There is nothing sillier and more sinful than for the creature to attempt to rise above the Creator, an act which we clearly see in the sin of self-sufficiency. To forget God and flatter man is a scourge among the saints today.
But this is not for you! I pray today’s message will encourage the slaying of self-sufficiency, a sin with which you and I must deal daily.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
The sin of self-sufficiency is an attempt to rob God of His glory. It seeks to exalt man and cast down our glorious Savior. Make no mistake, it is a fool’s errand. Both the Bible and personal experience impart the same truth: apart from Jesus we can do nothing! And this is not only true of unbelievers who are outside of the faith; this is just as true for the saints of God who have put their trust in Jesus Christ but slip into the sin of self-sufficiency. That’s you . . . and me . . . and all of us!
Notice what our Lord not say; He did not say:
- Apart from me you can do some things
- Apart from me you can do little things
- Apart from me you can do virtually nothing
John’s gospel lays the axe at the root of our self-righteousness and self-sufficiency. Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing . . . that is, we can do nothing that pleases our God. To be sure, there is much we can do in this world: we can work, we can play, we can serve. But it is as the chaff is to the wheat. It adds nothing to God’s economy because it was not done for His glory. As Isaiah 64:6 declares, “All our righteous acts are filthy rags.”
The spiritual life is beyond both the natural man and the spiritual man who works in his natural strength. By ourselves, we are sufficient for absolutely nothing. It is only when we remain connected to Christ that we can do things that matter and bring glory to God.
So . . . what have you been depending on lately? Have you been trusting in your Savior and His strength? Or have you been caught in the snare of self-sufficiency? Jesus would not have sent His Holy Spirit if we could do what God wanted us to do in our own strength. It is the ministry of the Spirit of God to give us all the strength we need to do all God is calling us to do. We are to work in the power of the Holy Spirit; we are to play in the power of the Holy Spirit; we are to serve in the power of the Holy Spirit. Never are we to depend upon ourselves for the forward progress we desire to make in this life.
Why is this so? Because apart from Jesus . . . WE CAN DO NOTHING!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!