Monday, April 9, 2018

Apology Accepted

Apology Accepted
April 9, 2018
Matthew 3:8  "Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. . . "

We all sin and fall short of what the Lord has asked of us. This is no surprise. We are a sinful, wretched people. This is no excuse, however, not a valid argument for our wrongs. The Bible says we are to bear fruit in keeping with repentance. When we are wrong, or our sin is revealed, we have the opportunity to take full responsibility for it, but according to the Word, we have no viable defense. We cannot claim our fallen nature in a dependable position. We get to own it and move forward with change. The words in the Bible of bearing fruit in keeping in repentance need a little perspective. Those words were not instructions from Jesus, they were from John the Baptist. What's the difference? Well, John was a man, a fallen and sinful person just like you and me. He acknowledged it wasn't a valid defense for himself and it was actually a huge platform of his ministry of baptism.

His water baptism was a ministry of washing away our old life and moving forward with a new one. Repentance isn't just apologizing, although apologies are always accepted. He said that a real follower of the Lord would prove his sin apology with his forward lifestyle, no matter the level of his humanity. John the Baptist had just baptized Jesus and it was an instruction he gave to the religious leaders of the day, most likely in the hearing of Jesus. He said we cannot claim being a sinful person for our sin. He chastised all of us, in a sense, reminding us that if we were/are truly sorry, then we would change. We can be judged by the fruit of our life. If we keep doing the same thing, then we really weren't repentant, just sorry for the moment or sorry we got caught.

Repentance means change. Few of us change as we age, but we should. We should constantly be maturing, looking more and more like Jesus. If you think being Jesus is unattainable, then fine, mature to look more and more like John the Baptist. His life and fruit are certain examples for each of us, despite his sinful nature.  If John the Baptist can live of life of continual repentance, then you and I can do it. The Christian life isn't just one of repentance once, it is a life of continual repentance and change. It is continual repentance for the sin we didn't know was there or the new one that crept up. We are not called to repent for the old sin again, that change should have already taken place. Consider peeling an onion, each layer removed reveals another layer. When you live a life of continual repentance, you uncover the next sin and bear fruit in keeping with repentance.

When John talked about bearing fruit, he was referencing a continual food source. A tree doesn't bear fruit once, it is a continual thing, more fruit each and every year. Each act of repentance is an opportunity to bear additional fruit. If you are repenting for the same thing, over an over again, then you haven't produced an ounce of fruit yet. The Christian life is one of constant fruit, meaning continual repentance. This isn't repenting for old things or for the same things from failing over and over again, the is for the sin you just uncovered. If you are not continually bearing new fruit, then you are not growing as a Christian. The apology is accepted, now bear fruit in keeping with that apology. John said if we do not bear fruit, then we will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Matt 3:1-22, Luke 3:1-18, Rom 3:23-26, Rom 6:1-14

1 comment:

Iwilldwell said...

Wonderful message. Thank you, Adam, for your unceasing commitment to writing this thoughtful series of devotionals. I have read many, have followed for a long time, and can attest that the Lord is blessing, encouraging and helping many people through your words (such as me and my family). May God bless you richly for your servitude!