"In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!'...Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 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." Matthew 3:1-2,8-9
Repentance is a change of heart and mind that results in a change of behavior. Conviction of sin precedes a change of heart. To be convicted means to be proven guilty or be found guilty of an offense or charge.
The Word of God convicts of sin. Sharper than a two-edged sword, the Word of God pierces between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) The Word of God brings to light areas of an individual’s life that are not pleasing to God. When those areas are exposed, a change is in order. A quality decision must me made to not live that way again. When an individual is convicted of sin by the Word of God, that individual should confess (acknowledge) that sin to God, receive His forgiveness and cleansing. Then that individual should change their behavior. This is bringing forth fruit for repentance.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
Luke 19:1-10 tells the story of a man named Zaccheus who brought forth fruit for repentance.
"Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, 'Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.' So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, 'He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.' Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, 'Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.' And Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.'" Luke 19:1-10
When confronted by the Living Word of God (Jesus), Zaccheus received Him joyfully. But the presence of the Living Word of God also convicted Zaccheus of sin. Zaccheus responded by saying, ‘…I give half of my goods to the poor…if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.’ By doing this, Zaccheus brought forth fruit for repentance. Jesus responded to Zaccheus’ fruit by saying, ‘Today salvation has come to this house…”
When we are confronted by the Word of God, we should examine our hearts and lives to see how we measure up to the Word of God. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. When we hear the Word of God preached, we see ourselves as if we are looking in a mirror. We see what changes needed to be made in order to line up with the Word of God. Then we make the necessary changes. That is being a doer of the Word of God. This is the faith that makes us the seed of Abraham. The Bible says if we do this we will be blessed indeed.
"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. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Matthew 3:10-12
"So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham." Galatians 3:9