than the Scriptures.
Modernism and liberalism discount the faith that comes from the written Word. It contends for a faith that comes in a roundabout way through social experiences, or religious experiences, or through inner feelings. Many do not believe because the Bible says it; they say they believe because they feel it. So, the Scriptures are no longer their standard of authority and source of faith.
Liberalism, modernism, and neo-orthodoxy is based upon a misunderstanding of the Bible. These people have abandoned the Bible as God’s verbally inspired Word of God. They have taken a knife and cut it to shreds. The Bible is the Word of God not simply words about God. It is the verbally inspired Word and we learn about God from God.
True faith comes from hearing the Word of God. John 20:30-31 says, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” Ephesians 1:13, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth.” The teaching of the Bible stands like a solid rock above the shifting sands of human experience. The teachings of the Bible are clear cut and indestructible. There is no fuzziness about them as is the case with subjective human feelings. A faith based on the Bible comes from God and not from man.
When one drifts away from faith which comes by hearing the Word of God, he sets out on a restless sea without a compass. He is liable to go any- where, do anything, or teach anything. Such a person starts talking about his “experiences,” claims to “witness” for the Lord, and says he “feels” the Holy Spirit.
Biblical faith is when a person takes God at His Word. It is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1). Without this faith it is impossible to please God and be saved (Heb. 11:6). This faith must be a “living,” “obedient faith” (James 2:24; Heb. 11:8-40). This obedient faith obeys what God has told us to do not what we “felt” should be done.
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:21-23).