The Milk Doctrines: Faith toward God

by Ayo Fabiyi

Posted February 22, 2011

Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
Heb 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: [partakes and continues only on milk]for he is a babe.
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Heb 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Heb 6:3 And this will we do, if God permit.[God willing!]

As we learned in our first study on “Repentance from dead works”- Milk is a necessary part of our diet to develop us and is an essential part in the Sum of God’s truth.

All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus must first partake of this milk, without which any child of God cannot grow up. At the appointed time of the Father, the child of God is to move on to perfection through partaking of the “strong meat”, the “deep things of God”. Let us remind ourselves of the importance of Milk from our last study;

1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word…[Why?] that ye may grow thereby:

The second of these elementary principles of Christ is Faith toward God. A principle can be defined as a foundation for belief, an essence, a basis of conduct or a fundamental truth from which ALL others are derived from. It is therefore mandatory that we use the basic principles the Scripture sets out to understand Faith.

To be born again, or “as newborn babes”, one must first be born. When the scriptures talk about our first birth, they are not placing the emphasis on our physical birth by our physical mother, but rather the birth of the Old Man, the old Adamic human nature which is strongly tied to the system of the world, faith of this age and its earthly things.

Being a ‘newborn babe’ refers to the birth of the nature of Jesus Christ in us, his word, mind, ways and living His Life through us. Faith toward God is a process TOWARD God that does not take a few seconds, days, months or a few years. It is a process that lasts for the rest of our life until we get to the FULLNESS OF GOD. The destination is to the Father, and the Captain dragging us ‘toward God’ is the Lord Jesus Christ himself. He only knows the Way, the obstacles and how to overcome those obstacles and complete the mission in getting us to God. There is no other captain or route.

1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

The multifaceted composition of faith and manifold parts will be revealed to us only as we continue toward God. The first thing we need to know is the basic definition of Faith, according to scripture.

What is Faith?

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. [KJV]

Faith is not based on substance or anything tangible. It is only required when there is no physical evidence that we can see or scientifically prove. A better and more appropriate translation of Hebrews 11:1 that fits the rest of scripture is;

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. [NASB]

Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. [KJV]

It is the belief in the invisible. The assurance intended to give us confidence beyond our natural comprehension.

Joh 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. [KJV]

1Pe 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, [ESV]

The word ‘Faith’ is synonymous with believing:

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. [KJV]

But there are many beliefs within Christianity, what makes this any different?

The focus and subject of this faith is the Lord Jesus Christ bringing us toward God the Father. As newborn babes, two good starting points to recognize to have faith toward God are:

There is One God and One Lord.

1Co 8:5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth–as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”
1Co 8:6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

Believing in the true one God, through the one Lord Jesus Christ, is the faith of God’s elect. This is the only faith that will drag us ‘toward God’ the Father.

Tit 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

Believing or having faith toward God is NOT only recognizing that there is a man Jesus or even a God that exists. As can be seen in the verse with Thomas below, there are many ‘Thomases’ who believe according to sight what they physically see and their life and physical experience above anything else.

Joh 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
Joh 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. [faith by sight]

But the true faith towards God includes the work of God, which we will begin to do once we get to the stronger meat of the word. This is an important point to keep in mind when thinking about faith toward God. Without its work, it is dead! Let the Lord tell us himself;

Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, [this is the true Faith toward God] that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Believe what Lord?

Act 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, [faith toward God is….] believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:

2Ti 3:16 All scripture [Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21] is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, [Hebrews 6:2 “the principles of the doctrine of Christ”] for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

This faith operates by obedience to the word of God, believing and doing all things we are instructed and commanded of our Lord to do. In doing so, we are ‘working’ and producing good works. This is the true Love of God and is covered in the stronger meat of God’s word.

Gal 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Where do we start?

Before we start being truly dragged by ‘faith toward God’, we all liked to think and believe that we had faith of Jesus. The question is posed:

Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

As will be clearly revealed to us as we go on to the stronger meat of God’s word, we did not have the faith that will bring us toward God when he first came to us. As was mentioned in our last series of repentance from dead works, we first have to be made to realize we are sinful before we are granted repentance. Likewise we first have to be brought to a point where you and I can acknowledge that we are without “faith toward God”.

Psa 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

The Lord says…..

Jer 3:13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD.

Only after we acknowledge our faithlessness does the Lord begin to show us that what we had was not of Faith. Faith toward God from the beginning had been omitted in our midst for many reasons, from genuine lack of understanding to it not fitting our denominational identity, when we first placed our faith in “the wisdom of Men”.

Mat 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Our faith was first placed in wisdom of religious men, what the scripture also calls a “schoolmaster” or in some translations “tutors”/“guardians”.

1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

This is when we were ‘believers’ who in times past used to say:

1Co 1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ….[”..I am of Catholic faith..I am Pentecostal..I am Baptist…I am so and so”]

This is all contrary to the faith that brings us to God. As newborn babes, once we know we have One Father and One Lord, from then on we are to be known only by his name and begin to take his true Christ-like nature.

The Next Step?

At the appointed time of the Father, the Lord is sent to us through His Holy Spirit to bring us to God. The Lord comes to teach us the Father’s word, plans, thoughts, ways and doctrines. All the Lord does is to the intent to bring us “toward God”.

The Lord chooses a few out of the multitude he has called; He gives a measure of Himself in their hearts, which is the measure of Faith. As newborn babes, it is good to always bear in mind this is not just any faith (in the wisdom of men), rather, it is the Faith of God’s elect which will inevitably brings us to God.

Tit 1:1  Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

How much faith is given?

We are all dealt a proportion of Christ, that is, a measure of Faith. Contrary to beliefs in time past, it is NOT given in a few second prayer nor is a vast proportion given at once. Rather, it is a very small amount as tiny as a grain of mustard seed.

Rom 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Rom 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

As we learned in ‘Repentance from dead works’, we are not to start despising those weak in the faith, simply because Faith is a GIFT. All newborn babes are given a ‘talent’ to begin with, also (see the parable of the talents). We are all weak in the faith to begin with, but by continuing daily, we become stronger in the Faith. No man is given 100% faith toward God at a single time. Likewise there are multitudes of followers to whom faith toward God is not yet given, but rather faith in the wisdom of men.

2Th 3:2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

Rom 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

In both cases, it is very important for newborn babes to know that the Law of Faith rejects and excludes all vain glory and boasting, especially against those that have not been given faith and those that are still weak in the faith.

1Co 4:7 For who makes you differ from another? [strong in the faith or weak in the faith or have no faith toward God?] And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

NOT FAITH OF OURSELVES? WHO AND WHERE IS IT FROM?

It is vital to note again that “faith toward God” is not of us. There is nothing we can do of our own will that can take us “toward God”.

Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power [Faith] to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, […”as newborn babes”] not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of manbut of God.

It is for this reason Faith is referred throughout the Scripture as being the Faith of Jesus Christ.

Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth 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.

Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

1Ti 1:14  And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

1Ti 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2Ti 3:15 and that from a babe you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Jas 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

We have zero input to get to God, it is all a gift of God, and ONLY FOUND in Christ Jesus.

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. [why not boast again?]

Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

Keep in remembrance where it can only be found. From the mouth of the Lord Jesus himself;

Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Through what channel does this Faith come to us?

The Lord Jesus Christ is His Word (John 1:1-4) and we receive His Spirit (John 6:63) by hearing him if he grants us spiritual ears to hear him and a heart to understand. It is through His ministers who have this Spirit of faith we are granted this precious Faith.

Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Rom 10:8 But what does it say? “The Word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart”; that is, the Word of Faith which we proclaim;

1Co 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

2Co 4:13  We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

As we grow in the faith and increase our understanding, “we also believe, and therefore [should] speak.”

So what does this Faith toward God produce in us?

We will first let the apostle Peter answer us;

Act 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

The Lord…

Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

As we continue “toward God” in faith, His righteousness is progressively revealed to us:

Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. [..of God’s Elect]

WHAT IS THE OUTCOME AND END OF THIS FAITH?

The answer is that this “Faith..[ is ]..toward …God”. Reaching God is the destination, and we are told:

Joh 4:24 God is [a] Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth

The end is to be ONE in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. This is an age-lasting process that necessitates we continue in this faith toward God day by day till we get to God. Once we are given a measure of faith, we are to continue, increase and grow up from being babes towards a mature man in Christ Jesus. This will only happen…

Col 1:23 …If… ye continue in the faith [toward God] grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Act 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, [toward God] and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

2Th 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, my brothers, as it is right, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of each one of you abounds toward one another;

2Co 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.

Trials and manifold temptations will arise in due time to prove us, to test the genuineness and purity of the Faith of Jesus as we continue toward God.

1Th 3:5  For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.

It is a rare and precious faith, one that we will have to contend with the much opposition and adversaries all our lives:

2Pe 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

There is a great prize at the end, through many trials, the purpose and reward is to enter into the Kingdom of God:

Act 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, [toward God] and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Getting to the Kingdom of God through “faith toward God” is our SALVATION, our COMPLETION and our PERFECTION.

2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation…through faith…which is in Christ Jesus.

Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Contrary to the faith in the wisdom of men, we do not receive the salvation of God through a few second sinners’ prayer at the beginning, but rather through an age-lasting process of prayer of faith:

Jas 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

To eventually receive:

1Pe 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

CONCLUSION

As we move on to the next step of the elementary principles of Christ, it is of utmost importance to know there is increasing unity in the Faith of Jesus as we grow toward the Father. There is only one Faith, even as there is One God and One Lord Jesus Christ bringing us to God.

Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Eph 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Eph 4:13 Till ..we all come in… the unity of the [one] faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Let us now bear in mind all this admonition of Scripture whenever we think of the Faith of Jesus. It requires great boldness, strength and bravery in keeping the Commandment of God.

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

1Co 16:13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, [grow from newborn babes to..] act like men, be strong. [NASB]