Faith And Hearing
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam
“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 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.
The above passage explains: “Faith cometh by hearing.” Isn’t that simple? Isn’t it true? Some have said that “seeing is believing,” but a moment’s reflection will reveal that, like the phrase: “I’m from Missouri,” this saying is an expression of unbelief. 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 Romans 10:17, however, has the idea of heeding — paying attention, listening eagerly. This is why Galatians 3:5 speaks of “the hearing of faith.” And thus Ephesians 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.”
The Word Of Truth
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam
In Ephesians 1:13 the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and believing “the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.” This declaration is substantiated by many other passages of Scripture. Our Lord said: “He that heareth… and believeth… hath everlasting life” (John 5:24). This at a time when sacrifices and baptism were still required for the remission of sins. Even then men had to hear and believe to be saved, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Now, however, salvation is received by hearing and believing alone. Works for salvation are not merely unnecessary; they are forbidden. Today salvation is “to him that worketh not, but believeth” (Romans 4:5). “For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
God has changed His dealings with men from time to time down through the ages, teaching one lesson at a time. This is why it is so important to note the dispensational distinctions in Scripture, “rightly dividing the Word of truth.”
Once the works of the Law were required for salvation: “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested” (Romans 3:21) and men are saved solely by faith in Christ, “being justified freely by [God’s] grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). We are saved, then, as we hear and believe what Paul calls, “the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation” (Ephesians 1:13), and we are established in the faith as we obey II Timothy 2:15: “rightly dividing the Word of truth.”
Atheists & Agnostics
I debated adding this to this website. I thought, how is this edifying? to what gain is such a thing?
Then a few hours later I was moved to add this, because far too many think, or utter, what harm is there? In listening to a certain song, or buying a certain musicians music? Or going to a movie, or watching a movie on your home television? Or using a certain product?
We may be supporting open and vocal enemies of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Bible in doing so. We cannot continue to dismiss our actions as harmless, or declare ignorance.
Is it the end of the world if a person uses a Microsoft product knowing Bill Gates is an atheist? No, but if aware perhaps one can alter their view of Mr. Gates if they held him in esteem, or considered him a “good man” because he gives so much of his money away for what appears good humanitarian causes
Here is only a short list of well known modern-day atheists and agnostics, along with a link for further research should anyone be inclined or interested.
I, for one, will refrain from wasting my time watching a movie, or listening to music from a person I know is a professed enemy of God and His inerrant Word, or I will research an alternative product if at all possible to fit my needs once I know a person is not only an unbeliever, but an outspoken and visible enemy of the Truth, the Way, and the Light — no matter what the world, or other professed believers think of these people. Can they be saved? Certainly! There is no power greater than the Spirit of God. I am not saying these people are judged and condemned to hell. They could have a genuine renewing of mind and spirit and become true believers in God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the inerrant Word of God. It is likely though? No. And I cannot in good conscience contribute my time and attention to those who profess to hate God, hate God’s Son, Jesus, and hate the word of God, and by their profession of not believing and being vocal opponents of the Truth, the Way, and the Light they are announcing their hatred of God and of Yeshua, and of the Holy Spirit, and the Scriptures. Let us not become ensnared in semantics or modern-age philosophies. These people are professed enemies of God, Jesus, and the Word of God. I don’t know about you, but when I learn something? When I learn of a persons beliefs and they are contrary to God’s, or the Bible? I can no longer in good conscience spend even a modicum of time, let alone offer them financial support, to further their beliefs and take me away from mine — which, if I spend time listening to them rather than spending time on the Word of God is exactly what is happening.
A short list:
Brad Pitt, actor, activist
Daniel Radcliffe, actor (Harry Potter character)
Jack Nicholson, actor
Joaquin Phoenix, actor
James Cameron, director, activist
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, philanthropist
Steve Wozaniak, Apple computers founder
Paul Giamatti, actor
John Lennon, songwriter, musician (deceased)
Bruce Lee, martial artist (deceased)
David Gilmour, musician – Pink Floyd
George Carlin, comedian, actor (deceased)
Mick Jagger, singer
Stephen Hawking, physicist, scientist, activist
Bill Maher, TV host, comedian, activist
Jodie Foster, actress, activist
Lance Armstrong, former cyclist
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder
Angelina Jolie, actress, activist
Billy Joel, songwriter, musician
Seth MacFarlane, TV show creator
Ian McKellen, actor,
Rafael Nadal, tennis player
Eddie Veddar, singer, musician
Howard Stern, radio and TV program host
John Malkovich, actor,
Keanu Reeves, actor
Source: article written by Reed Rothchild for Rant Lifestyle, January 01, 2014
Is There A God?
By Rabbi Tully Bryks
Like most of our information, it’s hard to “know” anything 100%. When we cross a street, do we really “know” 100% that we won’t get hit by a car? Do we really “know” 100% that George Washington was the 1st President of the United States? We never saw him, or met him and weren’t even alive at the time. Ultimately, our “knowledge” is really a reflection of conclusions we have drawn based on evidence and experience. To really raise some questions about how limited our “knowledge” could really be, take a look at the movie, “The Matrix.”
Yet, there is a commandment in the Torah to “know” G-d. So as with any other form of “knowledge” that we profess, we need to examine the evidence. Various philosophers and theologians throughout the centuries have offered hundreds of pieces of evidence that allow us to “know” G-d. Since we are all different, I find that not everyone likes every “proof.” And that’s OK. With hundreds of pieces of evidence to choose from, each person needs to find only one that resonates to help establish and secure one’s faith. For a Jew, I often find that it is helpful to share the method that Avraham (Abraham) used to figure out that there is a G-d. Since he was the father of the Jewish people, we may relate more to his reasoning than to that of others. But if you happen to not like his argument, that’s OK too, since there are hundreds of other arguments for G-d.
Avraham grew up surrounded by idol worshippers, a home and community that denied the existence of one all-powerful G-d; his father even tried to have him killed for his monotheistic beliefs. But as Avraham examined the world around him, he developed what some refer to as the “Intelligent Design” approach to belief in G-d. Imagine that we finally succeed in sending a manned spacecraft to Mars and find a functioning wristwatch. Would we conclude that the watch randomly formed on its own? More likely, we would realize that someone had “created” that watch (which might mean life on Mars or might just mean that someone else came to visit first). When Avraham examined the intricacies of the world around him, he too concluded that the world could not have randomly formed by itself; he realized that someone had to have created a world that has so much design.
Centuries later, this argument was espoused by Sir Isaac Newton, the world-renowned astronomer and physicist, who also happened to be a devout believer in G-d. A story is told that Isaac Newton’s apprentice, a professed atheist, walked into a room to find Newton standing in front of a model of our solar system, suspended in the air from the ceiling. This model was an impressive replica of our solar system. Every planet resembled the ones in real life and even rotated around the model sun. The apprentice told Newton how impressed he was with Newton’s creation. But the apprentice was quite incredulous when Newton told him that he had not created the model. Newton explained that when he walked into the room, he found a large pile of materials on the floor, which included paper, string, paint and the like. He gave the pile a really big kick and the materials randomly connected with one another, forming an exact replica of our solar system. The apprentice exclaimed that it is not possible for this complex model of the solar system to have come about randomly. Newton retorted that if all the requisite materials were in that pile, it was certainly possible for his kick to have randomly caused this masterpiece of a model. While his apprentice acknowledged that it was technically possible, he explained that the odds were so low for it to have formed by chance, that only a fool would believe that this model of the solar system did not have a designer or creator. At that point, Newton pointed out the irony of this atheist’s words – “If a mere model of the solar system must have had a creator, certainly the real solar system must have had a creator as well!” And the real universe is much more complex – it’s not just a few balls rotating around, but millions of planets and stars. And the complexity of any life-form adds a whole new level of intricacy.
When Avraham looked at plants, trees, animals or even the human eye, he saw the beauty and complexity of the design and concluded that there must have been a creator. Modern experts, including the world-renowned Stephen Hawking, argue that the odds of the elements necessary to create life on earth having come about randomly would be the same odds as a horde of monkeys spontaneously typing one of Shakespeare’s sonnets with no prior training! In mathematical terms, while not 100% proof of G-d, the chance of randomly typing the 488 letters to produce just one sonnet (average length) is one out of 26 to the 488th power, or one out of 10 to the 690th power – a one followed by 690 zero’s! The immense scale of this number is hinted at when one considers that since the Big Bang, roughly 15 billion years ago, there have been only 10 to the 18th power number of seconds that have ticked away.
So while this argument does not prove with 100% certainty that there is a G-d, based on the arguments posited by Avraham and Sir Isaac Newton, it appears to be highly probable from a statistical perspective.
 Shemos (Exodus), 6:7 and 20:2; Devarim (Deuteronomy), 5:6; Rambam (Maimonides), Sefer HaMitzvos (Book of Commandments), Mitzvah #1
 Beresihis (Genesis), 32:10; Zecharia, 1:73; Shemoneh Esrei Prayer
 Links to a handful of the books that offer evidence for G-d appear just above and just below the footnote section
 Rambam (Maimonides), Mishna Torah, Hilchos Avodah Zarah (Laws of Idolatry), 1:3
 Rashi, Bereishis (Genesis), 11: 28
 History of Science: Newton citing: Delambre, M. “Notice sur la vie et les ouvrages de M. le comte J. L. Lagrange,” Oeuvres de Lagrange I. Paris (1867); Westfall (1980), Chapter 11; “Newton: Physicist And … Crime Fighter?],” Science ( 2009), NPR.
 (1975) “Isaac Newton: Inventor, Scientist and Teacher,” Milford, Michigan, U.S., Mott Media; Newton to Richard Bentley (1692), in Turnbull et al. (1959–77), vol 3, p. 233; Opticks, 2nd Ed 1706. Query 31
 Isaac Newton, The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
 Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time
 Dr. Gerald Schroeder, “Genesis and the Big Bang”
DON’T STOP AT A GRAVE!
By Vance Havner
And Rachel died…and Israel journeyed.
Genesis 35:19, 21
Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan.
And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.
Jacob buried his beloved Rachel – and journeyed on. When Moses died Joshua took charge and crossed over Jordan. John the Baptist died, and his disciples brought their grief to Jesus.
No matter how deep your loss, how impossible it seems to go on, life is too short to stop by any grave. We must proceed. Loved ones pass away, great leaders die, the prophet is beheaded. But God’s work goes on and we must go on. Those we have lost awhile would not have us settle at their graves. God would have us arise and cross Jordan.
Bring your loss to Jesus, but do not sit up with the past. For He said, “Let the dead bury their dead, but go thou…”