Fruit Bearing Season

As disciples of Christ we are to commit to bearing fruit (Matthew 3:7-12). Did you know that when we sow the seeds of repentance in our lives we bear fruit? Matthew 3:8~Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. (ESV) This is why you hear me remind you to have a fruit stand that is full and ready for those God places along our path of life. John sees many Pharisees, which is to say that many conservative Jews. They attempt to live right ritually and be good by simply abstaining. Abstinence is a good thing but it will not make us righteous. 

John was sharing how repentance makes us right with God. He also saw a good many Sadducees, these were liberal Jews who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead or in angels. But John was such a spectacle that people would come to hear him speak. They wanted the freedom John had, the love for God John shared and the forgiveness that John taught. It doesn’t matter what generation we are apart of, we all want to be loved by God, to be used of God, and to have our sins forgiven by God. 

I have been mulling over a change in our welcome time after our first song. John has to be on to something. Listen to how John welcomes some of his congregates who have come for service. Matthew 3:7~ But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? (ESV) Yeah after hearing that out loud maybe what we do is more congenial. When John says (γέννημα gennēma) or brood, it means offspring, generation, or children of the earth. That’s right he called them a generation of venomous snakes, cunning and crafty individuals who were dangerous to true believers. They were called children of earth, but God has called us to be His children. 1 John 3:1~The Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God…(NCV). 

When we repent and turn to God in faith we are no longer children of this world, rather God has adopted us to be His children. No longer slithering around on our belly, lying in wait or poisoning people. We are to live like Christ, who offered the fruit of the spirit to those in need. I bet many of us have been snakebite, perhaps it was even at church or in a religious setting. This has turned many off and they don’t want any part of God. They were offered fruit from this world, by children of this world and it was rotten. God says to us be who I created you to be. Be is the beginning of believing, of beautiful, of being. God has a plan for each of us to do good things and produce good fruit. Ephesians 2:10~For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV) 

And all of this begins in our life with repentance, therefore, John warns us how dangerous these religious leaders are. Life in Christ is about relationship through the Redeemer Jesus Christ to a God with unfailing love towards us. So, John asks who warned you to flee from God’s wrath to come. In other words, Who said you’re going to escape God’s wrath (3:7). The religious leaders think God’s wrath is only for Gentiles, but it is for anyone who does not know the Lord and walks with Him daily. John is using a very familiar process to describe God separating those who truly repent from those who do not. 

If our desire is to prepare the way for God’s kingdom then we must admit our need to repent and do so regularly, to commit to the fruit of repentance, allowing the Holy Spirit to flow through our whole lives. Who might you share the fruit growing in your life with today.

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