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71: Repent, Bear Fruit, or Die

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Luke 13:1-9

Outline:

  1. The People’s Choice, Repent or Perish Luke 13:1-5
  2. The Nation’s Choice, Bear Fruit or Perish Luke 13:6-9

Context/Discussion/Comments:

Jesus’ teaching is over and this appears to be kind of a question and answer period prior to His leaving. Jesus has taught the people to beware of hypocrisy, to fear the Lord, to not worry about one’s enemies, to avoid being greedy, to be prepared for His coming again, to expect divisions for and against Him, and to have a feeling for signs of the times.

Jesus has been told about Pilate mixing the blood of sacrifices with the blood of Galileans. He asks the people if they believe these Galileans suffered because they were worse sinners and proceeds to answer His own question with and emphatic “No!”, telling them to repent or perish. He also relates a story of eighteen dying in Jerusalem by the Pool of Siloam, asking the same question again, and answering it the same way.

Jesus then proceeds to tell them a parable about a man who has a fruitless fig tree planted in His vineyard. He tells his gardener to cut it down because it has been barren for three years. The gardener asks for one more year before cutting it down. This parable is best understood by the following representation:

Man———————————————God the Father

Fruitless Fig Tree—————————–Israel

Vineyard—————————————-World

Gardener—————————————-Jesus the Son

Soil———————————————-God’s love and grace

Cultivation/Fertilization———————-Jesus Ministry/Word/Holy Spirit

Cutting it down——————————–Judgment/discipline

Lessons/Applications:

1. Our focus is not to be on the frequency or degree that we sin but on the frequency, willingness, and quality of our repentance.

2. One’s suffering may or may not be a result of personal sin but it is always a means for God to get our attention.

3. One’s suffering has nothing to do with one’s sinfulness but fruitfulness has everything to do with one’s purpose. The degree of suffering does not indicate the degree of sin but the amount of fruit does determine usefulness.

4. We are always on the move; bearing fruit or dying.

5. The repentance of individuals is directly proportional to the fruit of the community.

6. Individual repentance funds the revival of nations and the Church. We must repent of our sin in order to pray effectively for our nation and His Church.

7. You can suffer and still bear good fruit; grafted into the true Vine.

Repent, Bear Fruit, and Live!

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