“Adam knew Eve again and she conceived” (Genesis 4:25).
Adam “knew” Eve; this is ginosko; knowledge acquired through relationship, not through the mind – seeing, hearing etc. Now Jesus told us that “This is eternal life; that they may know You, the only true God and the One You sent Jesus Christ” (John 17:3). Once again, the verb used is ginosko. It is not drawing too long a bow to suggest that if we truly know God then that knowledge should conceive in us eternal life. But it goes further than that; this holy knowledge is meant to lead to the birth of Christ in us, that as we are nurtured by the Holy Spirit in the Word of God, we may become like Christ; sons of God and Christ therefore the first-born of many brethren.
While eternal life is conceived in all those who answer God’s call, sadly it is brought safely to birth in very few. Along the way, the embryo is miscarried by many and sadly, some even abort it in favour of “the pleasures of this life, the deceitfulness of riches, the cares of this world and the desire for other things” (Parable of the sower). But we, who were made for fellowship with God, should not feel at home in this world nor be satisfied to find fellowship with the things of this world. We were made to soar in the high places like eagles, not to scratch around on the ground like turkeys.
“Therefore bring forth fruit worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:8).
The true test of repentance is in the fruit it brings. It is an inadequate response to say “I am born again” or, as the Pharisees said, “We have Abraham for our father” (Matthew 3:9). The fruit of repentance is a significant alteration in the moral condition and behaviour; to take the gift of faith and go on as before is to labour under a deception or a delusion. Jesus chose us and appointed us that “you should go and bear fruit and your fruit should remain” (John 15:16).
Fruitless repentance is like Crossless Christianity; it is a corruption of the gospel that generally derives from a birth defect, itself probably the result of false teaching.