Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30)

Saturday, April 11, 2020

2020.04.11 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 13:1–9

Questions from the Scripture text: What did some people tell Jesus about in Luke 13:1? What does Jesus recognize that these people had concluded about those who died (Luke 13:2)? What does Jesus say should have, instead, been their conclusion (Luke 13:3)? Concerning what other event does Jesus challenge them concerning their conclusions (Luke 13:4)? What same conclusion does He teach them to draw in Luke 13:5? To what does Jesus compare an unrepentant person in Luke 13:6? What does the property owner say to do with the fruitless tree in Luke 13:7? What does the caretaker say that He will do first in Luke 13:8? What will be done if it still bears no fruit (Luke 13:9)?
All of God’s judgments against everyone demand that each of us ask of ourselves the question, “Am I repenting or perishing?”

We’re tempted to ask “which particular sins did the particular sufferers commit to bring this upon them?” That’s the thinking of the people that Jesus answers in Luke 13:2.

But Jesus’s answer is clear. All sin deserves this. And, apart from repentance (which cannot come without faith in Him), all sinners will get this and worse. Jesus is telling us that such judgments are just a picture in time of what every single sinner receives at God’s judgment. We will all die, but that’s not the worst of it. We die, because God is righteously angry. We die, because we deserve Hell. And, if we don’t turn from our sin to trust in Christ, that is exactly what we will get.

And just so we don’t think that the slaughter of the Galileans is the only such event which we should understand this way, the Lord Jesus proposes another—not Galileans this time but Judeans, not at the hand of a man, but in a clearer lashing-out of the providence of God.

We live in an age where the news reporters continuously confront us with disasters. Sometimes, it’s a real disaster. Sometimes it’s manufactured. But the cumulative effect is the same: we’ve been numbed into ignoring such reminders unto repentance.

And what does this repentance look like? It looks like bearing fruit. It looks like God identifying us as a tree that has been grafted into Jesus, because we’re starting to bear Jesus-type-fruit. In fact, He’s pretty clear in the parable that if we don’t bear this fruit, then we will be cut down (and, the implication is, cast into the fire).

This is frightening for us who have been just coasting along—satisfied to have some nice feelings about Jesus, to define for ourselves what makes a Christian life look or feel Christian. Maybe we’ve made rather little study of what the fruit is that the Lord looks for from us. Maybe we’ve been bothered rather little by whether or not that fruit is growing in/on us.

But, behold the patience of our God! He has not cut us down. In fact, He keeps bringing things into our lives to stimulate a jump-start of our fruit growth. By the breaking into time of God’s wrath and judgments, He digs around us and fertilizes us. He urges us to bear the fruit of repentance.

If you have Christ and are alive, you will bear that fruit, and bless the patience and persistence of your God. But if you continue as you have always done, God’s justice will be all the more glorified by this patience, when at last He cuts you down and casts you into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and His angels.
How can you know what fruit God looks for in you? What are some examples of its growing?
Suggested songs: ARP1 “How Blessed the Man” or TPH400 “Gracious Spirit, Dwell with Me”

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