- Eph. 2:1-3 — All are by nature children of wrath.
Rom. 1:28-32 — Humans do evil even while they know better.
cf. Rom. 2:12-16 — the “naturally” good Gentiles.
Phil. 3:6 — Paul said that as a Pharisee he was blameless.
Eph. 1:7-8 — Jesus gives us forgiveness and salvation.
Acts 3:19 — To follow Jesus is to repent and turn to God.
John 3:3-6 — To follow Jesus is to be born from above.
Joel 2:28-32 — God pours out His Spirit on all flesh.
Eph. 4:17-5:2 — Jesus’ followers put away their old life.
- 1. The New Testament clearly envisions a new and better way of life for those who follow Jesus, a gentler, kinder life, one that is seemingly better in every way. Is this new life inevitable for those who follow Jesus? Does this call to a new life mean that those who call themselves Christians are therefore “better” than those who are not Christians? Or is it still possible that there might be good people outside of Christ and bad people who take the name of Christ?
- 2. Does the call to a new life touch a naturally responsive chord in the human heart? In other words, is the prospect of becoming a “new” person an attractive goal? Or is the “new” way of life more of a burden which a person simply must accept in order to be saved?
- 3. What are the chief marks of the “new” person? Are the changes evident immediately, either to onlookers or to the person who has been changed or to both?
- 4. If a new Christian recognizes the positive changes in the life and is grateful for them, how is it possible to protect oneself from arrogance, pride, and boastfulness (e.g. the Pharisee on the street who thanked God that he was not like other people, Luke 18:11)?
- 5. Just how does Jesus perform the miracle of the changed life? Is it possible to follow specific steps and end up with an assured result?