Often missed, but nonetheless taught, in the oft quoted words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:8-9 is the scriptural truth that saving faith is “the gift of God.” Contrary to popular belief, saving faith is not something we can work up within ourselves. Instead, it is something God must give to us.

In Romans 10:17, Paul explains how saving faith is graciously granted to us by God. According to Paul, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The Greek word Paul uses for “word” in Romans 10:17 is not the Greek word “logos,” which means “written word,” but “rhema,” which means “spoken word.” The incredible truth Paul is teaching us in this verse is that God’s written Word—the Bible—must be quickened (made alive) to our hearts by being personally spoken to us by God’s Spirit. Then, and only then, will saving faith be born in our hearts, enabling us to come to Christ by faith and be saved.