Summary: The effects of True Repentance in a person’s life
BRING FORTH FRUITS
WORTHY of REPENTANCE
Rev. John W. Gerald
I. FLEE THE WRATH of GOD!
Luke 3:2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
The world routinely reverts to the evil ways of man’s nature, and God sends a messenger to warn of impending judgments.
A. The Message
Luke 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
John’s message was a simple and direct one! His theme from the beginning was Repentance. This was the only remedy for sin. It was, and is, the only way to avert the judgment of God. This was required to prepare the way of the Lord. Baptism was an outward sign of the inward work.
1). Prepare the Way of the LORD
Luke 3:4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
This may be taken literally as well as spiritually. To make his paths straight certainly could be meant to get people’s lives straightened out. If he had come before their lives were straightened out, he would have brought judgment upon them. We need to prepare our own hearts for his second coming, also.
2). Make the Crooked Straight
Luke 3:5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall
be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough
ways shall be made smooth;
6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Isaiah 35:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
This certainly implies that the way is the way of holiness, or an upright life, as well as that the road to be traveled is smooth and
straight. There is no excuse for a life of sin. Those who walk with Him,
must be holy.
B. The warning
Luke 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
John gets directly to the point, calling them vipers. They are self- righteous hypocrites. The doctrines of the Pharisees are called leaven. The people follow unsafe beliefs that have been taught them by these hypocrites.
II. TRUE REPENTANCE
Luke 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
True repentance brings about serious changes in a person’s life. Known sin is excluded from a person’s life who wants to please God. There are things a person must do! God will not do them for you. You can not claim any merit from your blood-line. Only the new birth will do!
9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Judgment is ready to fall upon the ungodly. It is time to get serious with God. John’s direct approach is the one we need to use today. Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance!
James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
A. Make no Excuses
Luke 3:10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
Did he say that there was nothing they could do? Certainly not. We must cleanse our hands! If we have been doing acts of theft, molestation, or violence, we must rid ourselves of these things.
The story was passed on over internet about Little Billy, a Jewish boy, who was failing his math lessons. His parents tried everything they could to get him to do better in this subject, but he continued to fail. At last, they took him down to the Catholic School, and enrolled him. After the first day, Billy came home and went up to his room, closed the door, and went to work on his math. His parents could hardly get him down for dinner. After dinner, he went back and "hit the books again." When his report card came next time, he laid it on the table for his parents to find. When his mother read it, she was amazed. He had an "A" in math. She questioned him about it wondering how such a change had come about. She asked him if it were the teachers, or the kind of books they used, but he said "no." Then why the change in his math scores? He said, "That first day at school, I looked up on the wall, and I saw a man nailed to a plus sign, and I knew that they were not fooling around here. So I went to work on my math." We all need a little motivation now and then.