We are striving to improve our lives but there are many times when we need resources beyond ourselves to do so. Contrary to the theme in our newsfeeds and hollywood films – we are not the heroes of our own story. We are neither self-made nor self-saved. Paul reminds us of the gift of God’s self to us in Jesus and the humility it will take to desire that gift if we are to grow as human beings. [Audio | Notes]
For further thought
Q: Under what conditions do contemporary ideas for improving our lives work and under what conditions do they struggle?
Q: Why does Paul think that looking to our own resources will not raise us above ourselves (2:20-3:4)?
Q: Why does Paul give us lists of what the earthly nature and the heavenly nature look like when lived out?
Q: Is the unity amongst diverse people possible without Christ (11)?
Q: Why does Paul use the grace words ‘clothe/put on’ and ‘let’ in verses 12, 14, 15, 16?
Q: In Romans 7 and 8 Paul describes the difference between looking to our own resources for change and growth and relying on the Spirit of Christ. What are the differences? How can we live this ourselves?