The elementary principles are for more than our understanding. By grace, we come to believe the word of God in regards to each one; and particularly here, that faith toward God is a foundational principle of our life in Christ Jesus.

Furthermore, our believing is suspect if there is not accompanying work. Faith without works is dead. The work of faith is most often thought of as the outward manifestation of our faith (e.g., feeding the hungry, clothing the naked). However, there is another working that accompanies faith; and it is the work that must come first.

In this concluding part, we will explore the two-fold work of faith toward God. For those of you that have not searched out the deeper meaning of faith, Part 1 is a good place to start. To understand the importance of “toward God”, read Part 2.

Faith’s Work in the Believer

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

As we begin, it is important to recognize that faith is a gift of God. We will not find faith in ourselves; nor are we able to create faith, in ourselves or others. This is common knowledge among the followers of Jesus Christ.

However, we must ask ourselves: How many evangelistic crusades, revivals, and worship services are now focused on “working up faith” in the seeker? This is a dangerous and soulish deception. Faith comes from one source.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4: 4

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. Romans 12:3

Faith comes (as a gift to those who have ears to hear) by the word of God. Every word that proceeds from God is for our life of faith. This “word” is rhēma: that which is or has been uttered by the living voice of God. God takes it upon Himself to apportion a measure of faith to each of His children.

Furthermore, that measure of faith will accomplish what He intends.

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:11

This brings us to the question: What does God intend for faith to accomplish in us? We know, from the Ephesians 2 passage, that the grace of salvation is appropriated through faith. There is, however, more we can expect.

For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:10

Faith produces righteousness in the believer. It is important to recognize that, though they are closely related, righteousness and salvation are not the same thing. Righteousness is “[the] state of him who is as he ought to be, the condition acceptable to God; integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling and acting”. (; Outline of Biblical Usage)

Righteousness is something we become (2Corinthians 5:21) through the working of faith. It is encouraging to know that the word of God will accomplish what pleases Him.

… that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:13-14

The promise of the Holy Spirit is also received through faith. What promise? Jesus said it best:

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Acts 1:8

The promise of the Holy Spirit is the power to be witnesses of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth; witnesses of the power of God unto salvation, and good works. This brings us to the second working of faith.

Faith’s Working out from the Believer

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17

Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Galatians 3:5

There is no other way for the believer to live than by faith. All that we do, we must do from the faith that is measured out to us by God.

Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin. Romans 14:22-23

Every choice we make, every decision, must be from the faith we have been given. To many, this seems to be an impossible attainment. We must remind ourselves that God does not require more from us than He makes possible, by His grace and the life of His Son.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by [the] faith [of] the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Here we come to the threshold of kingdom mystery. We will not cross over; but simply note that it is the life of Christ (and the faith of Christ) that enables our obedience to the word of God. Make no mistake about it; God has done everything necessary for us to live abundantly, through faith toward Him – to walk in all the good works that He has prepared for us.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10


And so we come to the end of our searching out this matter of faith toward God. You may be wondering (as I am) why the Lord, in writing this article, has not put more emphasis on the works themselves. The reason is very simple: The works are to be built on the foundation of the principle.

There is a desperate need in the church today to honor the processes of God. Good building begins with the laying of a solid foundation. Perhaps this explains why our works have become so much less than the works that He did.

Two passages come to mind:

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

Faith toward God is faith that is worked out; first, in our joining – not resisting – the work of faith toward God in us; so that, He can work out of us for His glory.


Every redeemed and regenerated follower of Jesus Christ has the heart desire for this faith; and the desire to glorify their Father in heaven through its good works. Delight (i.e., be soft) in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to Him, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:4-5)


  1. If you have been trying to build on an incomplete or faulty foundation, confess your sin before God in humble repentance. Receive His forgiveness and trust Him to deliver you from all unrighteousness.
  2. Ask for the stirring of your heart’s desires, for faith and the Father’s glory.
  3. Listen for the word of God; for the faith He has measured out to you.
  4. Submit to the Holy Spirit’s transformative work; anticipating the work of faith for your salvation.

Recommended Reading

The following are some of my favorite books on this subject. Most can be found at your local Christian book store, or at one of the many online distributors.

Absolute Surrender; Andrew Murray

The Saving Life of Christ; Major W. Ian Thomas

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Humbly yours and forever His,