Paul’s Fruits Meet For Repentance
Many Christians are confused by two phrases. The first is to “do works meet for repentance” and the other is “bring forth therefore[,] fruits meet for repentance” (Acts 26:20; Matthew 3:8).
But as Apostle Paul stands before the King his life and his teachings will explain these two phrases.
Apostle Paul continues to recount his life to King Agrippa. He began at his youth, but now he’s at his conversion to Christianity.
Paul says, “Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests” (Acts 26:12).
And this persecutor did them!
But now, he’s explaining his celestial transformation.
Anytime we can see the light from heaven it will radically alter our perception of ourselves, Jesus, and our future.
Paul continues,“At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me” (Acts 26:13).
Additionally, anytime God blesses us with a glimpse of that illumination that’s from heaven, we will find our knees and or our faces.
The Stance of People Who Have Seen the Light
“And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? [I]t is hard for thee to kick against the pricks” (Acts 26:14).
Saul of Tarsus and his entourage weren’t the only ones to fall to the ground when the illumination of God shines into their hearts.
Do you remember Apostle Stephen?
Saul consented to his death. When Stephen got a glimpse of heaven everything changed for him (Acts 7:55).
Not only was he fearless of death, but he was forgiving, repentant, and submissive before God.
And most importantly, he found the ground and was on his knees before God (Acts 7:59-60).
Who Is the Lord?
The Lord God declares to Saul that His name is Jesus!
“And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest” (Acts 26:15).
Friends, “Lord” by itself is not a name. It’s a title! Above we read that the name of our Lord is Jesus.
Then, He instructs Paul concerning his calling.
“But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;” (Acts 26:16).
Jesus even explains why he delivers Saul “from the people”. Then, he commissions him.
“Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,” (Acts 26:17).
Up to then, the Gentiles of the world were outside of the goodness and grace of God.
They were outside of the Commonwealth of Israel! Every one of us were strangers in the world.
He Preached And They Produced Fruits Meet For Repentance
Therefore, God devised a way to turn us from Satan and darkness to Himself and light respectively.
Thus, He called Saul of Tarsus for that task. Through this former tormentor of the Church, God would reveal how we came into the benefits that Israel was already enjoying.
“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” (Acts 26:18).
So, we observe that Apostle Paul was very knowledgeable about his calling and God’s purpose for his life.
“Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:” (Acts 26:19).
Apostle Paul was indeed obedient to the “heavenly vision” for he preached the identical sermon to all.
Apostle Paul’s Preachings Are Identical
First, he preached to all the Jews then we went to the Gentiles.
And he preached that all should repent and turn to God. Then, they should “do works” appropriate “for repentance”.
In other words, our lifestyles should demonstrate that we have turned from darkness to light.
After repentance, we cannot continue in our former lifestyles. Some changes must be evident to all!
These are not deliberate actions but inevitable eventualities!
“But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” (Acts 26:20).
What Does “do works meet for repentance” Mean in Acts 26:20?
Apostle Paul got an opportunity to explain one of the foundational doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ to King Agrippa and he seized it (Hebrews 6:1).
He told the King that repentance is for everybody. Paul also confessed that after his conversion to Christianity, he preached an identical sermon to all.
Three days after he became a Believer in Jesus Christ he preached repentance to the Jews. The Bible says “them of Damascus” indicating the Jews there.
Then he preached the same message of repentance to the Jews “at Jerusalem”. But he didn’t stop with them.
Instead, he continued to preach the identical sermon to a whole region. As a result, he says, “throughout all the coasts of Judaea“.
Finally, he was indeed obedient to Christ for he also preached repentance to “the Gentiles”.
Bring Forth “Fruits” Meet For Repentance
Entrance into the Kingdom of God is the same for all nations. It doesn’t matter whether we are Jews or Gentiles because we all must repent and turn to God.
And all must do works appropriate for repentance. In other words, our actions must indicate the transformation we have been through.
Note that the Bible didn’t say, bring forth therefore, “fruit” meet for repentance.
Instead, it describes the plural that is “fruits”. It wouldn’t say fruit because it takes more than one action or work to indicate our repentance and turn to God.
Matthew calls them fruits but Luke describes them as “works” (Matthew 3:8; Acts 26:20).
Nevertheless, both scriptures refer to identical behavior. They speak of a lifestyle change!
Fruits or Works (Behaviors) Worthy of Repentance
Look at Apostle Paul’s actions before his conversion and compare them to those after the same and we will see “works meet for repentance”.
These are fruits worthy of repentance!
This comparison will remove all doubts whether or not his behaviors, after the Damascus-road experience, show that he has turned from Satan and turn to God.
The fruits that Apostle Paul’s behavior produced after he became a Christian, were revolutionary, compared to the works he demonstrated before he got saved.
He demonstrated a completely new and different lifestyle. That was meet for repentance!
They were works worthy, meet, appropriate, or consistent with repentance.