Fruits of Repentance (Matthew 3:8) - Radical

Fruits of Repentance (Matthew 3:8)

“Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”
– Matthew 3:8

These words from John the Baptist to religious leaders and teachers were a stinging indictment.

Matthew 3:8 Teaches that Repentance Bears Fruit

Really, you read the whole passage surrounding this, he’s just called them a brood of vipers. And basically he’s saying that for all their words and all their traditions, there’s no fruit of repentance. There’s no fruit of a change of heart, and a change of mind, and a change of life. And I love the picture here, “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” When you turn, when you repent, when you turn from sin and you turn from yourself, by God’s grace, there is fruit that flows from your life. Then you think about what the rest of the Bible teaches about fruit that Jesus bears in and through Christians. You think about the fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Don’t we all want that kind of fruit in our lives today?

And not just fruit in our lives, but fruit in others’ lives. Don’t we want people to know Jesus more and love Jesus more, and be following Jesus and enjoying Jesus as a result of the fruit of our lives? I think about the beginning of a new year and the opportunity that it is for all of us to have a fresh start, a new beginning, and how appropriate is it for us to pray, based on Matthew 3:8, that God would bear fruit through our lives in keeping with repentance, that there would be fruit in our lives of a changed heart and a changed mind, and fruit in others’ lives as a result of the way we are turning from our sin and ourselves, and we’re following Jesus. So can we just pray for that today?

Matthew 3:8 Reminds Us We Need the Fruits of Repentance

God, we want to bear fruit in keeping with repentance. We want the fruit of your spirit, your life, and us to flow through us. We pray for love, and joy, and peace, and patience, and kindness, and goodness, and faithfulness, and gentleness, and self-control. God, we pray for all of that fruit in our lives today, in the coming year. Lord, we pray that you would bear your fruit through us in ever increasing measure, in ways far beyond even what we have born in our lives to this point.

God, we pray that this would be a fruitful year in our lives and in others’ lives. Lord, we pray that you would use our lives this year to spur many other people on towards you, people right around us in our homes, and that we work with certainly in our local churches, and people that we meet. God, we pray for the fruit of our lives far from us, even as we pray for the spread of the gospel in the nations.

Praying for the Wolane People

God, we pray the fruit of our prayers would be the spread of your glory among more and more people groups. We pray for the Wolane people of Ethiopia today, this predominantly Muslim people group. God, we pray that you would use our cries to you right now to cause your gospel and your glory to spread among the Wolane people of Ethiopia. God, we pray that this would be a fruit bearing year that resounds to your glory and others’ good, and our good as we do Matthew 3:8. By your grace, by the power of your spirit in us, help us to bear fruit in keeping with repentance. We pray this in Jesus’ name according to Matthew 3:8. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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