Summary: Four of the seven marks of a truly repentant person.. 1. EARNESTNESS ….. to do right. 2. EAGERNESS to clear oneself through apology 3. INDIGNATION ….. against sin 4. FEAR ….. of God
Marks of Godly Sorrow
2 Corinthians 7:8-11 8 For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it (though I did regret it, for I see that I grieved you with that letter, though only briefly). 9 Now I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance; for you felt a godly grief, so that you were not harmed in any way by us. 10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourself to be innocent in this matter.
In today’s scripture passage we have Paul making reference to his so-called “tearful letter.” That is a letter that was written to the Corinthians between 1 and 2 Corinthians. In that letter Paul was forced to be very stern in correcting the Corinthian Christians about their dealing with a sinful member. They were not doing anything about the persons sin. As a result they dealt with the sinner and the sinner was reclaimed to the fellowship.
In verse 8, Paul says, “At first I regretted sending the letter, having to be so stern. But in light of how it all turned out, how the sinner was brought back and all of you grew in response, I am no longer sorry about sending it. I do regret the temporary pain my words brought, but overall, I am thrilled with `the outcome.
Then he goes on to name 7 things he saw in the Corinthians, seven marks, seven proofs that they had truly repented.
Today I want us to look at these seven marks of true repentance.
See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourself to be innocent in this matter. V. 11
1. Earnestness………. To do right
The Greek word used is it means earnestness or diligence. The main meaning of the word is HASTE… it implies seriousness about doing something, and being in a hurry to do it…. Being in a hurry to take care of important business…… ASAP
One mark of the truly repentant person is that they are very anxious to do right.
When they realize that they are guilty of wrong, they not only want to stop, and to be forgiven…. They want to do the right thing.
Many people say that repentance means to stop doing wrong. That is about one third right.
To repent is to 1. stop doing wrong
2. confess the wrong
3. START DOING RIGHT
It is not enough to stand still in your sin, to stay where you are. YOU HAVE TO GET OUT OF THERE!!!!!!
Paul saw that in the Corinthians. They not only realized that they were wrong… they not only confessed being wrong and asked for forgiveness…. They did right.
How about you? Do you have a burning compulsion, a haste, an earnest desire to do right when you have done right. Or are you content to stop doing wrong?
True repentance causes us to want to do right.
It is a sure sign of repentance because natural man does not care to do right… they want to do what is right for them.
2. CLEARING….. through apology
= apology, answer, clearing
Another mark of the truly repentant is their desire to be cleared of the charges,.
This leads them to make an APOLOGY.
A sincere apology is a beautiful thing. It diffuses the situation and brings reunion.
A false apology is just words and does not make the situation better. In fact, it makes the situation worse.
Paul could tell that the Corinthians had truly undergone a repentance … because they sent an apology, and wanted to be cleared of the wrongdoing.
How about you?
Have you a desire to be cleared, to have the black mark removed from your name, to see your name cleared.
NOTE: ONLY IF YOU HAVE RECOGNIZED YOUR SIN!
If you have not desired to be cleared…. One of two reasons
a. You have seen the thing but not realized it is sin
b. You would see it as sin but are unaware of the thing
How about you?
Have you Have you desired to be cleared
Have you not realized the thing
Have you not realized the thing is sin
That person can know the truth that King David discovered…. When we are cleared, we have great relief.
1Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!