Romans 10:17 (KJV) “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Emphasis Added).
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” – what do you think this statement means?
Responding to Christ’s Voice involves…
Only hearing the Word (either from others or by reading it ourselves), and not activating any change, is like looking in a mirror that reveals what we need to do for our spiritual and moral improvement. As James described it, hearing the Word and not obeying it is like looking in a mirror and seeing that our face is dirty and needs to be washed, but then walking away, forgetting what we saw, and doing nothing about it.
James 1:23-24 (KJV) “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” (Emphasis Added).
Hearing the Word and understanding what it reveals to us about ourselves and God’s will for our lives is not enough to make us real Christians and true witnesses of Christ. We must respond to what the Word has revealed with obedience, with action, to do what the Word commands.
James 1:23-24 (MSG) “Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.
Responding to Christ’s Voice involves…
We are saved by grace! There is nothing we can do to earn our salvation, but God rewards those who are diligent about obeying His Word with blessings. God will bless us in the deeds we do in obedience to His Word.
James 1:25 (KJV) “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (Emphasis Added).
“Letters usually end with a phrase that English teachers call the complimentary close. Nowadays, it’s usually ‘Cordially’ or ‘Sincerely.’ It used to be ‘Yours truly.’ Before that, there was commonly used that odd phrase ‘Your obedient servant.’ That’s the way our prayers should close. That should characterize our whole attitude toward God: ‘Your obedient servant.’” — Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997).
James 1:25 (MSG) “But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life! — even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action” (Emphasis Added).
“Freedom does not mean the absence of constraints or moral absolutes. Suppose a skydiver at 10,000 feet announces to the rest of the group, “I’m not using a parachute this time. I want freedom!” The fact is that a skydiver is constrained by a greater law–the law of gravity. But when the skydiver chooses the “constraint” of the parachute, she is free to enjoy the exhilaration. God’s moral laws act the same way: they restrain, but they are absolutely necessary to enjoy the exhilaration of real freedom.” — Colin Campbell, Englewood, Colorado, Leadership, Vol. 17, no. 1.
1 Timothy 4:8 (KJV) “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (Emphasis Added).
“We are designed with a great capacity for God; and sin and our individuality are the things that keep us from getting at God. God delivers us from sin: we have to deliver ourselves from individuality; i.e., to present our natural life to God and sacrifice it until it is transformed into a spiritual life by obedience.” — Oswald Chambers
1 Timothy 4:8 (MSG) “Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever” (Emphasis Added).
“A neighbor near my study persists in practicing on the flute. He bores my ears as with an auger and renders it almost an impossibility to think. Up and down his scale he runs remorselessly, until even the calamity of temporary deafness would almost be welcome to me. Yet he teaches me that I must practice if I would be perfect, must exercise myself unto godliness if I would be skillful, must, in fact, make myself familiar with the word of God, with holy living, and saintly dying. Such practice, moreover, will be as charming as my neighbor’s flute is intolerable.” — Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990)