Luke 3:7-9 – John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, `We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."
A “brood of vipers” can mean both the offspring of vipers or a nest of vipers. Either way, John identifies these crowds with THE SERPANT! They are not the offspring of God, nor are they the children of Abraham as they claim to be. John recognizes these people by their fruit and he calls it like he sees it. These crowds produce the fruit of greed and selfish interest. They were thieves, liars and malcontents! In other words, they were offspring of their father, the Devil – a brood of vipers! So, why would they be coming out to be baptized by John if this true? Doesn’t their interest in baptism indicate humility and faith that is worthy of Divine favor? John’s message cuts to their hearts and the condition of their lives. They were convicted by his preaching and wanted to make sure they escaped the judgment and wrath to come. John minced no words in letting them know that religious acts like baptism will never save them. What they really need is genuine repentance that demonstrates a changed heart and lifestyle. The Baptizer also took away their hope of salvation by trusting in their Hebrew pedigree. He points to the stones and tells them that God can raise up children for Abraham out of these. His message is clear and powerful. The ax is in ready position to bring down every tree that does not produce good fruit, and these will be thrown into the fire. Their lives demonstrate their hypocrisy and they are in deep jeopardy!
Jesus proclaimed this same message to the hypocritical Pharisees and Jews throughout His ministry. Matthew 12:33-37 – "Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."
Matthew 23:29-33 – "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, `If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers! "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” The ax is in position to judge snakes and vipers who say one thing and demonstrate another – for those whose hearts are unconverted to God’s truth and righteousness.
- Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
- Join our 6:00pm Thursday night prayer team.
- Thank God for ministers of the Word who, like John the Baptist, clarify true righteousness & faith.
- Pray for the Good News families of the week: Ben & Jen Martin (Emma, Grace, Benjie, Callie, ?), Barr & Sharon Miesch, Laura Mohr.
- Praise God for the opportunities He gives to repent and change our ways!
- Thank God for showing us the way the way to bear good fruit in our lives.
- Pray for the conversion of those who are deceived by the lies of Satan and continue to produce bad fruit.
- Attend “In Touch” Prayer meeting at GNCC at 10:30am or join in prayer at that time.
- Make sure that you are not trusting in religious activity to save you from the wrath to come!
- Let your life demonstrate that you believe God and are living what you believe!
Prayer Challenge: Believe in the One through whom we become the offspring of God. “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.” – John 1:11-13.