Monday, February 25, 2013

Does reading your Bible produce Faith?

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:17

If you've been a believer for awhile, then you're probably familiar with this verse. It's used over and over again as a reason we should be reading our Bibles as much as possible. If we want more Faith, we must read the Word. If we want our prayers answered, we must read the Word. If we want to move forward in our walk with God, we must read the Word.

But what if I told you that the "word" in this passage does not refer to God's written Word??  There are two greek words for "Word" and they have completely different meanings.

Logos = Written Word (This is our Bible)
Rhema = Spoken Word - a specific word from God spoken to a specific person

Many people can know the Logos of God and never be saved. There have been countless Bible Scholars throughout the ages who have never truly known God. So, reading the Bible does not get you saved. You became a believer because of a Rhema word from God, a word the Holy Spirit put on your heart that led you to accept Jesus.

Before you click off the page, let me say that I strongly recommend you read your Bible every day and as much as you can every day. Leave it open on your kitchen counter, in your family room and read it whenever you have a spare minute. Knowing the Logos Word of God is very important to your understanding of God, His character, His love, and His plan for mankind. But this is completely different from receiving a direct specific Word from God.  As an example, you can read a history book on George Washington and really gain an understanding of him and what motivated him and his life, but can you imagine what you would learn if you could sit down in a room with him for an hour?

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4

Now, I'm sure you've heard this verse.  Yet did you know the word Jesus refers to is Rhema, not Logos?  Which would imply that He is telling us that we should make a specific Rhema Word from God each day as important as our meals.

Examples from Scripture
  • Noah walked with God. He knew the Logos of God, but it was when he received the Rhema Word to build an ark, that he stepped out in faith and grew in his walk
  • Moses knew the Logos of God, but it was his response to the Rhema Word to go back to Egypt and free God's people that sent him on his journey of faith

There are tons more examples I'm sure you could think of. Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, the prophets, Joshua, Rahab, Ruth, Esther, the apostles.  All received Rhema words from God and acted on them to increase their faith and receive God's blessing and will. 

When we run across struggles in life, modern Christianity tells us to pull out a verse from the Bible and stand on it in faith. But that's not what God says will build the faith you need to believe for a miracle. The Bible says to receive that Rhema word from God, stand on that, and watch what God will do!
How do you receive the Rhema, spend time in worship, in meditation, in study of the logos and ask God to speak out of that logos, a rhema word. This takes much more time and dedication than simply pulling out a verse and trying to believe it. You must get alone with God in order to hear His voice. 

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  John 15:7

Again Jesus is speaking here of His Rhema words, not the written Scripture. Are you starting to see a pattern? God wants you to spend time with Him.   Knowing the Logos does not require fellowshipping with God, getting a Rhema Word does require fellowship and knowing God. I know which one I'm seeking!


  1. Mon Feb 25th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    Today's message was both interesting, and, informative. And, actually ... I need to spend more time on "both" -- the Logos, written Word of God (the Bible) ... and, the Rhema -- spoken Word of God. But definitely, I 'need' to hear the Rhema Word ... and going forth from His direct guidance and leading. Oh boy .... do I ever have a long way to go !!!
    Thank-you for another timely word in due season, MaryLu.
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda

  2. Thank you MaryLu for sharing this! Since the beginning of the year I have been reading/listening to the Bible.

    In Christ,


  3. John 1:1 in the beginning was the word , the word was with God and the word was God..

  4. I admit, you caught me off guard with this one, MaryLu, but once I got to reading it, it made total sense. I, for one, would be totally lost and miserable if it weren't for seeing and hearing God's Word. This world pains me right now, but God keeps me focused through His Word and those He has sent to comfort being my greatest blessing. Hugs, my friend.

  5. I believe everything God wants for us to know He has placed in His written word. I know far too many people that feel that if their heart says one thing and the Bible says a different thing, you follow your heart above the Bible. Which explains why you find people doing very unbiblical things all the time and yet claim it is from God. Yikes!

  6. I knew this might be taken the wrong way.. and I'm glad most of you didn't. I merely wanted to expound on the difference between the written word and the spoken word of God. We can have both! The Rhema is harder to hear because we have to get alone with God and really know Him. I love the Bible! I read it everyday.. but I'm desperate to hear directly from God.. a specific word from Him. And Emma you are correct in that anything we hear MUST not contradict anything in Scripture because the Holy Spirit never contradicts Himself. :-)


  7. MaryLu, I really enjoyed this writing. I have really never explained this way. I gave my heart to GOD at 10 yrs. old, and hear so many talk about hearing GOD talk to them so plainly. Maybe sometimes when a subject that I should deal with I take for just a thought I have and maybe it is GOD telling me I need to do this. And, I know I haven't spent as much time reading HIS word as I should. And, I am not young anymore. I have never really found out what He wanted for me. As, what my talent is. God bless. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  8. Maxie, I believe this is something we are really missing in today's Christian walk.. hearing directly from God. We aren't taught about it in church or given examples of how to do hear HIs voice on our own. It's sad. But God does want to talk to us individually! He's our Father.. Of course He does. I don't doubt that you've heard Him.. u just may have not recognized it as Him. The key is spending time with Him and asking HIm to help you learn to hear His voice. :-) He does have a plan for your life. He has given you specific talents!

  9. MaryLu thank you for this anointed post. More than ever we need to HEAR the words that God has for us. I thank God I was raised in a Christian home where I was taught this by my Godly parents. And just like you said you have to spend time with God to attain it. There have been times God has spoken to me and told me to do things for Him such as the time He told me to go the house of a family I barely knew and to give them some money. Later that day the mom called me and asked who told me to do the risk of sounding weird, I told her GOD. She was crying and said there was no food in their house and she began to thank me for obeying GOD. Talk about a humbling experience. God is so amazing. Again thank you for listening to God when He told you write this. He will bless you for it.

  10. Amazing post, and spot on! Thank you!

  11. And just recently I resigned myself to the fact that it'll be okay if I leave my bible wide open. All the time. So much for that awesome expensive bible cover, tee hee...

  12. Amen! I love this post MaryLu. I was blessed to be raised by parents that love the Lord with all of their hearts. They taught us this from a very early age. You know reading the Bible just to read it is a lot different than reading it and having it speak to you and minister to you. Knowing God is such a blessing. I fail so many times and know I would be a wreck without Him in my life. He still draws me to His side and loves and forgives me. The more I know Him the more I want to be like Him and there is more of Him in my life. I have learned to let go of me and just to listen to Him. It is hard to get to know anyone if we are always asking for something or doing all the talking. God loves it when we talk to Him but He also desires to speak to us. It sure changed my life when I met Him and it has only gotten better each day!
    I teach children's church
    and have taught this several times. One of the examples I used was imagine I brought you all to a ice cream shop. None of you had ever been or tasted it before. You can smell all of the waffle cones being made, see the hot fudge dripping, look at all the flavors and toppings...your mouth watering.....and you get ready to ask for something..and I say okay it is time to go. Imagine not being able to taste it for yourself? But you could say you went and describe a lot of it. Then imagine getting to go and tasting everything..all the different flavors and textures. It sure makes a difference when you experience it on your own! That is what knowing God did in my life. I was taught all about the Bible, and stories of Jesus..and to pray and read my Bible..but when I began to know Him and experience Him in my life...that is where my relationship with God started!

    Thank you MaryLu for posting this!! Sure was a blessing to me =)

  13. Oh Teresa, I love that story!! I've heard similar ones where God will tell someone to bring a gallon of milk to a certain home and it turned out the mother had several children, no money, and had just run out of milk. Oh, I long to be used to help others like that!

    Yes, Marie.. leave that Bible open! You can always peek beneath it at the beautiful cover now and then. :-)

    Johnette, I simply adore your icecream store analogy! May I borrow it from time to time? It describes so perfectly what people miss out who don't "taste and see that the Lord is good" ! They don't get to know God and all of His delights! Perfect!

  14. The difference between Logos and Rhema is very small. They are, in fact, considered synonyms by many qualified scholars.

    I have been aware of this type of teaching for years but it is error to say that logos=written word and rhema=spoken word. And yes, I have studied NT Greek.

    The truth is, we in charismatic circles have taken these two Biblical words, redefined them based upon faulty understandings and have made a broader distinction between the two words than scripture allows for.

    For instance, the Bible says that "His Word (Logos) was with power" In Mark 4 the sower sows the Logos NOT the rhema. In 1 Peter, the two words are used to describe the same thing.

    So, the distinction which you make is not accurate but is a very popular teaching in charismatic circles.

    In reality, we have hijacked these words to describe hearing from the Spirit of God and every thing he says to us is considered a "rhema."

    The experience is real and is to be desired but we use the wrong words out of context and in contrast to the way the NT used them.

    I'd like to challenge you to do a word study using something besides Vine's Expository Dictionary and then check your conclusions. It may surprise you and change your opinion.

    I am for hearing the Spirit and we need to hear Him who is the teacher, but I have found the following to be true: this type of teaching places the written Word on a lower plane than the "rhema" when in reality, they are both necessary. Faith comes by hearing the preached word of God.

    Romans 10:17 uses Rhema for sure but it is the preached Word of God which may be written or spoken.

    Do we need the Spirit to help us understand? Of course, but let's keep these two words in context instead of redefining them according to the latest charismatic teaching.

  15. GaryM, thank you very much for your detailed response. I appreciate your thoughts and your careful study. I wanted to assure you and everyone here that I did not intend to place the Rhema Word of God above the Scriptures at all. I believe both are equally important.
    In essence I believe we are on the same page, Gary. We both value the Word of God.. whether coming directly from Him or from His Written Word, or His Written Word spoken aloud. The Father can speak to us in all of these ways, and I've experienced all three.
    I think the thing that is most important is that we continue to read the Word, hear it preached, as well as listen for God's direct word to us.
    Thanks again for dropping by. :-)