Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

How to Have Faith? Receiving the Spirit and Supplying the Spirit by the Hearing of Faith

“So faith comes out of hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Rom. 10:17)

A thoughtful reader of my previous post—“How to Have Faith? 12 Action Verbs to Fill You with Faith”—recently asked, “Do these points apply to non-Christians or more so to Christians looking to strengthen their faith? An unbelieving student I met recently asked me how he could have faith to believe in God. Any thoughts?” In this post I’ll respond to this student’s question which I hope would meet, not only his need, but that of many others who desire to have genuine faith.

I really appreciate this reader’s response and believe that the twelve points on subjective faith apply to non-Christians and Christians alike. That is, an unbeliever’s initial experience of salvation and a believer’s daily, moment by moment experience of salvation both depend on the application of the twelve actions verbs from hearing to overflowing.

To review, our exercise of subjective faith includes: hearing the word (Rom. 10:14), appreciating the Lord, calling on Him (Rom. 10:12-13), receiving the Lord (John 1:12), accepting Him, joining to Him (1 Cor. 6:17), partaking of Him (1 Pet. 1:4), enjoying Him, rejoicing (Jer. 15:16), thanking Him (Col. 1:12), praising Him (Heb. 13:15), and overflowing (Psa. 45:1-2).

Non-Christians and Christians Both Needing the Hearing of Faith

Paul said to the distracted Galatian believers, “This only I wish to learn from you, Did you receive the Spirit out of the works of law or out of the hearing of faith?” (Gal. 3:2).

Strengthening his point, Paul continues by saying, “He therefore who bountifully supplies to you the Spirit and does works of power among you, does He do it out of the works of the law or out of the hearing of faith?” (Gal. 3:5).

In these two verses, Paul presents the hearing of faith in two stages. His first question indicates that the Galatians’ initial receiving of the Spirit when they believed in the Lord, was by the hearing of faith—once for all in the past (v. 2).

His second question confirms that the bountiful supplying of the Spirit—a continual process, is also by the hearing of faith (v. 5).

Applying the Hearing of Faith to an Unbelieving Friend

You can point out to your unbelieving friend that faith does not originate with him. None of us has faith in ourselves. It is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8). Genuine faith in us begins with hearing God’s word (Rom. 10:14, 17).

You can practice this by inviting your friend to read a few Bible verses with you and then leading him to appreciate the Lord, to call on the Lord’s name, even to thank and praise the Lord according to the Scriptures that you read together. In this way he will be able to contact the Lord, the Author of faith (Heb. 12:2) through God’s word. Living faith will be generated in him.

I’m reminded of the Samaritan woman in John 4. She was a sinner ignorant of God, but through the Lord’s living word, she was infused with faith, her thirst was satisfied and she went into the city and overflowed with her living testimony of Jesus as the Christ. Overflowing wasn’t something that she had to wait for. She was overflowing on the day she met the Lord Jesus.

Applying the Hearing of Faith to Christians looking to strengthen their faith

As believers, we are no better than the Lord’s disciples. As soon as we look at the “strong wind” in our situation, we begin to sink just like Peter did (Matt. 14:30). But because we have God’s living word in our hand (and in our mouth and heart—Rom. 10:8), we should “hold to truth in love,” by continually practicing these twelve verbs in order to be filled with living faith.

For more appreciation of this matter of faith, I recommend reading a book by Witness Lee, The Secret of Experiencing Christ, especially chapter 8 on the Secret of Experiencing Christ in Galatians. On pages 89-90, Witness Lee points out how the Word, the Spirit, faith and Christ are all one. The following are a few excerpts:

“The faith that has been infused into us is the Spirit and this Spirit is the word.” (p. 89)

As we hear the word, the Spirit is infused into us and becomes faith, a faith which is Christ Himself.” (p. 89)

“Whenever we pray-read and assimilate a portion of the Bible, we receive the supply of the Spirit. Then we have a living faith in us. This faith is the proper realization of Christ.” (p. 90)

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

3 Replies

  1. Thanks for the response! I showed my friend Romans 10:17 in our conversation and another friend had a Bible on hand which he gave away to him. We encouraged him to read the Gospel of John and talk to God just like he was talking to us about his concerns about not having faith. I was reminded of a point by Watchman Nee on the gospel- just help people touch God by having honest conversations with Him. If you touch electricity, no one needs to convince you that it’s real. You will have all the faith you need.

    1. Kyle,

      I’m glad to participate in fellowship and prayer with you in the care for your friend. May the Lord fill him with living faith through the living and operative word of God.

      Much grace to you,


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