How does faith begin?
A saving faith is not a natural attribute of man’s nature, but a gift that comes from God, from outside of a human. Man cannot produce faith by himself and thus decide to come to faith, but is wholly clinging to the power of God’s work.
God produces faith trough the means of grace. The primary mean of grace is the Word of God. In baptism the faith-producing Word is combined to water. In the Holy Communion it is combined to the bread and the wine. In confession of sins it is combined to a special procession of forgiveness.
The Holy Spirit speaks to man through the Word of God and through the Word of God the Holy Spirit comes to his heart and produces faith. The awaking and strengthening of faith are the most important tasks of the Holy Spirit.
-If you’re wondering whether you have faith, or enough of it, you can ask God to strengthen your faith. This is a plea to which God always answers affirmatively. You can trust that God will give you faith despite your own feelings or experiences.
In the congregation the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ as the Saviour and assures that grace is sufficient for you too. Faith is not about our own pushing or trying but God’s work in man.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
(Romans 10:17, ESV)