“And do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Pharry would do whatever he liked alongside his brother, Saddu. They acted as though they knew better than everyone else. As far as they were concerned, every other person was a sinner, while they were the most religious. They assumed that their father’s name would open any door for them, including the door to heaven.
Note that I said religious, not righteous. However, they thought being religious was equivalent to being righteous. Many people who call themselves Christians today have a similar mindset. They feel that by being called Christians, they automatically have a license to the good things of this world and even access to heaven.
While being a Christian should guarantee us access to heaven and the good things of this world, we must work out our salvation diligently. We must die daily to sin. A Christian who does not obey God’s commands will not witness the promises of God. It is the way we live our lives that really counts, not just bearing the name Christian. What good is it if we are unprofitable Christians? We cannot afford to misuse the privilege given to us by God.
Here is the Message version of the scripture: “When John realized that a lot of Pharisees and Sadducees were showing up for a baptismal experience because it was becoming the popular thing to do, he exploded: ‘Brood of snakes! What do you think you’re doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to make any difference? It’s your life that must change, not your skin! And don’t think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as father. Being a descendant of Abraham is neither here nor there. Descendants of Abraham are a dime a dozen. What counts is your life. Is it green and flourishing? Because if it’s deadwood, it goes on the fire'” (Matthew 3:7-10).
In the above scripture, John the Baptist was speaking to the Pharisees and Sadducees when they also came for water baptism because it seemed like the new popular thing then. He warned them sternly not to think that being a descendant of Abraham would do them any good if they did not behave. God could raise stones to increase the number of Abraham’s children. In other words, Abraham has done his part and left. Being Abraham’s children is nothing if they don’t live their own lives for Christ.
At the end of the day, the righteousness of our parents, spiritual leaders, and even spouses cannot take us to heaven. If our lives do not honor God, it is all in vain.
Father, thank you for bringing me to the knowledge of your word. Please forgive me for behaving foolishly, thinking being called a Christian is just enough while I live my life anyhow. Help me to understand the difference between religiosity and righteousness. Please show your mercy, oh Lord, and help me retrace my steps to your love. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray. Amen.
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Have a pleasant day!