Ye Can Do Nothing
John 15:5: 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.
To us nothing means nothing. But to God nothing means nothing worthy. A couple of interesting Bible definitions of the word nothing: The absolute negative, unworthy. Without Jesus we can do absolutely nothing that is worthy in God*s estimation.
Acts 17:28: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
How is it that the people without Jesus in their hearts that Paul was speaking to could exist, eat, sleep, go to work and do other things? They were doing nothing that was worthy in God*s eyes. They were doing nothing of spiritual value. They were only doing physical things. They were only in God in a physical sense. They were not in God in a spiritual sense. Everything they did was unworthy in God*s eyes.
Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Albert Barnes NT Commentary:
I can do all things. From the experience which Paul had in these various circumstances of life, he comes here to the general conclusion that he could *do all things.* He could bear any trial, perform any duty, subdue any evil propensity of his nature, and meet all the temptations incident to any condition of prosperity or adversity. His own experience in the various changes of life had warranted him in arriving at this conclusion; and he now expresses the firm confidence that nothing would be required of him which he would not be able to perform. In Paul, this declaration was not a vain self-reliance, nor was it the mere result of his former experience. He knew well where the strength was to be obtained by which to do all things, and on that arm that was able to uphold him he confidently relied.
John Wesley Notes:
I can do all things . . . Even fulfil all the will of God.
Without Christ in our hearts and lives we can do nothing that pleases God. With Him in our hearts and lives we can do everything that God wants us to do. Three very important things that we CAN DO are to seek His will, to find it on time and to do it. There are never any valid excuses for us believers for not doing His will.