So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (ESV)
We live in challenging times when it comes to theology. People will describe themselves as Christians who cannot support that claim with any biblical truth. If we truly care about the souls of the people around us we need to be careful not to give them false assurance of their salvation. If their understanding of salvation does not line up with Scripture there can be no assurance.
Paul is talking here about saving faith. This is not faith in terms of wishing for something special to happen. This is not the kind of faith that gets talked about in terms of demanding that God give us all kinds of prosperity or even physical healing. The Apostle Paul is talking about the kind of faith that brings salvation of our eternal soul. This is important stuff.
So, how does this faith come about? True saving faith is awakened in the heart of a man when they hear the true message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is far more than simply saying that we believe in God. The true Gospel includes all of what we are to believe about who Jesus said he was and a complete belief in Him as the absolute true and only way of salvation.
We must believe that we are vile sinners in need of salvation. We must believe that Jesus, being fully God, took on human form, being born of a virgin, and lived a perfect life for us. He died on the cross, bearing the penalty for our sin. After his death he rose from the dead, conquering death for all who would believe in him. We must believe this gospel, repent of our sin, and follow Christ.
Do you want assurance of your salvation? Make sure that you have truly believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Saving faith is only awakened in a person when the Gospel is completely heard and believed.