Based on Heb.4-2. I don’t know where I got the word “combined” from, but it is firmly fixed in my memory, so I will use it.
They heard the message but it did them no good. Why is that?
Hearing is no good if not combined with faith. (There must be a similar quote somewhere else). And people were healed by faith.
The simple hearing of something does not mean much. What is heard enters the mind at a rational level, and unless it attracts the mind’s attention because it is discerned as being out of the ordinary, it will simply pass on through and join all the other useless information that is stored away somewhere.
So the hearing of something has to stand out as being worthy of further examination or scrutiny, in order for it to be so examined. In the case of the gospel message, it should stand out so as to grab and clearly focus the mind [heart] on what has been heard. If it is extraordinary then there may be an instant reaction to the message. Or it may at least be further examined.
As with most items that come to the attention of the mind, there is a conscious vetting of the information. We can choose to believe or not to believe, or to avoid believing and to pass over the information as not being suitable for some reason. If we are given cause to reflect on the matter, we may then choose to believe whatever it is.
When we believe, the subject matter passes out of the critical examination area and passes into acceptance. If we are fooling ourselves, it will be a half hearted acceptance. But God calls on us to fully believe, and that believing HIM should take precedence over everything else.
So if we somehow manage to work out or come to see that God is saying to us that he has dealt with death and sin and its existing and ongoing effects, and especially all past issues of sin, then we should believe it. Because this is what He has done on the cross in His Son.
But we have to COMBINE IT WITH FAITH, that is we must BELIEVE it. And this belief should overide all and any other belief we may hold. We should see all else as DISTRACTION from the true issue of life, believing God, and especially believing Him in this matter.
But we may CHOOSE to believe it, or choose NOT to believe it. By not believing it, we remain in the kingdom of THIS world. By BELIEVING it, we are transported by that belief into HIS world, and faith takes on substance, it produces a reality which is simply a statement, a witness, a testimony of true belief in the reality God has pronounced to exist, and so it BECOMES at one with that reality.