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Bring forth fruit.
In Matthew chapter 3, we are introduced to the first New Testament evangel, none other than John the Baptist. In verse 1 of chapter 3 it says, “Now in those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea saying, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Then in verse 8, further John said, “Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance.”How is repentance linked to your experience of salvation: In the Past? Now?Then in chapter 4 verse 17, following John the Baptist came the ministry of Jesus. “And from that time, that is the beginning of His ministry, Jesus began to preach and say, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Chapter 9 and verse 13, “Jesus said, But go and learn what this means. I desire compassion and not sacrifice…that is I desire a heart attitude not external religion…for I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.How has coming to know Jesus been like moving from darkness to light for you?
Chapter 6 verse 12 of Mark, and here we find that the ministry has gone beyond John the Baptist, beyond Jesus to the Apostles, the disciples, and it says in verse 12, “And they went out and preached that men should repent.”Let’s go to Luke chapter 15 verse 7, “I tell you Jesus says after describing the man who lost the sheep and went to find the sheep, when he comes home, he rejoices,” and so forth. “I tell you that in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”Coming to the conclusion of Luke’s gospel and bringing it very close to home, chapter 24 verse 46, Jesus sums up the gospel. “Thus it is written,” Luke 24:46, “that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations beginning from Jerusalem.”Now let’s see what the early church did. Acts 2:38. Peter stands up on the day of Pentecost, this is the first sermon in the new era, the church is about to be founded and born after the resurrection. And what is the message that in fact is the invitation which gives birth to the church? “Repent.” Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Chapter 3 of Acts, verse 19, “Repent therefore and return in order that you sins may be wiped away.” Chapter 11 verse 18 says, “When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God saying, Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”