John the Baptist paved the way for Jesus’ ministry with a brief ministry of his own. As people came to be baptized by him, he preached a message calling them to repent before judgment came upon them. In response to hearing his message, they asked:
What then should we do?Luke 3:10
John went on to explain practical ways the people could, then, practice repentance.
What then should we do? Is the question a repentant heart asks. At it’s core, repentance is a change of heart, mind, and focus. This, in turn, leads to a change in life. In Christianity the doing always comes after the heart change. We hear the gospel, are moved by God’s grace and Spirit, and then we act. It is a salvation not of works, but a salvation that works.
John gave instructions to the crowd: If you have, share with those who don’t. If you’re in the habit of ripping people off, treat them fairly. If you are greedy for bribes, be satisfied with your wages. (3:11-14).
This is the same idea Paul wrote about in Ephesians 4, where he told us to take off the sinful and put on the good.
So, as you seek to follow Jesus and as the Holy Spirit shows you where you must repent, ask: What must I do? And follow where the Spirit leads.
This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2020 Bible Reading Calendar. All Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible.