Message to the Church (Lk.3:1-14)

“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Lk.3:8,9)

Those inside the church live with a confidence that they are the heirs of the kingdom of God irrespective of their lifestyle and conduct. But there is a warning for us to heed!

The Church has ignored the boundaries that separate it from the world. Christians imitate the world so much that their message has lost its power. Paul reminds us not to follow the world but to be transformed, right from our thinking itself.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Rom.12:2)

This is possible through genuine repentance – turning away from the unproductive, wrath-inviting ways of life to a conscious life of fruitfulness.

 

Relevance of Repentance

Many Scripture passages remind us that God demands fruitfulness from the life of a Christian. John the baptizer was called to prepare the way for the Savior’s ‘first’ advent. He did it by calling God’s people to repent of their ungodly lifestyle and prepare to meet their Savior. Today’s preachers need to prepare the Church to meet the Savior as His second advent is round the corner.

Fruitfulness is demanded

Claiming Abrahamic lineage or evangelic tradition doesn’t suffice. God expects the fruit of repentance from every believer. In an age of duplicates and fakes the Church of Jesus Christ needs to bear genuine fruits. Remember, Jesus said, “… a tree is known by its fruits.” (Mt.12:33, Lk.6:44) We need to live out our faith because “faith without works is dead.” (Jam.2:26)

Fruitlessness Damned

Hypocrisy will be judged, even fake repentance and ill-placed faith. Unfruitful trees are a hindrance to those that are fruitful. We are reminded that the axe of judgment is already laid on the root of every unfruitful tree. Such will be cut down and thrown in the eternal fire.

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