“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” Hebrews 4:2)
Water, as you know, is made up of two parts of hydrogen with one part of oxygen (H2O). But the fact remains, neither one by itself will ever quench your thirst. It takes the right combination of the two to get the desired result. This is what the writer of Hebrews is saying. As powerful as the Word of God is (v. 12), and as effective as faith in God may be (11:6), neither one will get the result you’re looking for – “profit [them]” -- without the other.
The eternal Word of God is the fountainhead of all truth, and although it is infinitely inexhaustible, it is still possible to read and study it long and well enough to acquire a working knowledge of its principles and precepts; but unless, and until, faith is added into the mix, it will never truly come alive to us. On the other hand, the strongest faith is no more than blustery whistling in the dark if it’s not based on sound doctrine (Titus 2:1) and eternal precepts (Psl. 119:100). Some folks can “quote it (the Bible) by the mile, but can’t live it by the inch,” as they say; while others have enough faith to step out on nothing. But that’s the problem: they step out on nothing, literally!
As one gospel song says, “You can’t stand on promises if you don’t know what they are.” But all the Bible knowledge in the world won’t save a soul or get one prayer answered if it fails to lay hold on the Truth, by faith. The Christian life is not a method; it’s a mixture, as the verse says, that requires two ingredients: the Word of God and Faith. Leave one ingredient out, and just like the formula for water, you’ll spend your whole life thirsty.
To get the right result you have to use the right formula.