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Summary: REPENTANCE CAN BRING FORGIVENESS OF SIN AND A FREEDOM FROM THE GUILT SIN BRINGS

AGGRAVATION OR FREEDOM

2 CORINTHIANS 7:1-12

THIS MORNING I WANT TO SPEAK ON THE ISSUE OF REPENTANCE. PAUL IS GOING TO TEACH US IN OUR PASSAGE TODAY THAT TRUE REPENTANCE AND REMORSE IS THE GATEWAY TO DEEP SPIRITUALITY AND BLESSING FROM GOD.

THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF REPENTANCE THAT WE NEED TO BE AWARE OF, WHICH ARE: 1. WORLDLY REPENTANCE

2. GODLY REPENTANCE

JIM HARRON SAYS:

“REPENTANCE IS AN ONGOING PROCESS, INVOLVED IN EACH STRUGGLE ALONG THE WAY TO CHRISTIAN MATURITY. UNLESS WE LEARN HOW TO REPENT, WE WILL NOT GROW. UNLESS WE LEARN THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN “GODLY SORROW” AND “WORLDLY SORROW” WE WILL DIE.”

TODAY WE ARE GOING TO STUDY PAUL’S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH AND EXAMINE THESE TWO TYPES OF REPENTANCE CLOSELY, AS WELL AS CONSIDERING HOW TO BUILD AN ATTITUDE OF REPENTANCE.

BIBLICAL BACKGROUND:

THE CHURCH IN CORINTH WAS FOUNDED BY PAUL, AND WAS A SOURCE OF GREAT TURMOIL FOR HIM. IDOLATRY WAS RAMPANT, AND ALSO FALSE TACHERS HAD COME INTO THE CHURCH CHARGING THAT PAUL WAS NOT A TRUE APOSTLE.

PAUL WROTE FOUR LETTERS TO THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH:

1. IS AN UNKNOWN LETTER REFERRED TO IN 1 CORINTHIANS 5:9. IT IS KNOWN AS “THE PREVIOUS LETTER”.

2. THE SECOND LETTER IS WHAT WE KNOW AS 1 CORINTHIANS

3. A LETTER WHICH PAUL REFERS TO AS “A HARD, TOUGH-WORDED, NO NON-SENSE LETTER. IT IS CALLED “THE SEVERE LETTER”

4. THE FOURTH LETTER IS WHAT WE KNOW AS 2 CORINTHIANS

THE PASSAGE WE ARE LOOKING AT TODAY IS A RESULT OF THE PREVIOUS THREE LETTERS AND ACTIONS IN REPENTANCE TAKEN BY THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH.

PAUL WANTS THEM TO REALIZE THAT THOUGH HE TREATED THEM IN A TOUGH MANNER HE DOES NOT REGRET IT, FOR IT BROUGHT ABOUT A REPENTANT ATTITUDE.

2 CORINTHIANS 7:8-10:

EVEN IF I CAUSED YOU SORROW BY MY LETTER, I DO NOT REGRET IT. THOUGH I DID REGRET IT—I SEE THAT MY LETTER HURT YOU, BUT ONLY FOR A LITTLE WHILE—9 YET NOW I AM HAPPY, NOT BECAUSE YOU WERE MADE SORRY, BUT BECAUSE YOUR SORROW LED YOU TO REPENTANCE. FOR YOU BECAME SORROWFUL AS GOD INTENDED AND SO WERE NOT HARMED IN ANY WAY BY US. 10 GODLY SORROW BRINGS REPENTANCE THAT LEADS TO SALVATION AND LEAVES NO REGRET, BUT WORLDLY SORROW BRINGS DEATH.

COMPARE IT TO A PARENT TAKING A CHILD TO THE DENTIST AFTER A CAVITY HAS BEEN FOUND. IN ORDER TO FIX THE PROBLEM, THE PARENT KNOWS SOME PAIN WILL BE INVOLVED. THE PARENT ALSO KNOWS THAT THIS PAIN IS TEMPORARY, AND WILL LEAD TO GOOD RESULTS IN THE LONGRUN.

PAUL UNDERSTOOD SALVATION IN TERMS OF A PROCESS. HE TOLD THE PHILIPPIAN CHURCH TO:

PHILIPPIANS 2:12-13:

12 THEREFORE, MY DEAR FRIENDS, AS YOU HAVE ALWAYS OBEYED—NOT ONLY IN MY PRESENCE, BUT NOW MUCH MORE IN MY ABSENCE—CONTINUE TO WORK OUT YOUR SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING, 13 FOR IT IS GOD WHO WORKS IN YOU TO WILL AND TO ACT IN ORDER TO FULFILL HIS GOOD PURPOSE.

PAUL TAUGHT THAT SALVATION ALSO INCLUDED SANCTIFICATION. WE ARE SAVED ONCE WE HAVE BELIEVED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST AND COMMITTED OOUR LIVES TO HIM. OUR SALVATION IS NOT COMPLETE THERE. YOUR SALVATION ISN’T COMPLETE WHEN YOU WALK AN AISLE OR ARE BAPTIZED. IT IS MERELY THE BEGINNING. WE ARE SAVED BUT GOD HASN’T FINISHED HIS WORK IN US. PAUL SAID TO THE PHILIPPIAN CHURCH:

PHILIPPIANS 1:6: BEING CONFIDENT OF THIS, THAT HE WHO BEGAN A GOOD WORK IN YOU WILL CARRY IT ON TO COMPLETION UNTIL THE DAY OF CHRIST JESUS.

THE WALK OF HOLINESS FOR US AS WELL AS THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH IS JUST BEGINNING, AND IT STARTS WITH REPENTANCE.

POINT TWO: WORLDLY REPENTANCE

THE GREEK WORD FOR WORLDLY REPENTANCE IS “METAMELOMAI” WHICH MEANS TO HAVE REMORSE FOR ONE’S ACTIONS. IT MAY NOT MEAN I’M SORRY FOR WHAT I DID, BUT RATHER I’M SORRY I GOT CAUGHT DOING WHAT I DID. THE PRODUCT OF WORLDLY REPENTANCE IS DEFEAT AND DESTRUCTION. IT IS REMORSE AND REGRET AND BEARING THE BURDEN OF ONE’S GUILT.

WORLDLY SORROW HAS FOUR DISTINCTIONS:

1. ROUTINE: ROUTINE INVOLVES THE HABITUAL SINNING AND SORROWING. YOU SIN ON A TUESDAY, YOU SAY YOUR SORRY ON TUESDAY NIGHT. YOU COMMIT THE SAME SIN ON WEDNESDAY AND SAY YOU ARE SORRY ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

IT IS A CONTINUAL ROUTINE OF SINNING AND BEING SORRY, BUT THERE IS NO CHANGE, NO VICTORIOUS LIVING.

2. THE REALITY OF THE ROUTINE: THE REALITY OF THE ROUTINE IS THAT IT DEVELOPS A SPIRITUAL SHALLOWNESS. THE WORD SORRY IS EMPTY WITH NO CHANGE IN LIFESTYLE. VERNON CARUTHERS SAYS “AN INSINCERE SORRY IS EMPTY AND IT IS WORTHLESS.”

3. THE RISK INVOLVED: THE RISK IS THE DANGER OF DEVELOPING A HARDENED SENSITIVITY TO THE SPIRIT OF GOD. WHEN WE ARE CONSTANTLY BEING FACED WITH SITUATIONS THAT ARE WRONG, WE CAN BECOME ACCUSTOMED TO THEM AND THEY LOSE THEIR FORCE OF IMPACT.

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