Repentance Leads to Change
Repentance Changes Us: Through Reconciliation
- Reconciled to God (Saved from his wrath by Repentance: v.7–9, 17)
- Reconciled to Others (The Fruit of Repentance is loving others: v.10–14)
Repentance Changes the World: Through us being Salt and Light
- Salt to the World (What a repentant life looks like at work: v.12–14)
- Light to the World (How a repentant life affects our witness: v.7, 12–14)
Questions for Reflection
Do you think of God more in terms of his love or his wrath? How are both true of him?
How would full, honest repentance (open acknowledgment of our sin) lead us to trust more in the work of Christ?
What is an example where you can be outwardly obedient, but inwardly you have the wrong (perhaps selfish) motives?
John the Baptist doesn't call people out of the service of Rome, instead, he tells them to stay and to do their work ethically. As Christians, we have multiple areas of "work" (in our home, with our children, at our church, at our employment). For your particular responsibilities, what would it look like to serve un-ethically? What would it look like to serve sacrificially for the good of others in that area?
Why should Christians be people who are the most comfortable with receiving criticism?
Further Thought: John the Baptist preaches a message of Repentance, that others needed to be honest about admitting their sin, even publicly through baptism. God uses others to reveal to us our sin. Being scared to receive criticism can sometimes reveal we don't fully believe that we are completely forgiven in Christ. If you are willing, ask someone you trust to be honest about your sin, and how it has hurt them. As those feelings of condemnation, guilt, and defensiveness come, remember that, if you are in Christ, you don't need to defend, you're free to acknowledge the sin, safely resting in Christ's record and not your own.