The Work of God Is Simply To Believe

Lucas-van-Valckenborch--working-320-webby Rex Rouis

What is the work of God?’ What must we do to receive things from Jesus? Well, let’s ask Jesus:

Then they said to him, “What must we do, to do the works of God? Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” John 6:28, 29

Simple enough. The ‘work’ of the new covenant is simply to believe God and Him whom He has sent, namely Jesus. Easy right? Well, not always. Believing is not just saying that you believe. Believing really believes – without doubting – and God is the judge of it, so He knows. He looks down into our hearts where the believing is actually done.

I assure you: If anyone says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore, I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for–believe that you have received them, and you will have them. Mark 11:23, 24

But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,  James 1:6, 7

Miraculous faith and answered prayer requires heartfelt believing. The things of God in our lives just don’t happen. They take believing and believing takes work. Many times, there is a price that has to be paid. A price of diligent study in the word of God, so that we will know what is promised to us by God. And diligent seeking so that we will know the specific will of God about what we want. Only seeking brings hearing and only hearing brings faith.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the (spoken) word of Christ. Romans 10:17

This is the work we must do ourselves. God won’t do it for us and others cannot do it for us. Yes, God has great mercy on baby Christians and their believing can be easy, but as we mature God begins to expect more out of us. Further on in Chapter 6 of John’s passage above, after Jesus tells them that the work of God is to believe; they ask, ‘What are you going to show us so that we can believe?’ This is so typical. They wanted God to do it for them so that they could easily have faith. They wanted God to do the work. And people think that way today – that God would simply give faith if He wants to, that it is the total work of God.’ But Jesus said it was our work.

Believing is the work we must do ourselves. God will not do it for us.
This is does not mean that faith is by our own ‘self works’ as Paul discussed in Romans Chapter 4. The work we are talking about here is actually obedience to the word of God. Yes, faith in God is a gift of grace, but He only gives it to those who diligently seek Him. Faith is free, but it is only given once God has decided that we have been sufficiently obedient.

Our work in God is to get to a place of faith in Him. Believing is taking that faith and doing something with it. Only we can choose to throw our legs over the side of the boat. Believing is faith in action. It takes effort to get to a place of believing, and it takes effort to act according to that belief. If God tells us that we are healed, we must receive it, believe it, and then act accordingly.

Faith is not hard work but it is work.


  1. I’ve been a believer for many years but I’ve struggled with the “Lordship vs Free Grace” controversy for a while. I currently hold to faith in the work of Christ alone (Eph 2:8-9, Acts 16:31). However, upon reading this article I see we do have responsibility to the Sovereignty of God. Yet the Gospel of John and in many parts of Paul’s letters seem to indicate that even our faith in Christ is a gift, that we cannot obtain it on our own will. It’s such a profound mystery to me that I want to grasp but the more I try to figure it out, the more it escapes me. I suppose it will always be a struggle for me as I look through a glass dimly until I am face to face. Any encouragement or wisdom you can offer is appreciated. Thanks!

  2. I love this verse and your commentary is mostly very good but there may be a fly in the ointment. You clearly differ with the NIV translators of Romans in one statement toward the end, “Faith is free, but it is only given once God has decided that we have been sufficiently obedient.” Essentially this statement has obedience preceding faith.
    In Romans 1:5, Paul teaches that the type of obedience that God desires of us comes after we truly believe Jesus has paid for our sins, not before. Again, this is made particularly clear in the NIV, yet perhaps only subtly so in other translations. Consider that the type of obedience that comes from faith (in the Gospel) is of necessity motivated by love and gratitude whereas the type of obedience prior to belief in the Gospel is of necessity motivated by the flesh. Which type of obedience does God desire?

    1. Looks as if NIV has omitted an important point by removing the text “all natons” – as so NIV has done all throughout the scriptures.

  3. Yes! So simple – believe – but we are to be attentive, to take heed, to be on guard because we put self-effort where God belongs. Great article. And even though I could have taught what you wrote, I needed the reminder. The words were sweet to me and full of life. Thank you, Lord Jesus, that Your burden is light and easy.

  4. Ed, more than anything brother I wanted you to know you were heard; someone ( I ) hear you and see you!

    My prayer for you is that God would grace you to accept yourself as He does. That He would grace you to no longer place burdens on yourself that He himself would never expect you to bare.

    You ARE, have always been and will always be enough! No situation can change that!

  5. I can’t disagree enough with this article. Faith IS fully of God. Once given, we are humbled by his goodness. There is NOTHING we can do to get it! NOTHING!

    1. Author

      Carlos – So, are we sit in our recliner chair watch TV and let God give us faith. Is that how it works. Tell me how (exactly, no platitudes) we are to receive faith. Are we expected to do anything? Rex

      1. Carlos,

        Grace and peace are multiplied to you by the “Knowledge” of God. – 2 Peter 1:2

        Faith is like a muscle, it must be worked.Yes, it is given to us by the Father when we receive Jesus and get born again, however for that Faith (Trust) to continue to work you must be a “Doer” of the word.You must obey and act on Jesus’s words to get results.

        We are “Co-laborers” with the Father.Joint heirs with Jesus.

        For example, if you want to see someone healed you must put your Faith into action .
        It is not going to happen automatically.For example I had someone healed recently
        over the phone.As we were talking I received a “Word of Knowledge” from the Father.
        I told the person on the phone that the Father was healing them as we spoke and shared testimonies with each other.They later testified that the disks in their back were healed and pain free from a bad skiing accident years ago.Praise Jesus!!

        So as you can see, I had to “Act” in Faith (Trust) and speak to them what the Father wanted to do.

        All Rex is trying to communicate is that Faith must be acted upon.

        When you have time Carlos, go to
        and click on “Audio Teachings” under “Audio”.

        Scroll down and you will see a series called “A Better Way To Pray”.
        It is a timeless masterpiece.
        You will learn more in a few hours than most people learn in a lifetime.

        Enjoy ,


    2. “…and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” .Hebrews 11:6

      Faith happens and grows through relationship. One learns to trust someone, God included, as they get to know them. As they get to experience how trustworthy they are. The effort on our part is cultivating a relationship with God… spending time with Him. Listening to His still small voice. Learning about His character thru experiencing His faithfulness and intently getting to know Jesus who is the exact representation of the Father… through how He treated people and situations. — We do not conjure up faith. We get to know the faithful One… Jesus!

      A mother disciplined her son because of something he did. She told him to go sit in the corner. Then he responded, “Ok I’ll go sit in the corner, but in my heart I’ll be standing up!”

      God does not demand faith. Because it won’t work. Faith of a child comes by getting to know how faithful He is…

  6. Dear one please just accept the christ as your redimmer and trust whole heartly and give praise what whatever has happened in your past.
    “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6
    So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the (spoken) word of Christ. Romans 10:17”

    He is always in your favour.

    Santosh Rai

  7. I need help. Please pray for me. I hate myself for not having complete trust, faith and hope in God and Jesus Christ. Even though He has blessed me my entire 55 years, I still find myself doubting Him when I’m going through trials and tribulations. It’s going on 2 years since my son passed away and ever since then it seems like my life has been going downhill. I’ve lost joy in life, my business of 31 years is spiraling downward and even my relationship with my wife is not going well. I know that my problems have a lot to do with my attitude and outlook in life, but I can’t seem to find no hope in my future. All my plans and dreams seem out of reach now. I feel like such a failure, as a husband, father, businessman and even as a Christian. I know that I’m sinning in Gods eyes when I doubt Him. I’m ashamed of it. I don’t want to dishonor Him, yet I keep doing it. I know the Enemy easily gets in my head. It’s like he knows I’m weak and vulnerable. I do pray a lot and read scripture often. But even doing that while NOT believing is not going to get me the results I need. I read this website a lot to learn how to achieve the hope and faith I desperately need, and it’ll work for a while then I relapse and when that happens, I fall hard. It’s gotten to the point that I feel this world is better off without me in it. Again, please help me. Pray for me that I will attain faith and hope in God and that I will have joy, peace and love in my heart and in life. Thank you and God bless you.

    1. All references to faith in the Bible – refer to the simple, strong, conviction that Jesus is God.

      If we are convinced Jesus is God – then we will trust Him with everything.
      But we get this the wrong way around i.e. we try trusting Jesus without being fully convinced he is God.
      And this gets us no where. Our faith is just “lip service”.

      So try simply believing that Jesus is God.
      Dwell on that. Pray on this one single thing – and everything will fall into place as your trust grows out of this simple conviction.

      1. Author

        Steve – Of course I agree that we should believe that Jesus is God, in the same way as God the Father is God and the Holy Spirit is God. The Trinity – one God and three Person. But just believing that Jesus is God will not take care of everything you need. For healing, you must believe that God heals, and more specifically, that God will heal you, now, of this particular thing. Faith is specific because our needs are specific. To get this kind of actionable faith requires getting the specific scriptures that cover your need down into your heart.

        Your first statement that all references to faith ‘refer to the simple, strong, conviction that Jesus is God’ is simply wrong. Here are all the occurrences of faith and believing in the New Testament – New Testament Scriptures on Faith & Believing. God bless you. Rex

    2. Ed, I’m wondering if you got the deliverance you needed and how are things going?

    3. Hi, Ed, you may want to find a support group in your area called Celebrate Recovery, it’s bible based & a safe place.

      This group has help me and still helping me recover from relapses & triggers on my journey towards healing & wholeness.

  8. I think he said obedience is not self works so it probably means “hearing the word of God: diligently.

  9. I love your site and agree with you on most everything you say. Your site has been a great blessing to me for a few months now but I don’t understand what you said about”faith is free but is only given one God has decided we’ve been obedient enough”. I can’t see the whole thing so I know that’s not exact wording but close. I think we get faith by hearing the Word of God like it says and also by experiencing Him in things. If He only GIVES me faith based on my obedience, how can I ever be obedient I the first place? I need to believe in Him, with faith, before I can ever think to obey Him. Your making it sound like we have to do something for Him first and than if He thinks we did good enough He’ll give us some faith. Doesn’t it sound that way? It says faith comes by hearing the Word of God, not from God. But I know it says He’s given us ALL the measure of faith but that didn’t come from obedience. I’m confused but I think that makes sense what I’m trying to say. 🙂 Blessings to you!

  10. Amen. Spot on. Thank you so much.
    Your website has been an amazing blessing to us here in Africa. Helping us to grow as well as reach out to millions. Bless you. In Him. Ben and family Mission, Botswana.

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