Luke 3:7-10: Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin 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. 9 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.” 10 So the people asked him, saying, "What shall we do then?"
John was a prolific preacher and in the style of the prophets of old, “the word of God came to John” and he preached repentance. His job was to be the forerunner to Jesus. He was to prepare the hearts of the people to receive the bread of life. John told the multitude to bear fruits worthy of repentance. John was basically saying, “let your life reflect the God you serve”. John was blunt in his teaching to the crowds. Men and women of God should live like it. There is no way to justify wrong behavior to a Holy God. It is like saying “it is ok to steal, because I am really desperate”, or “it is ok to lie and tarnish my integrity, because after all I am doing something meaningful”. No John was blunt. If you live for God then you had better act like it. Bear fruits of repentance.
After John told the crowds what to do and how to live groups of people came to him and said, "What shall we do then?” The common folk came and recognized that they were lacking something. Tax collectors and soldiers came to him and cried out what must they do. They were concerned for their spiritual well being. One group that did not come to John and ask what they must do was the Pharisees. Their “religious” confidence kept them from seeing any fault within themselves. They had God figured out, so they thought they needed no improvements, or at least everyone else needed more then themselves.
Fruits of repentance are what every Christ-follower needs to bear. The good fruits of our walk with Jesus are clearly seen. Nevertheless, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (Gal 5:22-23). Nowhere in this list does it include, back-biting, lying, getting ahead, or judging. The fruit of abiding with Jesus is apparent to all who stay close to Him.