Cell Notes

Cell Notes - Free From

God's Solution - free from (21st January)

Please start by reading Romans 3:21-31 – the main text this week. In your groups, discuss what do you think is the essence of this passage – if you could just write it in two sentences? Then in just two words? And in what context, about what part or parts of our Christian life is this teaching focussed?

 

It is a common phrase of our age to talk about ‘the self-made man or woman’. Someone who by their own efforts has come usually from a humble or an adverse start in life, has worked hard, and by their own efforts have really achieved something. You might be able to think of someone who personifies that sort of idea.

 

For me this Romans passage, talks to that idea of being self-made, being self-sufficient, being self-reliant, and being proud of our achievements (at least in the context of  our righteousness – our ‘right relationship’ with God) – and it doesn’t say flattering things about them! This is probably not news to many of us: that putting hours into studying, working long hours at a difficult and tiring job, putting food on the table for our families, clothes on our children’s backs …. doesn’t, and cannot, buy us into the right relationship with God (‘righteousness’).

 

But does that mean they are not important at all? How far, do you think, we can argue an extension of the strict context in this passage? How far can we go in rejecting self-reliance and pride in ourselves and our achievements? What do we risk if we push it too far? If we reject any sense of needing to rely on ourselves?

 

Think about and discuss this question: What might be your principles for living a responsible Christian life that places a reliance on God, and humility before him, but which retains a sense of our own responsibility?

 

Here are a few that come to my mind ….

 

Start with gratitude and humility – show gratitude because everything you have to bring to a situation was God’s gift to you in the first place – but acknowledge even than a need for Gods help.

 

Take Responsibility – using your God given skills and capability take up the responsibility to act.

 

Build Your Self Sufficiency – Invest in building your own resources to deal with challenges in the future.

 

Live in Community - Be willing to be served – but don’t stop taking responsibility & Be willing to serve – but don’t discourage those you help from taking responsibility.

 

End with humility and gratitude – when you have succeeded, or just made progress, or even just endured - then acknowledge that and celebrate it. But be humble and grateful for the help you received from God, and from others.