Key Text:2 Corinthians 5:17-“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have
become new”

Steps of Faith
Remember when Jesus performed His first miracle during the wedding at Cana? Mary, the mother of Jesus, told
the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2:5). By saying this, Mary built the confidence of the servants in
Jesus. When He asked them to fill the water jars, they did exactly as He asked. Then Jesus said, “Draw some out
now, and take it to the master of the feast” (verse 8). Once again, they followed His request, even though it
seemed strange—and they soon realized they had just witnessed a miracle. Take a look at the individual steps
1. By her instructions, Mary built up the servants’ trust in Jesus.
2. The servants expressed their trust and willingness by doing just what Jesus asked. In other words, they
took the preparatory steps that allowed for the miracle.
3. Then Jesus alone performed the miracle.
The servants did nothing to turn the water into wine—but would the miracle have happened without their
preparatory steps? This is how the obedience of faith works: We choose to trust Jesus, place our will at His
disposal, and take obedient steps of faith. But Jesus—and Jesus alone—performs the miracles.

How It Works
The apostle Paul explains that a mystery has been revealed in us for a definite purpose—to bring about obedience
of faith (see Romans 16:25-27). What is this mystery? According to Colossians 1:27, it is “Christ in us.” And what is
the result when obedience of faith is achieved in Christ? “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old
things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). We have a new life through
Christ living and acting in us. We are new creations!
When we have “Christ in us,” our attitude toward His commandments changes. “His commandments are not
burdensome” (1 John 5:3). “For My yoke is easy,” Jesus said (Matthew 11:30). “I will delight myself in Your
commandments, which I love” because they are “better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver” and
“sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:47, 72, 103). “Great peace have those who love your law” (Psalm
119:165). Obedience of faith is a pleasant thing because God, in His love, has given us only the best rules.
And while obedience matters, it never earns our salvation, and it never happens by our own goodness. Ellen White
says, “He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law is attempting an impossibility. Man
cannot be saved without obedience, but his works should not be of himself; Christ should work in him to will and
to do of His good pleasure” (Faith and Works, p. 94). Three points are worth highlighting:
1. It is impossible to reach heaven by my own works. Trying to earn something from God is futile.
2. However, obedience is an indispensable part of life with God, since Jesus’ followers are called to live in
conformity with His will.
3. Obedience should not be our own work but a miracle accomplished by Christ in us.

What Part Do We Play?
Once again, we cannot do anything to save ourselves, but God respects human free will and allows us to choose.
According to Ellen White, “The Lord designs that divine power shall cooperate with human effort” (Ye Shall Receive
Power, p. 10). What does that mean?
1. We trust. We choose to develop our trust in Jesus, who works in us “to will and to do” (Philippians 2:13). He
creates in us an attitude of willingness and shows us what we need to do.
2. We decide. We must choose to do God’s will. Since He completely respects our individuality and will, He
will only intervene if we make the decision. He waits for it.
3. We take preparatory steps. We express our decision in steps of obedience, which can be large or small.
4. God alone does the crucial work of salvation.
And remember, even our part—trusting, deciding, and taking preparatory steps—is done only in God’s strength,
when Jesus lives in us through the Holy Spirit. This makes obedience a joy.