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The Fruit of Repentance

• Jin Kim

When John the Baptist was proclaiming the coming of the Messiah he preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins and called people to be baptized. Jin Kim connected this proclamation to faithfulness in the body of Christ and the importance of bearing fruit in the world.

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When John the Baptist was proclaiming the coming of the Messiah he preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins and called people to be baptized. Jin Kim connected this proclamation to faithfulness in the body of Christ and the importance of bearing fruit in the world.

When John the Baptist asked Jesus if he was the coming messiah, Jesus responded with the fruit of his ministry. He said: “The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

Jin Kim contrasted the fruit of Jesus’ ministry with the legacy (and current state) of the church in our time. The difference he pointed out was faithfulness. The solution to our lack of faithfulness is repentance. This needs to be done both collectively and individually. As churches of various denominations, we need to repent of the exclusivism and tribalism that results in churches where nearly everyone comes from the same class and race. We also need to repent of the supremist attitudes that let us think that our denomination is superior to others.

As individuals, we need to repent of our lack of faithfulness to our local church body by not supporting leadership and giving generously. We also need to overcome our own individualism when it comes to dealing with issues in our lives and struggles in our families. Jin Kim called us to let go of the idea that we are on our own with our problems. He encouraged us to go to our leaders in the church for help! Getting right with God and each other is the only way for the faithfulness and effectiveness of the church to improve. Our witness to the world is at stake in whether we repent of our sins individually and collectively and walk faithfully with one another in Christian community.

If someone asks if we are a truly Christian church, making a case with theological assurances would only confuse the issue…especially if it was not evident that the fruit of the Spirit are found in our midst.

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Topics: Faithfulness, Reconciliation, Repentance

Sermon Series: Compassion by Command


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Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 3:1-14

    In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
    “A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
    'Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.
    Every valley shall be filled in,
    every mountain and hill made low.
    The crooked roads shall become straight,
    the rough ways smooth.
    And all people will see God's salvation.' “ [a]
    John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 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. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."
    “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.
    John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same."
    Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?"
    “Don't collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.
    Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?"
    He replied, “Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely—be content with your pay."

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