No matter how many times someone hears the preaching of God’s Word it will do them no good and have no effect unless the Lord grants them the Faith to believe and understand the Word. Until God shows Mercy and Grace by granting faith to believe, that person will never understand. They can hear all day but until granted “Faith unto Belief” then they will never “hear” with understanding.
13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 But how are they to 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?
15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
18 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.” ESV
No matter how much Scripture the Israelites heard they did not “hear with understanding.” They lacked the faith to believe.
Galatians 3:2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? ESV
God grants the “ears to hear” and the Faith to believe.
Deuteronomy 29:4 But to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear. ESV
Matthew 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear. ESV
Matthew 13:13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. ESV
9 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant,
10 he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ ESV
Without God giving them the “ears to hear” and the faith to believe no one will believe because it is foolishness and folly to man otherwise.
1 Corinthians 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. ESV
Always recollect, dear friends, that the best spiritual food in the world is useless to those who are spiritually dead; and one very essential part of the gospel is that truth which our Savior so plainly taught, “Ye must be born again.” All attempts at feeding the soul are of no use until the new birth has been experienced; even that precious, priceless bread of life cannot be assimilated unless the soul has been quickened by the Spirit of God.
Spurgeon from No Need to Feed the Dead
HT: Lora K.