Pristine Grace

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Christ Must do Everything

John 15:5

by Heshimu Colar

A young minister asked an older pastor about the estate of someone in the old man's congregation. The person in question had made a profession of faith that was well received by the church. Yet, over time, the profession came to ruins, and it was evident that the Lord Jesus had been received in word only. Thinking upon this, the old pastor sighed in recollection, and replied to the younger minister's question by saying, "He comes to service once a week and nothing more, and I can't do anything for him." To which the younger pastor's heart replied, "I guess that's the secret then… We can't do anything for sinners." My brethren, I would that these words would sink into our hearts so that we would be more useful, "We can't do anything, and Christ must do everything."

The Lord Jesus said, "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 (John 15:5)." This text does not mean that we can't do anything without Christ's help. He is declaring that unless He does everything, we can do nothing. We are not wise enough, strong enough, loving enough, understanding enough, or anything enough to bring a sinner from darkness to light. We mournfully look upon those struggling in unbelief, yet we cannot put the gospel into their hearts with reviving power. As stewards of the Gospel, we are called to make known to others what God has made known unto us concerning the unsearchable riches of Christ. We cannot witness what we think people need. We can only seek to deliver what has refreshed our own soul and compelled us to worship. Brethren, as you make intercession on behalf of those for whom you're concerned, don't think that YOU can pray anyone into the kingdom of Christ. Instead, bring God in remembrance of the richness of His mercies. Remember the cesspool from which you've been delivered, and declare back unto Him, His promise to save all the election of grace (Is 51:1-3). Plead His mercies, His love, His righteous, and above all and in all, plead His Son. And wait.

Every time that we try to add our concern, our gifts, our anything unto the power and glory of Jesus Christ, we swerve from the glory of His grace into our works, and from faith into disobedience. I know that it seems pious that we would take matters into our own hands and attempt to help God and our fellow man. Yet, Uzzah was killed for 'helping' the Ark of the Covenant (I Chron 13:9-10), and King Uziah was made a leper for taking upon himself what did not belong unto him (II Chron 26:16-21). Be warned, the whole burden of legality comes whenever we seek to circumcise ourselves and somehow merit the manifestations of His grace.

The salvation, comfort, and edification of all of God's elect is entirely of God. How much so? Our Lord Jesus Christ died alone. (Is 59:16) "And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him." He says, (Is 63:3, 5) "I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me… And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me." You played no part in your own salvation. He says, "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for my own sake, and will not remember thy sins (Is 43:25)." Likewise, we have no part in the salvation of others. We witness, we pray, we beseech our God in all seriousness to manifest His meekness, gentleness, and love through us… yet, all things are of God, and all of our faith looks to Him.

Being made God's saints does not mean that we have power in and of ourselves. We must be "… strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; (Eph 3:16)." A saint is someone who is born of God by the application and merit of the sin-atoning blood of Jesus Christ (I Pet 1:2-3). It is by the new birth that we are enabled to believe God, and thus His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Faith is not a great thing that produces self-confidence; faith confesses our own depravity and relies upon the God of all grace. Would you give glory to God and serve your fellow man? O, then cast everything upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Trust your life into His hands, your every day to the provision of His Spirit, and surrender all of your fears unto His sure promises and reconciling blood. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Infinite Pure Son of God, says, "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 (John 15:5)."

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