"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." (John 15: 5)
We can do nothing without Jesus.
We do not need His help only, but we need His life, for without Him, we were dead in our trespasses:
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10: 10)
"But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead." (Matthew 8: 22)
Yet for the longest time, now that I have learned more about the Gospel of grace, I used to get angry when people would say "Without us, He won't."
God loved me before I even knew or even cared:
"6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. " (Romans 5: 6-8)
When people tell me "You have to do your part, then God will do His part", I know that they do not understand the love of God, because He loved us first:
"We love him, because he first loved us." (1 John 4: 19)
Now, can He love and bless us without our permission? No. Jesus does require us to do one thing:
"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6": 29)
To believe means that we trust and confide in Christ Jesus, and in Him alone, adding nothing more to what He has already done, because He already accomplished a perfect work!
Jesus cannot believe for us, in that He cannot force His way into us:
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3: 20)
However, as long as we still think that we do not need Him, or that we do not need Him in every aspect of our lives, then we frustrated His grace:
"4Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love." (Galatians 5: 4-6)
So, in a sense, without us, He won't do anything, because He wants us to believe on Him and receive from Him:
"Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went." (John 6: 21)
The key element: willingness. Do we want Him in our boat? He will not force Himself into us.
How true He is, and how wonderful is the grace of God!