I had just begun reading Luke 3 when I was halted by the phrase “fruits worthy repentance” in the King James Version. Although I’ve read this gospel many times, I was arrested by these words making me consider their meaning. I would like to share with you what I discovered in my study.
John was preaching the necessity of repentance, which would lead to the remission of sins. In verse 7, he spoke to the multitude calling them calling them “generation of vipers.” He goes on to say to this group that they must bring forth “fruits worthy of repentance.” He must have seen something in this group that he needed to address when it came to repentance.
Let me take a few minutes to lay out what true repentance entails before I go into what John must have seen in the multitude. The baptism of water was an outward sign of that inward cleansing and renewal of the heart. This would be the effect of true repentance along with the profession of it, It would manifest itself by the reformation of the person. This reformation would lead the heart changed individual to do all the good they could for someone. The individual would make good on anything done wrong on someone. They would be fair in all that they did concerning their work.
John, being full of the Holy Spirit, was able to discern the intent of this multitude. They were not ready to surrender their lives to Christ. They came to look and investigate. They had no intention of repenting. They may have come and stood among those whose hearts were truly ready to serve the Lord. These individuals were truly repentant. Fakers. Sinners. Whatever you want to call them cannot mingle with true seekers of God. They cannot mingle among those who are seeking God with all their heart and mind.
My final words to you my friend is this. If you have truly repented, then bless you. You have begun a wonderful journey with the Lord. He has cleansed you from within and given you a new heart. You are changed daily. You are growing spiritually. Praise God!
If you have not taken that step, please consider now. Make that choice. It is the most important decision you will ever make. You won’t regret it. I promise you. It will not be a bed of roses, but you will no longer be alone. He will always be by your side. You will always receive instructions if you ask Him. Sometimes there will be silence, and is when you walk by faith and not by sight.