When we try to have faith in God without turning away from sin, it ends in hypocrisy. When we try to remove sin without turning to God in faith, it ends in failure, despair and legalism. Repentance is the preparation of our hearts for God. God must first clear away all the debris and dead works before He can plant the good seeds, which will produce good fruit.
Repentance Must Have Fruit
(19) “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.
(20) First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.
Should we be able to see evidence of change in people’s lives?
(18) A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
(19) Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
(20) Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
How do we recognize a good tree (person)?
(7) But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
(8) Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
(9) And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
Do you need to repent and produce good fruit even if you grew up in a Christian family?
(8) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
(9) not by works, so that no one can boast.
(10) For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
What were we created to do?
Remember, doing good works does not save us, but we are saved to do good works.
1 John 1:7 (NIV)
(7) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
1 John 1:9 (NIV)
(9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
What does walking in the light mean?
What’s the fruit of walking in the light?
(36) When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
(37) A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.
(38) As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
(39) When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
(40) Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.
(41) “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
(42) Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
(43) Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
(44) Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
(45) You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.
(46) You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.
(47) Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
(48) Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
(49) The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
(50) Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
It’s important to have a heart of thankfulness and love towards God whether we are forgiven many sins or a few sins.
How do you feel about God’s forgiveness?
(22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
(23) gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
What kinds of fruit does the Spirit produce?
Repentance From What?
(19) The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
(20) idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
(21) and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
What is the warning?
(9) Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men
(10) nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
(11) And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
How are we washed, made holy, and proclaimed righteous?
Since repenting and receiving God’s forgiveness what kinds of fruit have you seen growing in your life?
- Would you like to be more fruitful?
What could you do to increase the fruitfulness in your life?
Lord Jesus, I come to You today with an open heart. I repent of all sin, and thank You for Your forgiveness, and that You will help me to change and become more fruitful.
“Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.”