We are looking at seven reasons that we ought to preach. So far, we have explored two reasons: (1) God commands us to preach; and (2) God speaks to us through our preaching. Today we will examine a third reason to preach:
(3) Faith Comes From Hearing
A core doctrine of Christ is that we have been saved by grace through faith. And this is not our own doing; rather, it is the gift of God. It is not a result of works so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). Faith is the only instrument that God graciously gives and uses to effect our salvation by grace. Now, it is true that even the faith we need for salvation is generously given to us by God (John 1:12-13; John 3:3-8; Romans 9:16). Nevertheless, God has preordained that this God-given faith comes to us from hearing the Word of God.
Making this very point, Paul asked the Romans a series of pertinent questions: “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:14-15a). How indeed? In God’s infinite wisdom God decided before the foundation of the world that the way in which people would appropriate the free-gift of grace is by hearing the Word preached so that by hearing it faith might take root. This faith is the only way to unwrap the gift of salvation and eternal life. In other words, the means of receiving saving grace is faith and the means of receiving faith is preaching.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ (Romans 10:17). Therefore, we preach because we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). By preaching we become the preordained means that God uses to give people the faith they need for salvation.