Settled In Heaven Blog

Home » SIH Lesson Themes » Doctrinal » I’m Sorry, But Why?

I’m Sorry, But Why?

Follow Us And Keep Updated On All SIH Postings ...


As The Lord Wills...Upcoming Series On SIH Blog. Don't Miss Out!

No upcoming events

Blog Subscription Tools:


Blog Stats

  • 254,283 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,574 other followers

Follow SIH Ministries On:


SettledInHeaven.org

SIH STSTA ICONIn my previous blog entry based on Psalm 51: we touched on a basic definition of Godly sorrow. However, I’ve noticed that one of the areas of confusion for my readers, as well as Christians in general, centers on the question “Why do some Christians live a lifestyle of sin if they are sorry for their sin?” based upon your responses to my previous posting, more needs to be said.  I am hoping this blog entry will answer most of your questions, but again, if not, feel free to write me (via comment, or email) I’ll be glad to try to clarify anything that I can.

Also, before I begin let me apologize for the extended length of this posting.  I normally try to limit my postings for both my readers benefit as well as mine.  This is a subject that is important and extremely involved.  To attempt to adequately answer your inquiries, I felt it necessary to lengthen this posting.  Please accept my apologies beforehand.

So here goes, in this blog entry we will be answering these questions… “Why do some Christians live a lifestyle of sin”, “Does the Bible teach there is more than one type of sorrow that an individual can exhibit?”  If so, “How can we tell the difference?”

THE SCRIPTURE:

2Cor 7:8-11 (KJV)

8) For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though [it were] but for a season. 

9) Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.

10) For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 

11) For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, [what] clearing of yourselves, yea, [what] indignation, yea, [what] fear, yea, [what] vehement desire, yea, [what] zeal, yea, [what] revenge! In all [things] ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.  

THE STUDY:

In our text, we find that the Bible says there are two types of sorrow that a person can exhibit.  Our text refers to these two types as “the sorrow of the world” and “Godly sorrow”.  Our text will help us to understand the difference in these two “sorrows”.

Let’s look at our text, verse by verse, and see what the Lord teaches us…

Please keep in mind, in this second letter to the Corinthians, Paul is following up on his previous letter written to them.  In his first letter, Paul wrote giving the Corinthians instructions to help them correct many areas of sin that was found within their assembly.  A few of areas included: ignoring sinful lifestyles of some of it’s members, misuse of the observance of the Lord’s Supper, misuse of spiritual gifts… the list goes on and on.

Paul, after seeing their response to his first letter, now writes to them in this second letter, encouraging them after they repented and made the necessary changes in their assembly.  Paul says in 2 Corinthians 7:8-11…

8) For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though [it were] but for a season.

Paul had written the first letter with much sorrow of heart.  It was a shame that such sin had entered into the assembly at Corinth.  Perhaps Paul was taking partial responsibility for the sin that had entered, after all, he was the one that had instructed the church during their founding.  Had failure in his teachings been a part of the reason why they had fallen into so many varied sins? Surely, this must have crossed his mind.

Even though Paul felt sorrow for having to write that first letter, he still wrote it.  He understood that it had to be done… much like a parent hates disciplining a disobedient child but realizes that the discipline must be done.  There was no other choice. (see 2 Cor 2:2-11 for greater details about Paul’s feelings as he wrote 1 Corinthians)

However, now Paul could see the results of this “letter of discipline”… he says that the first letter had made the church “sorry” .  This sorrow had only lasted a short period of time and then, after their period of sorrow, the Lord had blessed them and joy had been brought back to their assembly.

So, too with individuals who exhibit, true Godly sorrow due to sin that is in their lives.  Following the period of sorrow, as the individual deals with the sin that is in their lives, comes a time of joy as the Lord blesses, and forgives, the truly repentant heart.

Lam 3:32 (KJV) – But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.

9) Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.

Now Paul gets to the heart of the matter at hand…. the two types of sorrow that an individual, or church can experience.  Paul said that he was now rejoicing after hearing the news of how they had “sorrowed to repentance” and “were made sorry after a Godly manner”.  What did he mean by these statements?

One of the types of sorrow we can experience is a “Godly sorrow”. This is a type of sorrow that is brought upon us by the Lord.  The Lord uses His Word, through our conscience and the Holy Spirit, to convict us of sin.  (Acts 18:28, Titus 1:9, John 8:9, Roms 8:13)  A  sorrow that comes from God, through His Word, is described as a “Godly sorrow” (a sorrow originating from God’s workings in our lives.)

This type of “Godly sorrow” will result in repentance on the part of the one grieving over his sin. This is the great mark of Godly sorrow being experienced by an individual.

Repentance has several aspects to it:

Repentance always involves a “change” –

One Greek word used in the New Testament for repentance means “to reverse a decision that has been made” in other words, to change your mind about something).

The other NT word for repentance means “to care afterwards” in other words, to regret something.

A Godly sorrow will result in us changing our mind about the sin we have committed.  Godly sorrow brings to our mind and heart a sorrow, a regret, and a realization that we failed our God and it has affected our relationship with Him and, in many cases, others around us.

This sin we once enjoyed, now becomes a weight hanging upon us… as time goes by this burden of sin increases.  It is now forever before us.  We can’t sleep, we can’t enjoy life, we can do nothing to rid ourselves of the realization we have sinned against God, He is displeased. We wish we had never committed this sin.  We are now experiencing repentance.  Our minds are now changed about the sin we have committed.  The sin we at one time loved, we now hate.  This sin that was once a pleasure, is now a torture.

In absolute desperation, we turn from that sin and come running to the Lord.  We recognize our only hope to being freed from this sin is His divine forgiveness.  We look to Him by faith, trusting that He will intervene in our lives and forgive us.  He is our only hope of forgiveness.  We can do nothing to merit this forgiveness. We are entirely at His mercy.

This is Godly sorrow and it’s results.

10) For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Paul understood Godly sorrow will bring salvation to those who experience it.  For it is through true sorrow and repentance we are saved.  Note what Paul says… “godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation” in other words, it is this type of sorrow that develops repentance which is the key to salvation for those He brings to salvation. (Acts 3:18-19, Mark 2:17)

Please note, Paul makes it plain that once forgiveness is bestowed by God, He does not repent nor change his mind about forgiving the sinner.   Once He forgives us He never takes that forgiveness away from us.   We do not have to be constantly concerned that He plays “give back” with our salvation.  He bestows His grace upon us and we never will bear the burden of our sin again.  We are eternally secure in Him. (Rom 8:29-30, Rom 8:1, John 5:24, John 6:39-40)

However, in sadness, Paul recognizes that not all sorrow is of the “Godly” type.  He recognizes there is a counterfeit sorrow that is brought about by the influence of the world.  Therefore, since this sorrow finds it’s beginnings in the world, Paul describes it as “ the sorrow of the world”.

What is this “sorrow of the world”?  It can take many forms and fashions, but basically it is centered in selfishness.

A sorrow based on regretting a sin’s punishment is a very common type of sorrow of the world.  It is an entirely self-centered sorrow.  It is the child who is caught in the act of stealing a cookie, screaming “I’m sorry” as he realizes he now faces parental punishment.  He has every intention to steal the cookie again, next time he just needs to be more careful.  He doesn’t regret displeasing his parents, he is just sorry he will now face the consequences of displeasing his parents.  This is not Godly sorrow nor is it true repentance.

What does Paul say this type of sins results in? DEATH.  It is as pure and simple as that.  A salvation experienced based upon selfishness is no salvation experience at all.  It is a “salvation” that does not result in a new creature, nor a changed life.  It is a counterfeit that only makes men “two-fold more the child of hell”, thinking they are saved but actually they are much harder to reach with the truth now that they think their spiritual needs are met.  (Matt 23:15)

Now for the shocker…. If an individual only desires to be saved to escape the fires of hell…. He has never truly experienced Godly sorrow, nor has He ever repented for His sin.  The teachings of eternal punishment in the Bible are put there for a reason.  I believe these teachings help us to understand  our Lord’s great displeasure of our sin and rebellion against Him.

I am the first to acknowledge, a part of the motive for my coming to Christ was a desire to escape the eternal punishment the Word so clearly declares.   After all, who could possibly want to go into a state of eternal separation from God and punishment for their sins.  Absolutely no one.

But, a part of true God-given sorrow and repentance involves a recognition that we have failed our Heavenly Father, we have hurt Him, we have shown no regard for His desires for us.  It is as if we have spat in His face, kicked waste on His clothes, and placed Him on the cross ourselves.  We have attempted to place filth upon the Only One who is totally pure.   This is what we have attempted to do to Him through our acts of sin.  Of this we must feel sorrow as well. This must be a part of our motivation to come to Him.  We come falling at His feet and begging for Him to forgive us our sins not because of the wrath to come, but because we have sinned against our Heavenly Father.

 11) For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, [what] clearing of yourselves, yea, [what] indignation, yea, [what] fear, yea, [what] vehement desire, yea, [what] zeal, yea, [what] revenge! In all [things] ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

Paul is now looking at the results that are displayed in the lives of the Corinthians who had experienced a true Godly repentance.

They showed:

  1. carefulness to not indulge in the sins they had previously committed;
  2. they cleared themselves by putting this forgiven sin behind them and now they were serving God in great ways;
  3. they had indignation towards themselves hating themselves for what they had done;
  4. they had shown fear in what their standing was before God; now they were at peace.
  5. they had a vehement desire to be right with God; now they are enjoying that communion with Him
  6. they had zeal; they had a burning desire for forgiveness; now they had a burning desire to serve Him and to abstain from sin
  7. they showed revenge upon themselves for failing Him as they had; they were willing to give up all for His forgiveness and the privilege of serving Him again.

These were all the signs of a Godly sorrow and repentance that Paul saw in the lives of the Corinth believers.

Are these same signs found in our lives as well?

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

—————————————————-


4 Comments

  1. Patti (PJ) says:

    God Bless You for this post Rob! I guess I look at this in “laymen’s ” terms. Two types of sorrow. The true sorrow – sorry enough to realize what you have done is wrong and truly want to make amends and NEVER do it again, and then there is the “worldly sorrow” that is not really sorry for the deed except for the momentary uncomfortable feeling of their “fleeting conscience” , but really sorry they got caught.
    I pray everyday that God will keep His hand upon me and if I do anything to displease Him that He will help me to truly feel the sorrow to sincerely repent and make amends so as not to do it again.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      PJ,

      AMEN… I share the same prayer with you. That the Lord might reveal to me my sin and allow me to trust in Him to allow me to overcome it.

      May the Lord conmtinue to bless you, PJ

      Rob

  2. Hi Rob
    Very well explained!

    Sorrow can be self-centred but repentance or Godly sorrow is completely different, being centred on God and causing HIM offence.

    Angela

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Angela,

      You took one sentence to explain what took me many pages to explain…. All I can say is AMEN to everything you said.

      May the Lord continue to bless you.

      Rob

Comments are closed.

Translate This Blog Into Other Languages...


Search Our Site For All Your Favorite Postings...


Guide To Our Current Postings…

Currently Being Updated For 2012-2013

%d bloggers like this: