How Do We Know If We Are Really Hearing The Word Of God?

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Published by Shannon Jacobs



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So, it’s church day! We wake up, say a prayer, prepare everything we need for the service, dress ourselves, have parents get their children ready, and then rush to church, hoping not to miss the opening sermon. Once we arrive, we sit down, open the Bible, and “listen” to God’s Word. But are we really hearing the Word of God?

Do you go to church just for the sake of it or to see your friends? Are you singing spiritual songs because they’re melodic? Or read the scriptures daily because you’re obliged to, without knowing what they mean? Perhaps to some, these are their attempts to redeem themselves each time they sin when they keep falling back to their old ways, again and again, to receive salvation from God’s grace. The truth is that all of these are futile without effective listening.

Key Takeaways

  • Truly hearing the Word of God involves more than passive listening; it demands active engagement, understanding, and application in one’s life, guided by an honest and good heart.
  • The Holy Spirit plays a crucial role in helping believers understand and interpret the complex messages within the Bible, enabling transformation through effective listening.
  • The Bible emphasizes that hearing God’s Word should lead to action, encouraging believers not just to be passive listeners but active doers, integrating faith into daily life and decisions.

What Does It Mean To Hear The Word Of God?

Hearing God’s Word means listening to His Word and actively engaging with His message with an honest and good heart. We should actively listen to the gospel with the intent of understanding its meaning so we can apply it in our own lives.

The Lutheran Study Bible English Standard Version (ESV) defined hearing as “the act of hearing, the ear, or the message heard. The message is the meaning here.” To be heard means to be understood. To connect with God, we must first gain the knowledge and wisdom taught through the Scriptures. You might ask, “How can people accurately interpret the complex passages and parables in the Bible?”

The Father sent a Helper to guide and comfort His prophets and believers in the form of the Holy Spirit when Jesus Christ ascended. He is a gift from God who allows us to understand His Word. We can be transformed through effective listening and the power of the Holy Spirit[1].

a woman in a dimly lit cathedral, kneeling in prayer

What Does The Bible Say About Hearing The Word Of God?

The Bible says hearing God’s Words should not end with just listening to the gospel but with putting what we have learned into action. The Almighty doesn’t want passive listeners. He wants us to be involved as much as He wants to be involved in our lives. We should strive to be both hearers and doers.

Hearing God’s words and taking action are emphasized in James 1:22-24, which goes, “But prove yourselves doers of the Word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.”

Why Does The Bible Say “Faith Comes By Hearing?”

The Bible says faith comes by hearing because one’s faith is established by hearing His Words. We can only achieve faith by believing that we have received salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice. It is not something we can achieve on our own. But how can we have confidence in something we do not know? We can only grow in faith if we listen and accept the gospel.

Take this verse in Romans 10:14–15: “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” Apostle Paul addresses that someone must preach the gospel to bring people to faith in Jesus. He emphasized this in Romans 10:17, which reads, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

However, exposure to His Word doesn’t guarantee one will accept Jesus and come to faith. In Romans 10:18, Paul pointed out the lack of response from the people: “But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” We are given free will. Hence, it is still up to the people to trust and have faith in God.

a person reading the Bible, sitting by a window bathed in warm sunlight

Why Is It Important To Hear The Word Of God?

It is important to hear His Word for us to know and understand the will of God. With a deeper understanding of His Word, we can grow in faith, overcome sin and evil, build meaningful relationships, and receive guidance to live a righteous life. God calls for us to hear His Word, which has been written and emphasized in the New and Old Testaments.

  • The LORD, your God, will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. — Deuteronomy 18:15 (NIV)
  • The next Sabbath, nearly the whole city assembled to hear the Word of the Lord. — Acts 13:44
  • For it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. — Romans 2:13
  • The oracle of him who hears the words of God and knows the knowledge of the Most High, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down yet having his eyes uncovered. — Numbers 24:16
  • The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both. — Proverbs 20:12
  • Now as they were traveling along, He entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. And she had a sister called Mary, who moreover was listening to the Lord’s Word, seated at His feet. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him, and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” — Luke 10:38–40
  • But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” — Luke 10:41–42

These are just some instances in the Bible that show the importance of focusing on hearing His Words. Let us not be like Martha, who served God while being preoccupied with her worldly responsibilities. Instead, let us be like Mary, who prioritized and served Him with a mind free of worries so we may fully understand His teachings.

How Do We Hear The Word Of God?

We must have an honest and good heart to hear the Words of the Lord God. Further, we must also consider our spiritual, physical, and mental states to prepare ourselves to receive the Words of our Savior. Luke 8:18 warns us to pay attention and be careful about how we listen to His Word so we may continue to deepen our connection with the Lord.

When we are prepared to listen attentively with a receptive heart and do what Jesus Christ preached in patience, we can bear fruit from hearing His Word, as illustrated in the parable of the soils in Luke 8:12–15.

  • 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the Word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.
  • 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the Word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while and, in time of testing, fall away.
  • 14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.
  • 15 As for those in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the Word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart and bear fruit with patience.

God also communicates to us in various forms. Often, He uses people to spread his teachings or be the catalyst of our change by the principles in the Scripture. On other occasions, God conveys His message through the events in our lives that push and helps us to discover our purpose. But don’t be fooled; the devil operates in ways that resemble God.

We must be cautious about what and who we choose to hear. 1 Corinthians 2:5 tells us that we should not rely solely on man’s words but on the power of God. While Ephesians 2:8–9 stresses that we are saved not by our own doing; instead, it is a gift from God through faith, Proverbs 3:5–6 also tells us not to lean on our own understanding. Rather, it says, “In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

people gathered in a cathedral, sunlight streaming through stained glass windows


Most of us are so absorbed by the demands of our daily lives that we forget how to honestly give praise, honor, and glory to God. The world today is riddled with ungodly things and deeds. These distractions hinder us from standing with Christ and submitting to His will.

If ever you fear not receiving salvation because you haven’t been honest in your worship, be reminded that He is our noble and forgiving Creator who bestows peace and rest on all who accept Him. God is constantly reaching out His hand to us, patiently waiting to be heard, even if we are disobedient. All we need to do is heed His words with an open heart and embrace His presence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Hearing The Word Of God Mean?

Hearing the word of God means actively listening to and engaging with His message, understanding it with an honest and good heart, and applying it in one’s life.

What Does Hearing Comes By The Word Of God Mean?

Hearing comes by the word of God means that faith is established through listening to His Word, as it allows individuals to believe in and receive salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice.

Why Is It Important To Hear God’s Words?

It is important to hear God’s words because it enables individuals to understand His will, grow in faith, overcome sin, build meaningful relationships, and live a righteous life.

What Bible Verse Talks About Hearing The Word?

The Bible verse that talks about hearing the word is James 1:22–24. It talks about the importance of not just hearing the Word but acting on it, emphasizing the need to be doers of the Word, not merely listeners.

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