Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Worthy Fruit

Luke 3:8 KJV
Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

The word worthy means "drawing or attracting praise".

There is a kind of life that happens after repentance that attracts praise to the name of the one who brought us to said repentance. The Christian life is one that is intended to honor the name of Christ rather than detract and bring reproach on His name. Being forgiven of sin, therefore, is not a license to continue in sin as that would dishonor the cause of repentance and the name of Christ, who led us to the repentance. Outward acts of Christian allegiance such as baptism or the partaking of the Lord's Supper, while one is involved in
  • Open,
  • Obvious and
  • Willful
sin is just wrong.

Notice that the exhortations John gave as "fruits worthy of repentance" were specific to individuals and not strictly biblical commands. Of course a case can be made for each of his exhortations:
  • Give an extra coat to someone without
  • Give extra food to those who are hungry
  • Do not require a higher price than is just
  • Treat men civilly
  • Do not falsely accuse
  • Be content with your income
that they were biblical. But in most cases there is no hard and fast passage making the command.

It is this simple; if it doesn't naturally bring honor to Christ and the Christian testimony, it isn't "fruits worthy of repentance".