False Christians – “Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter heaven”. Are we truly Christians Part 3

Matthew 3:8 (ESV Strong’s Bible)
8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.
We are still busy with the above verse and in the last messages, we looked at the background of Matthews 3:8-10. We talked about the genealogy of Jesus, Jesus birth, King Herod, Pharisees and Saduccees. We also talked about how John called the Pharisees and Saduccees offsprings of snakes, and asked them who warned them to flee from the wrath of God. We also did a word study. We looked at the words “bear” and “fruits” and we established that by these words, John is commanding the Pharisees and the Saduccees to produce good works that are visible and real, in keeping with repentance. So the next words are keeping and repentance.

Let’s look at the word “keeping”. The word in Greek is the word “axios” which comes from the word “ago”, which means to weigh. The word “axios” means of equal value or similar worth as used in Rom 8:18. It also means by implication, suitable or corresponding to. It is used 41 times in the King James Version and translated 35 times as worthy. This therefore means that John the Baptist, is commanding the Pharisees and the Saduccees to produce good works that are visible and real and of equal value, corresponding to and suitable with their repentance. Now the verse is starting to open up and make even more sense than it did when we just read it. John is not only commanding them to produce good works or fruits that are visible and real but these, must be of equal value with their repentance. Bear in mind here that the word “keeping” in Greek which is “axios” is used as an Anarthrous. An Anarthrous constructions are most often intended to point out the quality of something. The quality of the fruits or the good works must correspond to the repentance. 

Let’s now look at the word repentance. Very briefly, the Greek word is “metanoia” from “metanoeo” which means to change one’s mind from evil to good as used on the New Testament. So what we are now reading in this verse is that John the Baptist, is commanding the Pharisees and the Saduccees to produce good works that are visible and real and of equal value, suitable and corresponding to their mind having been changed from being evil to being good. It is important to note here that John is not speaking about how one repents but rather, he is speaking about someone who claims to have already repented, someone who already claims to be religious like the Pharisees and Saduccees, and he is simply commanding them to produce good works that are visible and real and of equal value, suitable and corresponding to their mind having been changed from being evil to being good.

So, looking at the verse in context and in totality, we see that John the Baptist, is commanding the Pharisees and the Saduccees to produce good works or fruits that are visible and real, whose quality is of equal value, suitable and corresponding with their repentance (or their mind having been changed from being evil to being good). This just shows you how reach the Greek language is, in that only 4 words in Greek, can produce such a rich message. John the Baptist is very clear, if you claim to be religious like the Pharisees and Saduccees, you must produce quality fruits in line with your repentance. It is not a request but a command. 

We find the same message in other verses like John 15:16 where Jesus also indicate that we must bear fruits. In Matt 7:16 Jesus tells us that we will recognise false prophets by their fruits. In Matt 5:16 Jesus says that we must be the light through good works so that glory can be given to God. In Acts 26:20, a very similar message is also given by Paul to those in Damascus, Jerusalem, all the regions of Judea and also the Gentiles that they must repent and turn to God and perform works in keeping with their repentance. So clearly the message of producing good fruits or works of the quality that corresponds to your repentance, is a very important part of sanctification. 

James says that faith without good works is dead. You cannot claim to be religious or a Christian or having been saved, if being a Christian or being saved does not result in you producing fruits or good works that are visible and real, whose quality is of equal value, suitable and corresponding with your repentance. Paul also says in Gal 5:25 that if we live by the spirit, we must also keep in step with the spirit. Paul says this after listing the fruits of the Holy Spirit in verse 22-23. So, if we don’t produce good works as listed here and elsewhere in the bible, we are living out of step with the Holy Spirit. If we live out of step with the Holy Spirit then, we don’t have the Holy Spirit. If we don’t have the Holy Spirit, then we are not saved. 

Therefore, if you claim to be a Christian, if you claim to be saved, if you claim to have confessed with your mouth and believed in your heart that Jesus is Lord and Savior, then you must produce good works or fruits that are visible and real, whose quality is of equal value, suitable and corresponding with your repentance (or their mind having been changed from being evil to being good). 

We will continue in the next message to look at excuses that people make and the punishment for failing to produce fruits or good works that are visible and real, whose quality is of equal value, suitable and corresponding with thier claim of repentance


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Nehemiah 8:8 They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage. (NLT)
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Posted in False Christians, Gospel of Matthews, Matthews 3.

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