Today’s verse says this: “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.”
My brother, my sister, when we read this passage we see that some people wanted to be baptised by John so they could escape eternal punishment, but they were not really repenting from sin nor were they willing to change the way they lived. You see, John had harsh words for such people. And today, when a pastor tells a believer that, their baptism or their attendance to church does not guarantee their salvation, people remind the pastor that salvation is an unmerited favour of God that is earned through faith. Yes, indeed. But this passage shows us clearly that God values individual reformation above rituals. Let’s clarify this: if you think that because you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and got baptised… that alone guarantees you eternal life, then it is a mistake. Why? Because confession of sins and a changed life are inseparable to a new life in Christ. The Bible says: “faith without deeds is dead (James 2:14-26). Does your way of living show that you really trust Christ, the giver of salvation?
My friend, Jesus also used harsh words to the respectable leaders who lacked the willingness to repent. Just like many believers today, some of them wanted to be known as religious authorities as much as they wanted eternal life. The same, many believers want to serve Jesus and the abundant life He offers. But they don’t want to repent of their sins. Thus their lives are unproductive. Today, let’s learn from this passage that turning from sin must be tied to action; following Jesus means more than saying the right words; it means acting on what He says. My friend, a personal relationship with Christ cannot be inherited like a religion: it has to be developed as you trust Christ and for that you cannot rely on someone’else faith for your own salvation. Stay blessed in Jesus’ name.