– Luke 3:14 – “Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “DO NOT extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and BE CONTENT WITH YOUR WAGES.” 

The soldiers were asking an important question in regards what should they do to bring forth the fruit of repentance? – {Luke 3:8}

Again seeking to extort from others from a covetous heart and murmuring about what they don’t have and willing to extort people, manipulate or use it is spoken against. One translation says,”Do not take money from anyone by force “is a legal term which literally means “shake violently.” Vincent (Word Studies in the New Testament, 1:283). It describes the process  of taking money from people “by terrifying them.”Be content with your wages,” John the baptist tells them. He tells them, “Don’t accuse falsely…” which means “to accuse falsely, annoy, harass, oppress, blackmail.” They were willing to stoop to any means to get what they wanted. Their sin, John the Baptist exposed. Note it was specific, as is the Holy Spirit when He convicts of sin. They were exposed, but not left without HOPE, which is God’s way for them.

He tells them to give the evidence that they have turned away from that type of sinful heart attitude, actions, to a new lifestyle manifested in being “content with your wages.” The outward evidence of an internal reality of  work of God, which Repentance is!

Jesus Preached Repentance

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)

I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. (Luke 5:32)

The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. (Matthew 12:41)

Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:35)

When Jesus arose from the dead, He commissioned His disciples with His message,

“Then He {Jesus} opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for  the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”-{Luke 24:45-47}

The first demand of Jesus’ public ministry was, “Repent.”  when He arose from the dead His message to the disciples he was sending out into the world with his message was “Repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”

  • Peter filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost followed His instructions and preached, “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.“-{Acts 2:38;}
  • Paul preached His message, “I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.”-{Acts 20:21}.
  • And those who reject God are those who refuse to repent so as to Glorify God, “Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory.“-{Revelation 16:9}
  • Without repentance there is NO forgiveness, No Gift of the Holy Spirit to empower you and seal you as belonging to God, and the reason they refuse to repent? They do not want God to have Glory!
  • Today we tend to hear messages that do not speak of SIN and call people with the same message John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, Paul, Disciples and the MESSAGE from HELL call people to… REPENTANCE towards God…
  • The Message from HELL; “In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and *saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom.And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house—for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’But Abraham *said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”-{Luke 16:23-31}. In the place of torment he did not want his five brothers to come there and he knew the message they we must hear was to REPENT… and wanted someone to arise from the dead, but that would not be sufficient he was told but what they did have was Moses and the prophets,..they had the WORD OF GOD… if they would “HEAR.” We have the WORD of God and we have the messages from John the baptist, Jesus, disciples, Paul, Peter, Heaven and Hell…”REPENT”… it is the missing message today in many a message ! IS it Missing in your message?

John the baptist tells them what evidence they are to show as the “fruit of repentance…”

Be content (arkeomeans to be enough, to be sufficient or to be adequate with the implication of leading to satisfaction. In the passive sense arkeo means to be satisfied or contented with something. The passive voice means be content (contentment coming from an outside source, the ultimate source being Christ, Phil 4:11, Phil 4:13}and in the  present imperative calls for this to be their habitual practice (something ultimately only possible as we are supernaturally energized by the Spirit. -{Phil 4:13 NLT). True repentance results not in changed feelings as much as in changed actions. The present tense means this is not to be an occasional practice but a soldier’s new lifestyle.”-{preceptaustin commenatries}

 – By selecting tax collectors and soldiers as examples of those who repented, John was making the general point that true repentance produces a life that is transformed from being characterized by sin to being benchmarked by virtue.

Beloved, do these virtues characterize your life? We’re not speaking about perfection (for none of us on earth have yet “arrived” – i.e., been glorified) but direction, continually growing “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” -{2 Peter 3;18}. “-{John MacArthur}

There is nothing wrong trying to get a better wage but not at the expense of using people and taking from them, through immoral and illegal means, while trying to fulfill the illusion of a false “contentment.” Covetousness is greed! It is wanting what others have and in this case been prepared to threaten them falsely accuse them extort from them to get what they wanted.

Selfishness and lack of love and respect for others, such is the depravity of sin, a willingness to do others wrong with no concern for them to seek to gain for oneself!   John the Baptist tells them what they must do, and that is to show forth the fruit of  “repentance,”{v 8} from their attitude how they treated people and turn away from their seeking to use and abuse them for their own selfish gain instead they need to “be content with your wages!”   Let their lives prove that they have repented, by choosing to turn from abusing people for selfish gain and instead being content with what they have, as outward evidence of an internal reality of repentance towards God through obeying Him and His command to “Repent!”

Their lack of contentment was evidenced in their corrupt pursuit of  seeking to sinfully having “more!” There is nothing wrong with having a better wage but the way of going about it and why is the issue!

Repentance- and the evidence, the fruit of it is a necessity to experiencing true Contentment in your life, my life, as it was in the day the soldiers asked “what should we do?” {v 14}. A New life that has turned from using people for selfish gain and terrorizing them to a life of virtue, content with what you have and seeking others  highest good for Jesus sake . -{Read 2 Cor 4:5; Phil 2:3-4}. The soldiers asked the most important question and John gave them the answer- bring forth the fruit of repentance!


Contentment Begins  With Asking The Right Question

“What Am I To Do?”{ v 8}

Contentment  Begins With  Doing The Right Thing – 

Listening and Obeying God!  And Showing forth the Fruit of Repentance! -{v 14}