The Bible teaches us that repentance is a very important thing. It is so important that when it is not done, we can actually doubt our salvation.
After all, anybody who truly gets saved becomes a new creation, someone who has left his former way of life through repentance.
John the Baptist tells us one crucial aspect of repentance. In Luke 3:8 we read him speaking to the crowds that gathered to be baptized by him,
"Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones."
Why is it important for us to "bear fruits worthy or repentance"? Let's talk about that.
A repentant life
Just as human life is evidenced by a newborn baby who grows up into adulthood, being saved and born-again is evidenced by a changed life and a change in desires that is geared towards Christ-likeness.
Every Christian must realize that once we are saved by Christ, we turn away from the things that Christ saved us from.
Repentance, according to the Webster 1828 dictionary, "is the relinquishment of any practice, from conviction that it has offended God."
Simply put, when we repent, we turn our backs on the things we do that displease God.
When we are told to "bear fruit in keeping with remembrance," it means living a repentant life, one that is characterized by a consistent and persistent pursuit of living a Godly, holy life in Christ.
Instead of repeating the very sins we committed prior to salvation, we do the God-pleasing opposite:
- We used to run away from God, now we run towards Him.
- We used to live a life of sin, now we put effort into living a life that pleases God.
- We used to join others in fleshly living, now we put our flesh to death and live in the Spirit.
Bearing fruit to God's pleasure
Our repentance must bear fruit daily. Our repentance ought to be seen and heard and felt everyday of our lives. That's how it's supposed to be.
Repentance is not a one-time thing where we tell God that we're sorry we committed this or that, only to repeat it tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. No.
Repentance is a continuous effort to live a life that pleases God.
The day we get saved is the day we start living a life that pleases Him. How we continue pleasing God on a daily basis, until the day we die, is dependent on us.
Someday Christ will come back and we will all be judged. Will our repentance give Him fruit that will put a smile on His face?
Or will we be one of those people that won't even be received into His kingdom?
Friends, I leave you with this passage from Matthew 7:21-23, spoken by the Lord Himself. I pray we meditate on it and live our lives accordingly.
""Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'"