October 7, 2014 by James Lindquist
In Luke 3:7-9, John warns the Pharisees and Sadducees who gathered with those seeking baptism, “. . .Ye offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Some thought that they were children of their father Abraham and were exempt from judgment. Therefore, they wanted admission to his baptism.
John here questions their motives. He warns them that it was a false assumption and that the axe was already at the foot of the tree .
v7 He said therefore to the multitudes that went out to be baptized of him, Ye offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
v8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
v9 And even now the axe also lieth at the root of the trees: every tree therefore that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire [Luke 3:7-9 KJV].
We are all subject to judgment when we sin and we all need to bear fruit or God’s patience will once again wear thin and the axe will be at the root of every tree . If we do not repent (turn from sin and return to God), it will be spiritual death or be like the tree in Luke 3:9, hewn down. When we fail (and we do so daily), we have the forgiveness of God’s grace and mercy with which to repent our mistake and/or disobedience. God always gives us a way out.
When we sin, God judges us. However, with every judgment, there is grace, but through our true repentance. Working out one’s own salvation is a process and accepting Christ as Lord over our lives is the first step toward the goal of returning to His presence.
Repent means to stop and turn away from sin. It is separation from God. However, repentance and God’s grace will always bring us back into His presence. The wages of sin is death, and make no mistake; there are always consequences of sin. Fearing the consequences of sin though is not true repentance.
As John exhorts the Jews of the day to repent and make ye the way of the Lord, he is exhorting us today to repent and make ye the way of the return of the Lord. Seek the salvation of the Lord and bear ye good fruit worthy of repentance. As a tree bears good fruit so must we bear good fruit worthy of the tree. In other words, good works as Luke 3:10-14 declares. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches . The main good work was to believe in the Messiah soon to be revealed.
True repentance is the desire to return to the presence of God from a sinful and separated state. . .or separation from God because of our disobedience as Isaiah 59:2 tells us. So be aware of our motives in repenting of our disobedience.
Does our fear of the consequences of sin lead us to repentance, or does our separation from God scare us and therefore leads us to repentance? As Christians, we know that God’s love for us is eternal  and that He will never leave or forsake us .
God’s presence is where we experience His love, mercy, and grace, but His presence is also the power of God through which we receive forgiveness, salvation, deliverance, healing, and many other benefits. Who wants to separate themselves from all of this? God will chastise those He loves. Man up and woman up and repent and ask forgiveness and worship God for His forgiveness, grace, and mercy. Seek His face .
I can’t get enough of you Lord. I seek your face and presence and ask that you fill me with the same. Forgive me Lord for being as a filthy rag in your sight but I thank you and worship you for your forgiveness and grace. Lord, overwhelm me with your presence so that I might bask in you. Fill me with your love and grace that I might be a good witness to you, in Jesus name, amen.
 Christianese for God’s patience was wearing thin and He expected the people to repent and turn to the soon revealed Messiah. Otherwise it’s spiritual death. John refused them.
 Every man and woman
 John 15:5 The vine in the Bible is considered to be a tree
 Psalms 136; Jeremiah 31:3
 Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5
 2 Chronicles 7:14