Fruits Worthy of Repentance – Matthew 3

Fruits Worthy of Repentance – Matthew 3

If God commands baptism, why would anyone refuse to baptize a person? John did. Baptism is not a magic act. There is no power in the water. Now, before you get excited thinking that I just said baptism was not necessary, think again. 

John’s point (and mine) was that baptism had to come from a repentant heart that was seeking God’s forgiveness. It is God that forgives for it is God that we have sinned against. Hence, seeing some of the Pharisees and coming to be baptized, John refused to baptize them.

Without repentance no one can be forgiven. 

·        Luke 13:3 - "No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

·        Acts 17:30 - "The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,"

·        2 Peter 3:9 - "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

·        Acts 11:18 - "When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”"

Paul instructs us that it is godly sorrow (over sin in our lives) that produces repentance (2Cor. 7). With such godly sorrow and the promise of forgiveness by God, all of Judea was going to John to be baptized of him. Such is the great mercy of God in that all who would come to him in sincerity would be forgiven. Such sincerity is seen in repentance.

It is to no avail to be baptized just because everyone else is. Being baptized according to our tradition, because my Mom wants me to, or because it looks religious likewise avails nothing with God. Baptism as a religious act has no promises attached to it by God. Baptism from a broken and contrite heart that seeks to be reconciled unto God has many promises. 

·        Shall be saved - Mark 16:16

·        Wash away sins - Acts 22:16

·        Made alive by God - Col. 2:12-16, Romans 6:3-4

·        Forgiveness of sins - Acts 2:38

Being baptized with out repentance is of no useful purpose. Refusing to be baptized when God commands it is rebellion. 

·        As many as received the word were baptized - (Acts 2:41).

·        When they believed… they were baptized - (Acts 8:12)

·        "Here is water, what hinders me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36)

·        "And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’”  (Acts 22:16). 

Hugh DeLong