“Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
In and of ourselves, we are unable to produce ANY spiritual fruit; “….for apart from me you can do nothing.”
However, there is an equally important and balancing truth that the Bible teaches. As Paul writes to the church at Philippi, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Paul says this in the context of being content in whatever situation he finds himself. Surely this is a wonderful grace and fruit of the indwelling Spirit. We are far too often tempted to be discontent about one circumstance or another. It is as if we could only change this one thing (whatever that may be), all would be well. We slowly learn that satisfaction is not to found in our circumstances, but only in abiding in Him. As Paul said just prior to the above verse, “In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. “
There exists a vital union and intimate fellowship between us and Jesus. Christ's grace was sufficient for Paul and it is sufficient for us. But this idea wasn’t original with Paul; David sings of the same truth dozens of times: (Psalm 27) “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Is Jesus our strength and our stronghold? Do we seek contentment in Him by His grace? Are we satisfied with Jesus? God wants us to learn the utter fruitlessness of self-dependence of the utter necessity of being dependent on Christ.