We have an amazing tool for salvation in the Scriptures. God does not provide puzzles or hurdles in the path to him but a map instead. By learning who our Heavenly Father is and minding His character to mold our own, we can know we do His will.

John the Baptist brought forth a message of repentance to the people of Judea, telling of the Messiah who was to come. He fulfilled prophesy in so doing, but perhaps not all of those who came to see him were acting in good faith.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Matthew 3:7-10

Whatever reason the leading factions of the Jewish spiritual leadership had for coming to see this strange man in the desert, John made one thing clear: he would not pull any punches on their account. The time for being comfortable that their background was enough to save them was over. God was now holding them to account for their actions and not just their heritage.

A change in behavior is required for every person who wishes to follow God. The measure of a tree is not the tree its seed came from but the fruit it bears.

Ethan Kirl

Originally published May 5, 2020