Micah 7:2-4 – The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. (3) That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up. (4) The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity.
“Learn: before we believed in God, the habitation of our heart was corrupt and weak.” – Barnabas, associate of Paul (A.D. 70)
Augustine (A.D. 370): “If, therefore, they are servants of sin (2 Cor. 3:17), why do they boast of free will?…O, man! Learn from the precept what you ought to do; learn from correction, that it is your own fault you have not the power…Let human effort, which perished by Adam, here be silent, and let the grace of God reign by Jesus Christ…What God promises, we ourselves do not through free will of human nature, but He Himself does by grace within us…Men labor to find in our own will something that is our own, and not God’s; how can they find it, I know not.”
Not one man has ever lived who could save himself. Not one. (Proverbs 20:9)
We are by our very natures, spiritually dead: nothing dead is able to bring itself to life (Romans 8:7)
How can a human being possibly be more powerful than God Himself? Is not God the very maker (and giver) of all life? (Job 4:17)
We cannot in any way, save ourselves or claim any part – no matter how tiny – in our redemption. Every single bit of it, start to finish – our very ability TO believe in Him – comes FROM the faith OF Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:16)
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.” (Jesus said)
[John 15:5] “Following the metaphor of our Lord, it would be just as possible to do any good without him, as for a branch to live, thrive, and bring forth fruit, while cut off from that tree from which it not only derives its juices, but its very existence also.” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible)
[John 15:5] “for without me ye can do nothing”; nothing that is spiritually good; no, not anything at all, be it little or great, easy or difficult to be performed; cannot think a good thought, speak a good word, or do a good action; can neither begin one, nor, when it is begun, perfect it.” (John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible)
Without Christ in us, we can do absolutely nothing, because we are dead. Dead birds can’t fly. Dead fish can’t swim. Dead plants can’t grow. Dead men can’t will – anything. He is the source of our very lives (John 1:4), He gives us light – life itself (John 6:33). Jesus Christ can do absolutely anything He wants to without the assistance of mankind (or anything else), but mankind, mankind absolutely cannot, do anything at all without Him.
I will praise and glorify my God whose touch saved me, and made my dead branches bring forth life (Isa 5:1), just as it was He who made the world, he who planted seeds to grow in it, and He who placed the mighty tower that is Jesus Christ in the very midst of it so that His world should bring forth grapes, wild grapes that had to be sown (Isa 5:2). So tell me “O man”, between you, me and the fencepost, TELL ME (Isa 5:3): What could I have ever done that God had not done already? How could I bring myself to life? (Isa 5:4). I couldn’t, and neither can you or anyone else.
Galatians 3:22 – But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
“In this place the Scripture is declared to have shut them up under sin, that is, declared them to be sinners; gave no hope of rescue by ANY works of their own;” (Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible)