Most believers are familiar with Romans 10:17, where Paul says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ,” but how many know what Paul means in that passage? Many quote this verse when discussing faith, yet there are many who have little understanding of how faith comes and its connection to a lifestyle of fellowship with God and others.
Since the first century, the simple faith to see miraculous answers to prayer was understood to come from God himself, and receiving faith from God rests on an intimate relationship with him. One word from God carries all the faith necessary for any specific need. The Church in Acts devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers (Acts 2:42).
Spending time alone snd together with God seeking him as the prize of their life released faith for healing, deliverance, and the forgiveness of sins. The early church was clothed with power from on high due to their daily practice of pursuing God together and alone waiting on Him for instructions.
Faith comes by hearing (receiving) a word God speaks directly to you.
Unlike the early Church, many today believe they can pick and choose passages from the scriptures and speak or command something “by faith” to come to pass, there’s nothing in the bible that teaches this. Romans 10:17 sets forth the principle that faith comes by receiving the word (Rhema) into your heart.
The word “Rhema” is a Greek word meaning “something spoken,” which means you must hear from God on a matter to have the faith that brings it to pass. You were saved by grace through faith, which came to you through a word spoken directly to you either by God or through someone he arranged to tell you about Christ (which is the context of Romans 10:17).
When it comes to faith to receive answers to prayer, Jesus instructs in John 15:7
“If you abide (remain) in me, and my words (Rhema) abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” Jesus is saying if you live in close unbroken fellowship with him, and if what you hear him say to you is taken to heart, you can ask anything based on what he’s told you, and you will receive it.
The Command of faith is also contingent upon hearing a word from God.
We read in Mark 11:20-24 “As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.
Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.”
Here again, It’s God who initiates the action by granting faith to move mountains, which is a metaphor for challenges obstacles or troubles preventing you from carrying out God’s will. Notice Jesus says, “Have faith in God,” which is translated from the original “Have the faith of God,” which is God’s faith, the word “have” is in the present active tense, which denotes continuous action, continually relying on faith from God.
So, you are to always be in direct fellowship with God so you can dialogue with him regularly, hearing his voice and having the faith for those things he’s leading you to do. This faith to command things to happen as God wills it applies to prayer as well.
Jesus goes on to say in Mark 11:24, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” this is true because you’re praying in the faith given to you from God either directly spoken or through being enlightened by meditating in the scriptures that pertain to the matter you’re praying about.
Faith forgiveness and unbroken fellowship with God and each other strengthens community
In a myopic society where individual achievement is the emphasis biblical community is little understood so not much is made of how important we are together! God’s planned for the Church to work together to accomplish His purpose. Working together in unity is where the anointing and the blessings of God are found (see Psalm 133).
Jesus explains that the secret of unbroken fellowship to continue hearing God’s faith creating words together is forgiveness. In Mark 11:25 Jesus closes by saying, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
In 1 John 1:5-7, John writes, “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Forgiveness keeps our fellowship with God intimate, so his voice is readily heard. We see that broken fellowship with God hinders our relationship with others, the reverse is also true. In both cases, unbroken fellowship strengthens our relationships, builds up the Church, and establishes an atmosphere where God releases faith and power for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.