Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Wednesday, 24 July 19:
Luke 3:8, 9 — “Bear fruits in keeping with repentance…. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
A saving faith is a fruitful faith. Genuine repentance is revealed outwardly in transformation. John the Baptist’s words are not hard to understand but are often hard for people to accept. Jesus said it this way, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15) Is this hard to understand? Christians are fruitful. Jesus said you can judge a person by their fruit – “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7) Concerning being a lady, Margaret Thatcher said, “If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” Similarly, genuine Christianity is self-evident, revealed in word and deed.
John the Baptist said bearing fruit is the natural result of true repentance. Consider the following Table Talk magazine article on the fruit of repentance: https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/fruit-repentance/
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 24 July 19: Bear fruit in keeping with repentance today.