The end of one year and moving into a new year is a natural time to think about newness and life change. Personal transformation is a big topic, and a huge challenge. How does real, deep, and abiding life change really happen? Is it through a greater commitment to a more disciplined life? Is it through personal self-effort and self-control? These things certainly play a role in the Christian life. But at its heart, the gospel offers us a radically counter-intuitive and counter-cultural vision of what a transformed life looks like, what its goal is, and how it actually happens. This passage is one of the classic pictures of it, and when we understand what its saying, we’ll be better able to apply the gospel message to our lives.