Genuine repentance bears fruit. Joseph’s test of his brothers in Genesis 44 was to see if they had changed and repented of their actions. Upon finding Benjamin with the lord’s silver cup, the reader is faced with some questions: Would they let the lord of the land keep Benjamin? Would they betray their father’s other favorite son and leave him “in the pit?” Would they tear his garments and claim that he too was devoured by a fierce animal? No. Judah and his brothers do the right thing. They tear their clothes and, in love, return to the city for their brother. Genuine repentance has seemingly taken place.
But what can they say? How can they clear themselves? They reckon themselves, particularly Benjamin, guilty. Judah does only what he can—he pleads for mercy and the return of his brother. This too is indeed another sign of genuine repentance. For let us remember, it was Judah who proposed the sale of Joseph in the first place.
As repentant believers in Christ, we should, likewise, be bearing the fruit of our repentance. Our lives now should be marked with love and concern for our brother and earnestness to see our fellow man have the mercy of God and redemption that is in Christ Jesus bestowed upon them. If this fruit is not evident in our lives, might we examine ourselves to see if we have truly been born again?
In your CG this week, talk about genuine repentance. Spend time with the Scriptures below and ask yourself the following questions:
How would you know if someone is truly repentant? How can you tell if someone has truly moved from death to life? What are some things you could observe or examine?
What level do you find yourself pleading to God in prayer for another image bearer? Do you plead to the Lord for the salvation of others? Do you even “lay your life down” so that they may be saved?
Read Colossians 3:1-11
Read Colossians 3:12-25
Read Romans 9:1-3
Read Romans 10:1-4