Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance (Matthew 3:8, KJV)
John the Baptist exhorted his converts to “bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance”. His baptism was a baptism of repentance, which essentially means a change of mind. For example, someone might have fixed his or her mind to do what God has commanded us not to do. However, repentance, or a change of mind, means that the individual changes his or her mind and does no longer do what was initially planned in response to the Word of God. This is repentance in a nutshell, and it is often accompanied by remorse, which is godly sorrow for the wrong we have already done.
John says whenever true repentance takes place, there will be visible pieces of evidence or proofs in that person’s life. He calls those proofs “fruits.” There you go again, another figurative language! I repeatedly draw your attention to this because it is all over the scriptures and if it critical you learn to identify them. A fruit is a product of a tree. Trees in the scriptures are used as symbols for people. A fruit, as a product of the tree, is visible, useful and symbolic for character or behavior. So John is saying that true repentance will produce a change in behavior. There is nothing as “repentance in the heart” without fruits. It is not merely a change of mind while the person continues to do the same things. It is a 180 degrees change in direction in response to the Word of God. The Lord is saying the same to us, that we should bring forth fruit meet for repentance.
What are some of the proofs or fruits that can be seen in a truly repentant heart?
APPLY THE WORD
There is power in our behavior. What we choose to do is critical spiritually. If the worst sinner on earth makes the decision to turn away from their sin NOW in response to God’s Word, their PRESENT ACTION is more important to God that all the sins they have ever committed! God gives all of us another chance in life. Have you repented from a past behavior? Then show the Lord proofs of that repentance!
Ask the Spirit to help you bring forth fruit meet for repentance.