Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Without me ye can do nothing

The words of Jesus are blunt; unless we submit our lives, our being, to His control, we are not capable of being a Christian. We can pretend, we may think we are doing a great job on our own, but sooner or later something will happen and whatever is really in our heart will show up.

To take just one example: we read exhortations in the Bible about being humble and set about to make ourselves humble. It goes well; soon we think we have this down pat, we’re doing a much better job of being humble than most of the people around us. . .

Whoa! See the problem? We’ve become proud of our humility.

To become a Christian, we must admit that we have hopelessly messed up our life and cannot clean up the mess by ourselves. It’s pretty humbling isn’t it? That’s a good start in Christian life, the right start. However, as time goes on, we start thinking that we’ve got this figured out, we can complete the task of making ourselves Christian by our own understanding and will. When that doesn’t seem to be working out some folks wonder what the problem is. Others see that they have messed up again and turn to Jesus to make a new start.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He has sent the Holy Spirit to help us do what we cannot do. We all know that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy and peace. But we don’t always remember the other qualities, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. Aren’t they a good description of humility?

It is the work of the Holy Spirit in our heart that makes us humble. Our own work on the outer man can’t do it. Our own work can’t do anything at all that will count in eternity.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)

3 responses to “Without me ye can do nothing

  1. Jnana Hodson March 31, 2021 at 17:37

    Gee, you’ve done this without using the word Gelassenheit. Or, for that matter, saying we have to be saved from our sin. Smooth, dude, I’m impressed.

  2. Bob Goodnough March 31, 2021 at 20:10

    If your saying that I’ve succeeded in avoiding religious jargon, I thank you.
    As for Gelassenheit, it is a very good and useful word, but for use in limited circumstances – and this wasn’t one of them.

  3. Russell Toews April 3, 2021 at 10:55

    Hi Bob. I’ve been looking for your article that talked about submitting to authorities during the pandemic but I can’tseem to find it. All I remember is the phrase where you said ” we as Christians have a better way to spend our time than in civil disobedience.” Would you be able to re send that article to me? Thanks. Ryss

    On Wed., Mar. 31, 2021, 7:19 p.m. Flatlander Faith, wrote:

    > Bob Goodnough posted: ” The words of Jesus are blunt; unless we submit our > lives, our being, to His control, we are not capable of being a Christian. > We can pretend, we may think we are doing a great job on our own, but > sooner or later something will happen and whatever is real” >

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