All through my academic career I rubbed shoulders with people smarter than I. The standard was always higher than I could reach, no matter how I hard I tried. Holiness is like that.
When I was a new Christian, I told another believer that I was struggling with controlling my temper. She told me that I was not a genuine Christian because if I was, I wouldn’t sin. If she is right, not only was I not a Christian then — I still am not a Christian now. When you discover two very different interpretations of the Bible, how do you decide who’s right?
The apostle Paul writes to explain the good news of Jesus Christ, who as Messiah, is the Savior for all people; who as the Transformer of lives writes His Law on our hearts; and who as the Lord of history is carefully bringing this salvation to all nations — culminating in the restoration of Israel.
Parables are serious theology. But they are metaphorical theology. They teach through metaphor, simile, and dramatic action rather than through logic or reasoning.
Paul writes his final comments with his own hand to emphasize his message.