Without Me Ye Can Do NothingBro. David Chancellor
1/5/2003 11:00 AM
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Christ was trying to prepare the disciples for the time when he would go to the cross. The disciples had seen and participated in many wonderful things. He reminded them, "Abide in me." Christ wanted them to know that they still needed the help that came from God. He said, "Without me ye can do nothing." Without Christ, Peter would have been just a fisherman. If Peter had gone on without Christ, many things would not have been done. When we abide in him, we can bring forth much fruit. Just like Peter, we can't do anything without Christ. These people were common folks that had the abiding presence of God in their lives. Each of us is unique. Even if they manage to clone people, they will still not be identical. The difference of the life of a child of God is that God is in you. You become what you are because of Christ. Christ wanted to turn their attention to what mattered. They needed the power of God in order to make a change in the world. These didn't understand, at this point, how great their dependence was on Christ. Without Christ, failure lies ahead. The disciples felt this failure. It wasn't until after Christ rose that they really realized their dependence on him. They didn't accomplish all they did because of who they were, but because of whom they were dependent upon. We may want to see things accomplished and to overcome things, but without God, we are helpless and have no way out.
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Paul described how he tried to go in the confidence of his flesh. He felt strongly about the law. A knowledge of and strong feeling about the Bible is not enough. Paul had to realize that his goodness, greatness and heritage were not enough. Parents can train up their children right, but unless the children find it for themselves, it's not good enough. Paul tried to live what he had been taught, but it was not enough. There was still something missing. He had to count it all loss. He had to see that all his accomplishments were still failing. Jesus showed him there was still something lacking. Paul put all aside for Christ. He as trying to get from nothing to something. If we would live for God, we have to realize it's not us or our abilities, but Christ in us. You can be a godly person when Christ comes into the heart. If you don't have Christ, you'll not have the fruit of the Spirit in the heart. It's not our righteousness. We can feel good about the good things God does through us because God gets the glory.
1 Peter 5:5-7
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
We want to get the thought of humility here. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. God sent some things Paul's way that weren't "all roses." If you are trying to live the life you think God would have you to in your own abilities, expect circumstances to conspire against you. God knows you need something more. He knows that you need his help. Those that find Christ realize that they can do nothing without Christ. Those trying to do things in their own strength will fail. God allows things so that you can see how you really are. He resists the proud. Humble yourself to God. You haven't come humble enough until you come to the place where you say, "I need God above everything." Humility is realizing that you need someone to help you, and to bear your cares. When you realize that you can't do it, and you give it over to God, that is humility. Cast your cares on God. When we acknowledge that we can't do it, we can go and tell what God has done. God's not going to share the honor. It's his. This happens only when you recognize your inability and your dependence on him. People will see your good works, and will glorify God. The abiding presence of God in the heart changes us. Without him, we can do nothing. Cast all your cares on him, and humble yourself before him. People should bring all their troubles to God. If people would cry out to God for help, he would do something for them. We need to realize "I can't." This doesn't mean we live a life of "can't's", though.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
On the one hand it's "without me ye can do nothing" and counting all as loss. On the other hand, it's "I can do all things through Christ..." On our own, we can't do anything, but with God as our helper, we can do all things. He is the one who makes it happen and works it out. The difference is Christ.
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
God will supply all your need. We can do all things through Christ, because he supplies exactly what is needed. If you have that, your life can be effective for God. Think of the difference between Peter the fisherman and Peter the apostle. The impact of your life hinges on the same thing. Without God, you will be a failure. Real greatness and meaning for the world is found in Christ. What is needed can be supplied if we turn to Christ with all our heart. It's not even a partnership. It's giving yourself to God because you're not able. Bringing just the big stuff isn't all your cares. Bring the little stuff, too. Even the little things in our lives, at school, home, work, or just wherever, need to be taken to God. When we take our cares to him, he will supply our need. God was the helper of the ones in the Bible. He can help us, too. It wasn't just for them. He's for now, too. He is still there for the soul that will be honest and say, "God, I can't." He is there for the soul that says, "God, I need help." When God is on your side, you can do all things through him. You have to recognize your own littleness in his sight and your need of his help. Recognize your nothingness and your need of God. He's there for you, if you will just cast on him your every care.