Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 2 Study # 4
February 26, 2006
Lincolnton, N.C.

<228> Thesis: There is no hiding place in "theology" for those who refuse the summons to repentance. Introduction: Last week we looked at John's demand that his audience (of whom the text says that they "were coming to be baptized by John") bring forth fruit that suited "repentance". We saw that this demand can be taken two ways. Those whose fixation in theology is upon man's "responsibility as the basis for justification" take the demand to mean that John was requiring his hearers to "perform" in order to obtain the forgiveness he offered. This is tantamount to demanding of "snakes" the behavior of "doves". Those who recognize the transition in theology that John represented -- justification is by God's grace through man's faith -- take John's demand to be a demand to "repent" instead of using some excuse to deny the need. After all, the "fruit of repentance" is automatic to repentance. The only thing a person has to "do" to bring forth fruit worthy of repentance is to repent. Once the tree is "made good", the fruit will be "good" [Note Jesus' words in Matthew 12:33.] Now, this morning we are going to look into John's claim that God can "raise up children to Abraham out of these stones." Can He really?