New Year's Resolutions
It is a sign we are guilty of this self-confidence when we resolve upon a better life, and do not think how unable we are for it. Great resolutions are always vain, unless joined with the consideration of our own weakness. The people of God have promised much, but always it is with the concurrence of Christ. The apostle saith, Phil. 4:12, 'I can,' or will 'do all things,' but it is 'through Christ.'
David promiseth, Ps. 119:32, 'I will run the ways of thy commandments;' but he addeth, 'when thou shalt enlarge my heart.' There are divers such places in scripture. We walk in the strength of our resolutions when we do not see a need that ...Christ should help us, that we may not walk in the same ways of error and maze of misery again...
You must understand it as accompanied with the Spirit's efficacy: 2 Cor. 10:4, 'The weapons of our warfare are mighty through God;' there lies its force. So 2 Cor. 3:6, 'Who hath made us able ministers of the new testament: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.' He calleth the law the letter, as it showeth what is to be done, but ministereth no abilities. The letter killeth, leaveth us miserable, but the gospel, accompanied with the Spirit, is an efficacious instrument to beget life in us; because all the efficacy thereof depends upon the Spirit, therefore, in opposition to the law, it is called spirit.
From A Practical Exposition of the Fifty-Third Chapter of Isaiah - Thomas Manton