“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17).
This important passage of Scripture is, sad to say, little understood. Many people think of faith in the abstract, as though it had some mysterious power in itself. They speak of faith, but what do they mean? Faith in what? or in whom? Surely it is not possible just to have faith, without something or someone to have faith in.
Faith is not wishing hard, or feeling confident. It is not optimism or presumption or imagination. Faith must have a basis, a foundation. Thus the Christian’s faith is founded on “the Word of God” — on what God has said in the Bible.
When we have seen a thing we need no longer believe it; it has been demonstrated to us. But when we hear [or read] a matter reported, we may either believe or doubt it. “Faith cometh by hearing.” And likewise hearing comes through what has been said. We believe, or doubt, what we hear and we hear what has been said. The Christian’s faith, then, comes by hearing (God) and hearing by the Word of God. All true Christian faith is founded on the Word of God.
Actually the word “hearing,” in Rom. 10:17, however, has the idea of heeding — paying attention, listening eagerly. This is why Gal. 3:5 speaks of “the hearing of faith.” And thus Eph. 1:13, referring to Christ, says: “In whom ye also trusted, having heard the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.” Thus, too, we read in John 5:24 the words of the Lord Jesus:
“HE THAT HEARETH MY WORD, AND BELIEVETH ON HIM THAT SENT ME, HATH EVERLASTING LIFE, AND SHALL NOT COME INTO JUDGMENT, BUT IS PASSED FROM DEATH UNTO LIFE.” source