Click here to return to: Clergy Sexual Abuse page:

 6. Works Worthy of Repentance:
Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: Matthew 3:8

In many conflicts I've frequently heard that the person who sinned has only begun to understand their sin and it's consequences and that forgiveness should be given to encourage the sinner in their spiritual growth...Forgiveness is based upon the claer evidence of Godly Sorrow-the first fruit worthy of Biblical repentance: This fruit worthy of repentance must be quickly observable-maybe in days, but not many weeks, certainly not months and not years.  It fruit worthy of repentance has not shown it's self-then the repentance was false and decietful and the false repentance added to the original sins not truely repented from.

Charles Spurgeon of Matthew 3:8. Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. Act as a change of mind would lead you to do: above all, quit the pride in which you enwrap yourselves, and leave the serpent motives which now actuate you. Lord, save us from a fruitless repentance, which would be only an aggravation of our previous sins.

Barnes Commentary: "Matthew 3:8. Bring forth therefore fruits ... That is, the proper fruits of reformation; the proper evidence that you are sincere. Do not bring your cunning and dissimulation to this work; do not carry your hypocrisy into your professed repentance, but evince your sincerity by forsaking sin, and thus give evidence that this coming to Jordan to be baptized is not an act of dissimulation. No discourse could have been more appropriate or more cutting.

Meet for repentance Fit for repentance; appropriate to it the proper expression of repentance."

Matthew Henry:

II. Here is a word of exhortation and direction (v. 8); “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. Therefore, because you are warned to flee from the wrath to come, let the terrors of the Lord persuade you to a holy life.” Or, “Therefore, because you profess repentance, and attend upon the doctrine and baptism of repentance, evidence that you are true penitents.” Repentance is seated in the heart. There it is as a root; but in vain do we pretend to have it there, if we do not bring forth the fruits of it
in a universal reformation, forsaking all sin, and cleaving to that which is good; these are fruits, axious tes metanoias — worthy of repentance. Note, Those are not worthy the name of penitents, or their privileges, who say they are sorry for their sins, and yet persist in them. They that profess repentance, as all that are baptized do, must be and act as becomes penitents, and never do any thing unbecoming a penitent sinner. It becomes penitents to be humble and low in their own eyes, to be thankful
for the least mercy, patient under the greatest affliction, to be watchful against all appearances of sin, and approaches towards it, to abound in every duty, and to be charitable in judging others.

John Wesley

8. Repentance is of two sorts; that which is termed legal, and that which is styled evangelical repentance. The former (which is the same that is spoken of here) is a thorough conviction of sin. The latter is a change of heart (and consequently of life) from all sin to all holiness.

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. Luke 3:8

Matthew Henry: Luke 3:8

4. Those that profess repentance are highly concerned to live like penitents (v. 8): “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance, else, notwithstanding your professions of repentance, you cannot escape the wrath to come.” By the fruits of repentance it will be known whether it be sincere or no. By the change of our way must be evidenced the change of
our mind.

5. If we be not really holy, both in heart and life, our profession of religion and relation to God and his church will stand us in no stead at all: Begin not now to frame excuses from this great duty of repentance, by saying within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father. What will it avail us to be the children of godly parents if we be not godly, to be within the pale of the Church if we be not brought into the bond of the covenant?
Index of articles about clergy sexual abuse
recommended reading about clergy sexual abuse Index of articles about clergy sexual abuse
recommended reading about clergy sexual abuse