John 15:4-5 – Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me. I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Christianity is a life of dependence when understood correctly. This is much different than just a life of good works or morality. When you are trying to be moral, you don’t need to depend on anyone. All you have to do is live by a set of rules. Christianity, although often mistaken for a set of rules, is actually built on faith. This faith is a complete dependence on Jesus. Rules are there for those who have faith.
Other religions are different. Other religions first require that you live morally and then you get the favor and power of God or man. In Christianity, you must first have the favor and power of God and only then can you live morally.
Clearly, morality is still an issue. When we stay connected to Jesus, then and only then can we “bear much fruit.” When we trust in the power of Jesus in our lives, we are able to do many good works.
The problem with morality without Jesus is that it really is impossible. We fool ourselves into thinking that we are being good but we don’t really check. The issue is the standard by which we compare our performance.
The Bible is a good place to check. It isn’t always fun to check it, but it does tell you how you are really doing. The Bible, however, cannot make us good! That’s why we must “remain in Him.” The Bible also tells how to get power to live morally. We must “remain in Him.”
Notice that without Jesus “you can do nothing.” Of course this doesn’t mean that we can’t do anything at all, what it means is that we can’t do anything of value. We are fruitless when we attempt to live without faith in Jesus. A branch is meant to bear fruit. We were meant to do things that we simply cannot do without Jesus.
Religion: Recently, popular figures have been telling the American public that that “believing doesn’t matter.” Clearly, Jesus disagrees. Believing in Jesus enough to get all of your power from Him is the basis for Christianity according to Jesus. In stating things like this, these popular people single out true Christianity and undermine it leaving most of the other religions untouched.