In Luke 3:8 John tells the people to “bear fruits worthy of repentance.” There are those who will proudly proclaim that no one has to do anything in order to be saved and loudly complain about a perceived “works salvation.” So let’s be clear and balanced here…Does the Bible teach that we don’t have to do any-thing? Not even close! Does the Bible teach that we somehow merit our salvation by the works that we do? Nope, doesn’t teach that either. John tells the people that beyond even baptism there are things they should do (see Luke 3:10–14).
The truth, as often is the case, lies some-where in between the two extreme ideals of “doing nothing” versus “meritorious works.” John demanded that those who came out to be baptized return and “bear fruit” if they hoped to be saved. When many came to him asking what they needed to do he didn’t say that they didn’t have to do anything but instructed them in the ways of righteousness.
When Jesus came along he not only taught righteous living but also went about doing good, leaving us an example to do just as he did. Obedience to God is absolutely essential! Yet we must also consider that just going about doing good doesn’t define Christianity or righteousness. Jesus also said that the gospel needed to be preached. Doing good and bearing fruit is a vehicle through which we gain the opportunity to tell others about Christ, his love, and the hope we have in him.
Obeying God includes baptism, bear fruit is the evidence of repentance, and preaching the Good News is the ultimate act of love to those who are lost. Obedience and faithful living are essential to our preparation for heaven! Are you ready?