Introduction to this Series
The following is part one of a series entitled, “Reasons for Faith.”
The premise of this series is based upon Romans 10:17 which states,
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God“
Part One – “So Then“
We should notice that this verse begins with the two words: “so then,” indicating that this is a conclusionary statement regarding what was previously stated, wherein the subject matter is salvation.
Perhaps one of the most important statements made prior to this concerning the subject of salvation in regards to Romans 10:17, is found in Romans 10:8-10, which states:
“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
This is one of those defining Scriptures which we often use when leading a person to accepting the Lord Jesus as their Savior wherein they become saved according to God’s grace within the exercise of their faith.
This Scripture mandates that the act of faith unto salvation has two main points of focus, that of:
1) Verbally stating that Jesus is one’s Lord and Savior; God.
The word used here for “Lord,” Greek: kúrios, masc. noun from kúros (n.f.), might, power,” “Master,” “Owner,” God.” “Kuros (supremacy); supreme in authority, Lord, master, owner.” Also it is the NT Greek equivalent for the OT Hebrew word: “Jehovah.” Also used concerning deity, as in God, depended upon the text, such as this verse which is without the article, Kúrios Iēsoús; Christós Kúrios, meaning the Messiah of God, deliverer of mankind, Savior of the world – GOD. (See Endnote #1).
This does not refer to a single event, but a lifestyle of confessing that Jesus is a person’s Lord and Savior. There is no such thing as a secret agent Christian, a person who does not openly confess that they are a follower and servant of Jesus Christ. Matthew 10:32-33 states:
“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”
2) A Heart Held Belief and Conviction in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
As Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 15:14,
“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”
The literal definition of the gospel of Jesus Christ is stated by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1, which states the threefold message of the gospel, when he states:
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures“
According to the Scripture
In this threefold summation of the gospel of Jesus Christ what we see is that the first mandate, wherein Christ died for our sins is established according to the Scripture, and that the final mandate that he rose the third day, again is I established according to the Scripture.
This same Paul, who in the book of Romans defines salvation regarding a public lifelong confession that Jesus Christ is a person’s Lord, Savior, and God; also including Jesus’ Resurrection (Which is God’s stamp of authority in Christ, by doing something humanly impossible, resurrecting s dead person from the dead), wherein Paul also contends that this gospel is according to the Scripture and cannot be separated from the word of God.
The term, “the Scriptures,” is an Old Testament reference to the complete written Word of God, Which we commonly referred to as the Old Testament, and when utilized in the New Testament includes the New Testament as well (See Endnote #2),
You cannot separate a belief in all that Jesus did and said, From the rest of the New Testament, which is how radically done by those who claim the heading of Jesus only Christians. They violate the mandate of the gospel of Jesus Christ by refusing to adhere to all of God’s word as found in the complete New Testament, as well as the Old Testament which Christ validated repeatedly by citing.
Yet upon this foundation faith must grow, but where does it come from?
Does it primarily come from our experience – NO!
Does it come from the doctrines and creeds of organized Christianity – NO!
Does faith come from our parents and their belief system, and adherence to a denomination – NO!
Part Two -“Hearing By the Word of God”
The second part that we need to remember regarding Romans 10:17, to reiterate, states:
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God“
This verse plainly teaches, as is easily understood in the original Greek that:
“faith is built upon hearing what God’s Word has to say, and seeing that God’s Word is truth.”
The Source of Biblical Faith
Biblical faith is created and grown wherein as a person reads the Bible, and the Holy Spirit opens their spiritual eyes to perceive that which is laid out, it is a logical reasonable process of coming to the conclusion that this book could not have been written by mortal man (2 Timothy 3:16), because:
1) There are prophecies given in Old Testament, that are fulfilled in the New Testament.
2) There are prophecies given within the Bible as a whole, which are fulfilled since it’s closing.
3) There are scientific and natural insights presented in the Bible, which were once considered completely false; in time, science has caught up with the Bible proving that it was correct in the first place, and that it is beyond human insight.
4) There is deep wisdom that is written between its pages, which are far beyond the capacity of a human being to create.
5) There are internal evidences found in the Bible when it is crossed-referenced within itself in such a way that it is obvious that 40 different men could not have utilized the exact same type of “Figures of Speech,” including: typology, such as seen in metaphor, similes, models; along with prophetic symbols as seen in even the use of numbers, colors, events, material and substances, dates, mathematics, names, roles, and even people’s personality and lives; all done to portray a shadow of things to come rather in heaven, or in the particular case of Jesus, the fulfillment of the Messiah; as witnessed in His First and Second coming – as well as Last Days events – all done in such a way that the only explanation is that God orchestrated the creation of this Book.
All leading to the conclusion that this book was not written by man, but by a God that is outside of our time domain, who can see the ending from the beginning (Isaiah 46:9-10); who is all-powerful, and in total control of His creation (Isaiah 45:5-7), and therefore worthy of our complete trust and faith in what He has said and what He will do (Isaiah 46; Jeremiah 29:11).
Introduction to the Topic
How often do we utilize the word “coincidence” when observing events, or a series of events which seems to have a form of design wherein there structure leads to the conclusion that they appear to be controlled by a force greater than ourselves; yet at the same time denying the existence any such force that is possible in managing such a feat.
A more concise dictionary definition of “coincidence” is:
“A remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection,” (See Endnote #3).
Regarding the Jew
What is interesting about the subject of coincidence is that in the Hebrew language, the liturgical language of the Jew instituted by God as the language of the chosen people, the Hebrew language does not have a word for coincidence, exhibiting the fact that within this culture there is no belief that things miraculously happen which appear to have a causal connection (When in reality they don’t).
Regarding the Church
In the life of the born-again believer the word coincidence should never be uttered.
We know that some things work together for the good to them that love God – NO that’s not what the Scripture says, Romans 8:28 says,
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to
The Grammar of the Verse
The most important words of this verse are the first three words: “and we know“
“and” connects this verse with a prior verses dealing with Christ making intercession for the saints according to God’s Will, As well as our hope in Christ, the deadness of our flesh, and the futility of fallen man. Yet, perhaps the thing that brings me the greatest joy about this verse as it is a conclusion, is in regard to verse one, which states:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,
who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)
The reason why we know that all things work together to them that love the Lord, is because there is no condemnation in them – they are declared innocent, as opposed to condemned.
How unfortunate that the translators could not believe that this statement did not need qualifications, in the fact that they added this last section to the verse: “who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.”
This section is not in the original text, but was added by the translators, therefore it is not inspired of God. God did not place a condition on those that are in Jesus Christ, who place their faith in him as the propitiation for their sins as we read before in Romans 10:8-10.
The reason why we can take such comfort in this concluding verse; holding in faith that all things will work together for good under us, is because Christ died for us and made us sons and daughters of the most high God.
This is the reason that we know that God is always taking care of us, no matter what the situation looks like from the outside.
“we know” is more necessary than any other aspect, due to the fact that dealing with the necessity of believing and trusting God.
If the Believer does not know, and therefore cannot stand in his surety that God is taking care of him, then faith is nonexistent. Faith is based upon trusting God that he is loving and merciful to his children, it is entrusting the goodness of God that even when bad things happen God who is all-powerful has allowed it because good will come out of it. This is saving faith, that of knowing, not speculate, but knowing God is faithful.
“all things“, not some things, but everything – no exception!
“(He) work together“ (verb) partner with each other, cooperate fully.
“All things work together” (synergeo): Present Tense: A continuous action; Active Voice: The subject (God) produces the action
“for good” Thayer: “good constitution or nature, useful, salutary Good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy, excellent, distinguished upright, honourable“
One thing we need to realize is that our current cultural mindset wherein immediate gratification is so prevalent can blur our understanding of what is good based upon what is current.
A good example is the hundreds of thousands of Christians that were burned at the stake within less than 100 years of the ascension. It was not good to be burnt alive, or eaten by wild animals.
Yet when they walk through the doorway of death into the presence of our Lord, what was good was that they have a martyrs crown, a very special reward for having displayed faith more than any other act possible – that of dying for our Lord in faith, and in most cases the most savage of deaths.
The good that this Scripture speaks about is their reward in heaven, not their pain on the earth.
We need to maintain a biblical mindset understanding that the good may not be immediate, but that it will occur.
“to them that love God” Thayer: Greek verb: “agapao,”To love: to be sold out too completely, too sacralfacially put another 1st, to hold preeminent in all things.” This refers to the children of God that love their Father, and He who gave his life for them their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is a synonym of a born-again believer.
“them who are” Is in the present tense indicating that it is a continuous action that never stops. When you become born-again, wherein you become one of “them who are,” you never stop being born-again – you never stop being one of “them who are.”
“to them who are the called“ (The definite article refers to specific individuals, Born-Again Believers) those chosen by God, that have responded in faith, who become adopted children of God according to his mercy and grace. The definite article being used indicates specific individuals, NOT a general group as stated in Armenian theology.
“the Called“ (kletos): “to be summoned to,” “divinely selected and appointed“ (Rom. 1:6; Rom. 8:30). Example: the saga of Joseph (Gen. 50:20). Again this refers to specific individuals, not groups of people.
his purpose” this gets back to the issue of faith and trusting that God has specific purposes within the life of the believer that is worthy of complete confidence.
The word “his” is in italics because it is not in the original manuscripts, but is implied by the context.
The idea is that God is perfect and His will is perfect, and there is therefore no other purpose in all of creation and God’s purpose.
Sin in its most specific description is anything opposed to God’s Will, which would therefore be evil.
The Greek word for sin is Haratima, which means: “missing the mark.”
There is only one right way of doing anything, only one purpose in all of existence that is good, anything except for this perfect Will of God, is “missing the mark” and therefore sin.
Faith in God necessitates the belief that God’s purpose is good for His children.
Regarding the Believer
What this text means to us as born-again children of God, followers of Jesus Christ; is that not only are our lives are God ordained, they are God filtered.
“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:14)
The word “peculiar“ (Greek: periousios) means: “beyond unusual,” “special“
The idea is that of having numerous dots on a dry erase board, and some of those dots having circles around them, and others do not.
The dots that have circles around them are peculiar dots.
In this analogy, the dots with circles around them represent God’s chosen children – born-again believers, they are particular from all the other dots, they are protected by the circle which in this case is God who will not allow anything to get to them – you have to go through God to get to the dot that He surrounds.
In the book of Job, chapter 1 verse 10 is says it like this:
“Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.”
The word: “hedge” (Greek: sook) means: “to entwine,” “shut in,” “wall,” “fence,” or “hedge“
The point is God encompasses His people, He has a wall of protection around them that He alone controls – could there be a better place to be than this?
What we need to take away from this is that there is no such thing as “coincidence” in the life of the believer, though there are many situations which we may not understand this side of eternity, though most importantly God understands because He is the One that is in control – total control of the believer’s life.
What’s this means to you and I is that God Is involved of every aspect of our lives, and there is nothing is too small for His attention.
And whereas concerning the teaching of faith, we focus on the definition of faith as complete reliance upon God that He is total control of the believer’s life, and that this should be the focus on faith – there is always a place for petition, we should be constantly seeking God’s will in our daily life.
The Little Things
How great is it that our mighty God who runs the universe loves you and me enough to help with even the small little things, as compared to everything else He does.
So, when you find yourself looking for something you can’t find, when you find yourself trying to do something that isn’t working (In some cases it’s right to ask if you should be doing, Because I’m not saying to ask God to fulfill our sinful desire); perhaps what you need to do is go to the creator of this universe and ask Him for little help.
Ask, ask, ask; Seek, seek, seek; Knock, knock, knock
The acceptance, that Romans 8:28 presents should never take us from a place of petitioning God for help in our lives.
Matthew 7:7, states:
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you”
What is interesting about this verse is that the verbs: “ask,” “seek,” and “knock;” are all in the present tense, meaning they are continuous actions that are never to stop.
An old professor once said that the Scripture should be read:
“Ask, ask,ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, seek, seek, and ye shall find; knock, knock, knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
While the foundation of our faith is to be built upon the Word of God – the Bible and what it says, it is when our experience parallels what God’s word and what it says wherein God in His sovereign grace answers our petition – that is when experiential faith is most meaningful.
But this should never take us to the place of lacking the faith to know that even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He may not take me out of it; but most importantly He will be with me as I go through it (See Endnote #4) – this is the faith I can have in Him and His protection, provision, and loving kindness.
What a loving God we have that doesn’t mind us pulling on His ear.
1. Multiple Sources:
The Complete Word Study Dictionary, General Editor: Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D.; 1992 By AMG International, Inc.
Strong’s with Tense, Voice, and Mood, Dictionaries of Hebrew and Greek Words taken from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D., 1890.
Independent Greek noun delineation.
2. New Testament Passages Validating the New Testament as equivalent to Old Testament Scripture
1 Corinthians 2:13 – “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
1 Corinthians 14:37 – “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 5:19-20 – “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
1 Thessalonians 2:4 – “But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.”
1 Thessalonians 2:13 – “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”
2 Thessalonians 2:14-15 – “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”
1 Timothy 4:1 – “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.”
2 Timothy 3:16 – “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
1 Peter 1:25 – “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
2 Peter 3:1-2 – “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour”
2 Peter 3:15-16 – “And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”
3. Oxford Dictionaries, http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/search/american_english/?q=coincidence&multi=1
4. Psalm 23:4
“The difference between ‘involvement’ and ‘commitment’
is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast:
the chicken was ‘involved’ – the pig was ‘committed’.”