I was reading Romans 10 this morning in the Passion Translation. Vers 17 contains a very interesting definition of faith. When we try to explain what faith is, we normally quote from the eleventh chapter of the Letter to the Hebrews. But the definition of faith found in Romans 10, caught my heart this morning. Therefore I like to share it with you. Faith is actually a gift given to us by God, for it was only because of his wonderful grace that we believed in Jesus Christ in the first place (Eph 2:8).
Paul is saying in Rom 10:17 that faith is birthed in a heart that responds to God's anointed utterance of the Anointed One. Faith is not a product of the mind or our intellect. Faith is birthed in the heart. By ourselves we cannot produce faith that is pleasing to God. Faith does not originate in us. Faith is birthed within us by something coming to us from the outside. We cannot believe before we have heard the message of life. How can the message be proclaimed if messengers have not yet been sent? When the Word of God is being proclaimed in the power of the Holy Spirit it will hit us. The initiative comes from God. He is sending someone to us with a message. When the message of life comes to us through our ears or eyes, we have a choice, a decision to make: How do I respond to that message?
Faith is birthed in our hearts when we respond to God's anointed utterance of the Anointed One! The anointed utterance of the Anointed One gracefully works in us. The Word and the Spirit are convincing us and causing us to believe. When we receive the Word of Christ, faith is birthed in our hearts. The secret of faith is simply to respond to the anointed message of Jesus, the Anointed One. And the secret is to keep on responding to the anointed Word with a faithful commitment to Jesus, to bring honour to his name.