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Almsgiving as a Formative Practice of Repentance for Christian Discipleship: The Gospel of Luke & Daniel 4:24

The King James Version (KJV) is mostly used in these lessons. Click here to access the KJV online.
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WLC understands that Almsgiving in repentance for discipleship is different from Tithes/ Offerings/Penance.

In LUKE 3:7–9, JOHN THE BAPTIST WARNS THOSE coming to him for the baptism of forgiveness to be fruitful trees that provide evidence of a change of heart instead of the trees that bear no good fruit and thus exhibit no repentance.

He [John the Baptist] said to the crowds who came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruits as evidence of your repentance [metanoias]; and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, Yahuwah can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”1

According to Frank Matera, the use of metanoia emphasizes “the need for a radically new way of thinking about reality that involves a profound change of mind.”2 And this change of mind is evidenced through specific action. “Bearing fruits authenticates and renders visible the change in thinking involved in repentance.”3 Repentance involves a changed mentality which is made visible through concrete actions.

What kinds of fruit (or concrete actions) should those seeking repentance bring about? In his reply, John the Baptist urges the crowds to share their possessions and food with those who do not have clothing and food, the tax collectors to be honest in their collecting, and the soldiers to avoid extorting money, to stop falsely accusing others, and to be satisfied with their income.4 Fitzmyer comments that what John the Baptist describes “is not tied up with sacrificial offerings for sins or ascetic practices, such as the use of sackcloth and ashes, or even a flight into the solitude of the desert, such as his own withdrawal had been.”5 Instead, John the Baptist commends concrete actions involving possessions, money, and honesty and the like for those coming to his baptism of repentance within the larger community. Indeed, “It is by translating into concrete actions one’s Yahuwah -orientation or the repentance-baptism within the framework of the human community that one proves one’s identity as part of the covenant people.”6 These concrete actions are to be the signs of their changes of heart as proof of undergoing metanoia.7 Matera, commenting on this passage in the Gospel of Luke, states, “Repentance from sins…is necessary for faith in Christ.”8 Additionally, in repenting of one’s sins, a person comes to know one’s status before Yahuwah. “To enter this kingdom [of Yahuwah and the age of salvation] and be exalted by Yahuwah, one must humble oneself.”9 What can one do to enter the kingdom of Yahuwah? John the Baptist, in his reply to the crowds, has already provided one way to do this: to seek repentance through almsgiving.10
This lesson was taken from a non-WLC article written by James W. Stroud (Journal of Moral Theology, Vol. 10, Special Issue 1 (2021): 84–103).

We have taken out from the original article all pagan names and titles of the Father and Son, and have replaced them with the original given names. Furthermore, we have restored in the Scriptures quoted the names of the Father and Son, as they were originally written by the inspired authors of the Bible. -WLC Team

WLC Source:
Please refer to the link above for citation sources.