“So faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ”
I had a college theater professor who had a favorite phrase, one that I’m sure you’ve heard. It really applies to every aspect of life, and if we used it more often, maybe things would go better. Here it is:
K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple, Stupid
Think about it. If someone had applied this to the more than 10,000 pages of the Affordable Healthcare Act legislation, maybe things would have rolled out better (though I doubt it). For that matter, just about anything that comes out of Washington seems to be a labyrinthine mess that only a room full of lawyers could ever understand, written so that people outside the beltway will never know what’s coming. We really need to simplify things.
But not just in D.C.
I recently heard a message that was a complicated meandering through a hodge-podge of collected passages of Scripture, seemingly addressing a big issue in the world today, but never really saying anything about it. Scripture says this, but it also says this, so we really can’t turn to Scripture to give us any answers here. That wasn’t a quote, but it was the general theme. When the message was finished, I had no idea what was ultimately said.
That’s not the way it should be. Any pastor or teacher who equivocates on Scripture, who puts the Word of God and the teaching of the world on the same footing is, knowingly or not, leading the people astray and planting seeds of doubt in minds of the audience regarding the power of God’s Word. A sermon should clarify the complicated in the light of Scripture, speak directly to those caught in sin God’s Word of judgment and hope in Christ, and present in a straightforward manner the life of faithful discipleship.
There are, of course, very complicated matters that the Bible addresses, and certain teachings of the church require great discipline and study and time to make them clear. Still, the Westminster Confession teaches us:
All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all; yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed, for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.
To simplify: there are, indeed, complicated things in Scripture. But everything that you need to know, believe, and do for your salvation is made perfectly clear in Scripture.
That’s why I love the passage above. “Faith comes from by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Beautiful. Clear. Direct. Simple.
If you want to grow in faith, read the Bible. God speaks, and we trust what He says – that’s faith. God speaks to us when we read His word. That is where we come face to face with God’s truth, with God’s promises, with God’s commands, with God’s love. As we hear His word, as we trust and obey that word, our faith grows.
If you want to grow in faith, to overcome those nagging doubts, attend to God’s word. Make His word a priority in your life, for in it you will find a vast treasure for your soul.