Mt 3:7-10 and Lk 3:7-14
John’s Message of Repentance
Repentance is turning away from any and all reliance upon what I am by birth (like Jewish or Gentile) or what I have done by my own effort, and turning to the absolutely free mercy of God for the hope of salvation.
Mercy by its very nature cannot be constrained or obligated by human distinctive or efforts.
Repentance is the altering of what we rely on in life, what we hope in, what we are counting on for salvation in the age to come and for help now.
The repentance that leads to forgiveness of sins is turning away from what we are by birth or achieve by effort to rely wholly on mercy, God’s free and sovereign grace.
It is psychologically impossible to cherish the mercy God has shown to us and at the same time refuse to show it to another.
Therefore, one of the fruits in keeping with repentance is growing unity.
How We Handle Our Possessions
Faith in God, reliance on his mercy, hope in his promises changes how we handle our money and our possessions.
You can tell where a man’s heart is resting by the way he handles his money and by the attitude he has toward his possessions.
Why is love of money contrary to humble reliance on the mercy of God?
- Longing after more money reveals an insecurity and discontentment that you do not have if you are stretched out like a little baby in the arms of your Father’s mercy. Remember Hebrews 13:5. “Be content with what you have, for I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
- Exploiting others to get more money is conflicting to reliance on God’s mercy is because it is unmerciful. If we really trust in God’s mercy to save us and help us at all times, then we value mercy, we cherish it. But if you really “love mercy” (Micah 6:8), then you will live mercy.