Romans 10:17 Meaning: Faith Comes by Hearing the Word of God


Lord’s Library offers this Romans 10:17 meaning from the Bible to edify you on how “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

In the King James Version, Romans 10:17 states: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” This Scripture is pivotal in understanding the process of coming to the Christian faith. Faith is not automatically present in individuals; rather, it is something that grows within a person through the act of hearing the Word of God. What does Romans 10:17 mean for faith formation?

Romans 10:17 underscores the importance of the proclaimed Word of God as the foundation for faith. The apostle Paul, the author of Romans, places emphasis on hearing as the vehicle through which faith in God is sparked and nurtured. This indicates that faith isn’t always an introspective journey but can be connected to community and communication as well.

To wit, the Christian faith is both transmitted and strengthened within the context of community through the sharing and hearing of God’s Word.

The Gospel

Romans 10:17 Meaning

Romans 10:17 Meaning: Context in Romans 10

To fully appreciate the context of Romans 10:17, it’s essential to consider the surrounding verses in Romans 10:

Leading up to verse 17, Paul elaborates on the righteousness that comes by grace through faith as opposed to the law. He starts by expressing his heartfelt desire for Israel’s salvation in Romans 10:1, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” This introduction sets the stage for a discussion on the contrasting paths to righteousness: one through the law, which Israel pursued, and the other through faith in Christ, which Paul advocates under the inspiration of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Romans 10:4, Paul makes the statement: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Here, Paul states that the blood atonement of Jesus Christ fulfilled the law’s requirements, offering a new way to attain salvation through faith. This statement underscores the transition from the Mosaic law to the righteousness achieved through belief in Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:9-10 further clarifies the process of salvation through faith: “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.” These verses emphasize that salvation is accessible to anyone who believes in Jesus’ resurrection and confesses Him as Lord, according to the Scriptures.

Romans 10:9-10 illustrates the simplicity and universality of the Gospel Message.

Leading directly to the critical verse of Romans 10:17, Paul discusses the necessity of preaching for hearing the Word of Christ in verses 14-15: “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

These questions rhetorically emphasize the importance of sending out preachers to proclaim the Gospel, so that people can hear the word of Christ and come to a saving faith in His finished work on the cross.

Romans 10:17, therefore, is not an isolated statement but the culmination of a broader salvific theme. Encapsulating the essence of Paul’s message, the verse says plainly: faith in Christ comes through hearing the Word, and this hearing depends on the proclamation of the Gospel.

Romans 10:17 Meaning: Supporting Scriptures

Supporting Scriptures further elaborate on this theme. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This verse provides a definition of faith that complements Paul’s from Romans 10:17. It implies that faith involves trust and conviction in God’s promises, even those not yet (the key word here) realized. The development of such faith comes through engaging with the Word of God (who cannot lie), which reveals these promises.

Further, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 states: “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, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” This passage highlights the significance of Scripture in the life of a believer. It not only supports the idea that faith comes from hearing God’s Word but also that the Scriptures serve as a guide for living a life of faith, equipping believers with the discernment to follow God’s will.

The process of hearing and thus coming to the faith is further exemplified in the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:3-9. Jesus describes different responses to the Word of God, illustrating that the way one hears and receives the Word affects the growth of one’s faith. This parable reinforces the idea that active and receptive listening to God’s Word is crucial for the flourishing of faith.

Lord's Library is a Christian resource hub. Our editors use a variety of internet research methods like search engines, audio and video, AI, consultations with ministry leaders in the field, and more. Lord's Library should never be a substitute for reading your Bible daily as the Scriptures are to be our final authority on all matters.

Lord's Library participates in affiliate programs. We may make a small commission from products purchased through this resource.
Timothy Andrew
Follow Tim
Timothy Andrew

Timothy Andrew

Tim is the Founder of Lord's Library. He believes the Bible commands us to minister "as of the ability which God giveth" (1 Peter 4:11). Tim aspires to be as The Lord's mouth by "taking forth the precious from the vile" (Jeremiah 15:19) and witnessing The Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4) to the whole world.

scroll to top