The importance of hearing the Word of God is summed up by Paul in Romans 10:17, ‘Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.’ first he mentions faith. There is no salvation apart from faith and faith comes to us through hearing. What we hear is the word of God! James makes a similar statement when he says, ‘Of his own will begat he us through the word of truth’ (James 1:18).
James then goes on in the following verses to give us some helps in hearing. He mentions six things to do in hearing the word of God.
1. ‘Be swift to hear.’ Be ready, willing and quick to hear what God says.
2. ‘Slow to speak.’ Many never listen. They simply wait their turn to speak. When God speaks, don’t go popping off what you think. Listen to what he says.
3. ‘Slow to wrath.’ Don’t get mad at what God says. Bow and believe! Even if it runs contrary to what you have believed or experienced.
4. ‘Lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness.’ In other words, clean out your ears!
5. ‘Receive with meekness the engrafted word.’ When you hear something, you either receive it or reject it … receive, welcome and embrace the engrafted word! The reason faith comes by hearing is because in hearing you are not doing, but receiving! We don’t do something to earn faith or grace. We receive it!
6. ‘But be ye doers of the word and not hearers only.’ When God says repent … repent! When God says believe … believe! When God says to trust his dear Son … trust him! When God says to call on his name … call on his name!
Not only did Christ say, ‘Take heed what ye hear.’ He also said, ‘Take heed how ye hear.’ How can I hear? By being quick to listen, slow to give my opinion, slow to get mad, having my ears cleaned out, receiving what I hear, and being a doer of what I hear.