Blessed are Those Who Have Ears to Hear the Word of God

The hearing and believing of Gospel preaching is one of the extraordinary blessings of God’s grace. People are saved by God’s grace through the faith given to them by God, the Author and Distributor of each person’s faith (Rom 12:3; Phil 1:29; Heb 12:2). Faith manifests who is elect, and the elect walk in faith in the Son of God (2 Cor 5:7), who loved His elect people and gave Himself for them (Eph 5:25).

Faith comes to an elect soul by hearing, and hearing is made a reality by the Word of God (Rom 10:17). Believers have the capacity to hear the voice of Christ in the preaching of the Bible (Jn 10:3–4), and it is He who gives them ears to hear (Mt 11:5; Mk 7:32, 37; 9:25; Lk 7:22). The child of God, living in a distant land, loves to hear a Word from home. She does not despise it, nor does she neglect to go to the local embassy each Sunday. It is her delight, her treasured privilege.

With gratitude, the Christian receives the feeding and protection the Good Shepherd has promised (Ps 23; Jn 10). He tastes and sees that the Word of God is good (Ps 34:8), especially because he hungers and thirsts for righteousness (Mt 5:6). This is a new desire within the believer following his conversion. God puts the desire for spiritual things in His adopted children (1 Cor 2:15–16), and then He gives them what they desire.

The natural man has no interest in the things of God (1 Cor 2:14). He lusts for the things of the world (1 Jn 2:15–17). He has no taste, nor appetite for the bread come down from heaven (Jn 6). Nothing can change this man’s disposition, except he be born again of the Holy Spirit (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3). Only by the mercy of God, coupled with the grace of God, can a man desire God.

Knowing that God is sovereign in Gospel preaching, no person is privileged to hear the Gospel without a preacher sent from God (Rom 10:15). Still, how much more the masses of humanity who have heard the preaching, but who have not received the grace to believe it. Therefore, what should we think about ourselves, as believers in Jesus?

Christians have been graced to receive the Word of truth (Jn 1:12–13). They have been blessed and should love what they have received (Eph 3:19). They do so with their whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. Their cup overflows with the desire to know Christ Jesus (Phil 3:10) and to bear witness of Him to the nations (Acts 1:8). The hearer becomes a student, and he becomes a preacher as the Spirit employs him with this high calling (Eph 3:8; 2 Pet 1:16).

The unbeliever finds her rest during the sermon. This is not the everlasting rest in Christ, but a slumbering of her disinterested flesh. The preacher may raise his voice to regain lost hearers, but only when the Spirit cries, “Awake O Sleeper!” does the call of God become efficacious. This again should cause the lover of sermons and preaching to be amazed by grace given to him to be on the alert.

There is nothing closer to God and heaven than the preaching event, where Christ speaks to His people from heaven (Eph 2:6). The unbeliever hears the sound of a mere man speaking, but the Spirit-filled hearer is listening to a Spirit-filled preacher (1 Cor 2:4; 2 Cor 11:4). She hears God in the Spirit speaking Words of truth, promises, reproofs, encouragements, etc.

When a Christian happens to hear another person in a coffee house or at the mall speak the recognizable Words of holy writ, it makes him glad. This is evidence of the Spirit impressing the Word of God upon yet another person. The heard Word is evidence of the speaking Spirit. Like the wind, the Spirit goes where He wants, and He accomplishes all of God’s holy will (Eph 1:11).

There may be two children in a family, one believes the preacher’s report, and the other rejects it (ie. Jacob and Esau). Why the difference? The distribution of the Gospel is utterly up to the eternal good pleasure of God. Knowing these truths, how then should we live?

The Christian must give thanks, as she realizes the selective wisdom and power of God’s grace toward His elect saints (Eph 1:4-5). Christians must not speculate or wonder why they are recipients of such undeserved favor (Eph 2:8–9), in contradistinction with his neighbor who has no favor from God (Rom 9:13, 22).

The Holy Spirit only works the Word of God, effectually in those souls redeemed by Christ. Christ came to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21). The Spirit-filled, redeemed believers are who they are because God chose them (Rom 11:5), in particular, to be His possession before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4–5; 1 Pet 2:9).

Rejoice, Christian, and again I say rejoice. God has found no merit in you to justify saving you (Jn 1:13). He is just in saving you, however, because of Christ’s precious blood on the cross (1 Pet 1:19; 2:24). It is the Spirit who brings the application of that blood to God’s elect, redeemed people who believe in Jesus because He made them believe. Nothing but the unconditional love of God could be the motive and the catalyst to successfully save His people (Rom 5:8), who never tire of hearing this good news preached to them (Rom 1:16–17). God has blessed His children with ears to hear, and they rejoice to hear they are blessed with so great a salvation.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

January 27, 2022

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher