“Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”
– Matthew 3:8
Matthew 3:8 is such a powerful exhortation from the mouth of John the Baptist in light of reading through the story of scripture, and specifically the Old Testament history leading up to the coming of Jesus. Because what do we see? As we read through the story of scripture we see over and over and over again, God’s people sin and they experience the consequences of that sin. They experience suffering as a result of sin. They experience hurt and pain. And so then they turn back to God. God in His mercy and grace forgives them, restores them. And then what do the people do right after that? They go back to their sin. They turn back to it.
Lord, open our eyes to see areas of temptation and sin in our lives. Help us to turn from sin and to cling to You.
You read just so many different stories and circumstances in the Old Testament like, “No, no, I see where this is going. They’re going to do it again. Haven’t they learned. Don’t they realize what this does? It always leads to bad and yet they keep going back to it.”
It’s just a frustrating story to read until you realize it’s a mirror of our own lives. Because we do the same thing. Somebody could read the story of our lives and be saying the same thing. “No, no, no, no. I see where this is going. Don’t do it. Don’t do it. You know that turning from God’s way to your own way doesn’t lead to joy? It doesn’t lead to your good. It doesn’t.” And yet we still do it. We still turn from God’s way to our own ways. We still think we know what is better. You would think we would learn. You would think all of us would learn, but we don’t.
This Verse Reminds Us God Saves Us From Sin
And so the exhortation here in Matthew three verse eight, these words, I mean there are just a few words here, but they’re so potent. “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” This is true repentance, not just to turn from sin, only to turn back to sin. That misses the whole point of repentance. Turn from sin and keep turning from sin, and experience the fruit of righteousness, of freedom from sin. Freedom to follow God’s ways and to experience God’s good purpose in our lives on a day by day basis. Oh God. Help us. Help us to bear fruit in keeping with repentance.
Matthew 3:8 Helps Us To Repent Sin
God, I pray even just for repentance that needs to happen in my life, our lives, every single person who’s listening to this right now. God, show us where do we need to turn from sin. Where have we gotten lax with sin? Where are we settling for less than what you’ve called us to? And where are we turning to our ways instead of your ways?
So God, please open our eyes to sin in our lives, to sinful tendencies in our lives, to the temptations around us that might even be somewhat unique or different from different ones of us. Lord open our eyes to temptations and sin around us and help us to turn from temptation. Help us to turn from sin. Help us to resist temptation. And we pray for fruit in our lives that shows repentance from sin. We pray this for your glory. We pray this for our good. And we pray this for our joy.
Matthew 3:8 Helps Us To Bear Fruit
God please, by the power of Christ, we have resurrection life inside of us by your power. Lord Jesus, help us to bear fruit in keeping with repentance. We know the story of our life does not have to be, “Go back to sin. Go back to sin. Go back to sin.” You have disarmed the power of sin in our lives. You have given us a way out from temptation. You have put your spirit inside of us. So help us to live in this. Help us to bear fruit. We pray in keeping with repentance and in this to experience joy and life and to bring glory to your name. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.