Paul reminds us of the human condition and connects this to what Jesus did for us.
Then he emphasizes that all humans, Jew and non-Jew, are now part of one human family.
In 1:15-16, it sounds like Paul is a member of each Christian’s fan club. Cool!
Funny, I started my study of this book so long ago that a revision of the NIV has been released meanwhile:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (2:8-10).
Now we’re “God’s handiwork,” not “God’s workmanship”!
Paul ends his letter, in verses 19-24, with requests for prayer and words of encouragement.
There’s a clear give and take, a balance between asking and giving. Keep this balance.
In verse 18, Paul tells us to pray all the time. If we’re alert, we’ll pray more.
Verses 14-17 include one of the most famous word pictures in the whole Bible.
I wonder what a contemporary version of this word picture might be?
In verses 10-13, Paul writes that any struggle’s source is beyond what we can take in with our five senses and explain via the scientific method.
Does this feel right? Does this claim match up with our personal experiences?
Paul puts everyone, from the top of the org chart through the lowest entry-level worker, on notice in verses 5-9.
Bosses must treat their employees with respect. Workers must do their work well, even for lousy bosses.
In verse 4, Paul tells parents not to exasperate their kids.