8 Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, and do not say within yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones. [John is saying that before you can successfully seek the Kingdom of God, you must show a changed lifestyle, as evidenced by your deeds; then God will teach you what else to deny and how to live a godly life until you become pure and redeemed from all sin.]
9 For the axe is already laid at the root of the trees, so that every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."3 [The tree is a metaphor for a man; fruit is the metaphor for the fruit of God's Spirit: love, peace, gentleness, patience, self-control, patience, faith, and kindness. Until a man has been cleansed, purified, and restored to God's image, he is a tree that produces bad fruit: lust, anger, envy, sexual immorality, drunkenness, revelry, foolishness, lying, theft, dishonesty, etc. Trees that do not produce good fruit are cut down and thrown into the fire.]
10 And the people asked him, "What shall we do then?"
11 And he answered and said to them, "He who has two coats, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise." [Share from your excess with anyone who lacks the necessities of life.]
12 Then the tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, "Master, what shall we do?"
13 And he said to them, "Do not collect any more than you are required to." [Do not defraud anyone; be honest in your dealings; do not take advantage of anyone.]
14 And the soldiers likewise asked him, saying, "And what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Don't take money from anyone by force, nor accuse anyone falsely; and be content with your wages."4 [Do not oppress anyone; don't lie; don't want more; don't complain.]
20 But proclaimed first to those of Damascus, and throughout Jerusalem and all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works consistent with repentance.3
30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, everyone according to his ways," says the Lord GOD. "Repent! And turn from all your transgressions, so iniquity will not be your ruin.
31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, by which you have transgressed; and get a new heart, a new mind, and a new spirit. For why will you die1, O house of Israel?
32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn [from your evil ways] and live!"
43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed, than having two hands to go into Hell, into the fire that will never be quenched; [Jesus is emphatically telling us that Hell is horrible, and that if we wish to to escape Hell, sin has to go. He doesn't want us to maim ourselves. He wants us to come to Him so He can purify us and free us from all sin through obedient faith to the commands we hear Him speak to us as we wait on Him in humble silence.]
45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than having two feet to be cast into Hell, into the fire that will never be quenched;
47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into Hell fire;3 [In Matthew 5:28-29 Jesus tells that even looking at a woman with lust is sin enough to lead us to Hell. If we are to escape Hell, while on earth we must be freed from even the desire of our sins. All men's hearts are defiled and must be purified by Jesus to enter the Kingdom of God while we are on earth.]
48 Where their worm does not die, and the fire is not put out. [What worm? The person in Hell quickly becomes aware that he is no better than a worm, which is a symbol of extreme lowliness; the Lord spoke of himself being considered nothing but a worm by the Jewish population of Jerusalem just before they demanded his crucifixion in mass.]
29 If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your body parts should perish, rather than your whole body should be cast into hell;5 [Looking on a woman with lust, committing adultery, is serious sin that leads to Hell. However, Jesus doesn't want us to maim ourselves; He wants us to come to Him so He can purify us through obedient faith to the commands we hear Him speak to us as we wait on Him in humble silence.]
11 And she said, "No man, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more."1 [Now many people cannot believe that Jesus meant "perfect" when he said, Be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect, Mat 5:48; but isn't Jesus saying the same thing when he says, sin no more?]
14 Afterwards Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, "Behold, you are made whole; sin no more for fear that something worse may happen to you."1 [Something worse is Hell. In the beginning, your sins are forgiven if you: 1) have remorse for those things you have done, and 2) you stop doing them. Turning from evil as best we can, is prerequisite to sincerely seeking God and his salvation. See Forgiveness Explained for more. He gives us serious warnings about continuing to sin; He tells us to sin no more; so He obviously has provided a way to comply, which is the inward cross of self-denial. Now, many people cannot believe that Jesus meant "perfect" when he said, "Therefore, be perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect." Mat 5:48; but was it not the same when Jesus said, "sin no more"?]
23 If you will repent at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.
|2 Corinthians 7:10 |
10 For godly sorrow produces repentance that leads to salvation, and is not regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. [Believers who do not repent and seek the Lord's help to learn what other ungodliness to deny until all evil is removed from their hearts, destroying even the desire for any and all sin, have not experienced salvation. Through repentance you must totally change; salvation is to be freed from all sin in thought, word, and deed.]