2 Corinthians 7:9-11 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. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 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.
If you read this passage, one thing must jump out to us very quickly. Paul talks about the fact that they sorrowed to repentance., That means the word repentance does not mean to be sorry about your sin, but rather repentance comes from sorrow. However, not just sorrow, but Godly sorrow. Godly sorrow produces true repentance, which produces true Godliness. Many today are sorry more often than not because they have been caught in some sin or transgression. That is not true sorrow, Godly sorrow. The purpose of Godly sorrow is that we might not receive damage, that your testimony might not be destroyed.
Scott Baio was just recently railroaded on a morning television show by two things he posted on social media outlets. He says he wrote a speech while he was at church and then the interviewer showed him the two social media posts and asked him if he had thought about those posts while he was in church. Many may say, that he is a man and that no one is perfect. I am sorry folks, but that is a cop out. The posts were something he should have thought about before he posted them, asking himself; Is this post something that shows the world the life of Jesus Christ? Is this how a saint of the Most High God should act? This is something, if he has trusted in the cross work of Jesus Christ and actually is saved (but that is another issue), he should have thought about beforehand. Since he did not think of this beforehand, then the way he should have dealt with the posts was to acknowledge his sin on live television by saying, "Yes. This type of sin is what Jesus Christ died for that I should learn from and have true Godly sorrow work in my life based on the grace God has shown all of us by the work on the cross.
This Godly sorrow is what leads us to repentance, the changing of our mind based on the knowledge and information we have stored up in our soul, that is sound doctrine. The thing someone may come along and point out the fact that the Godly sorrow works repentance to salvation. They may say that this is initial salvation. Rather, Paul is dealing with saved individuals. He is talking to them about salvation from that particular lifestyle, sin, or wrongful desire. He is telling them that they can choose to no longer live that way. They should know that grace teaches that we are to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts that we should walk soberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil world. Titus 2:11, 12. The wrong kind of sorrow, the sorrow of the world, works death. That is dealing with saved individuals as well. There are many today who listen to the likes of James Dobson and others who just peddle worldly sorrow rather than true Godly sorrow. What this does is lead to a Christian who is functionally dead. One who cannot function based on the word of God, rightly divided. They find themselves performing step after step and never getting to true sorrow, true repentance, and find themselves out of the will of God.
What is true Godly sorrow?
"... 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."
Sorrow after the Godly sort includes:
Carefulness – looking for a sin in your life to fix.
Clearing of yourself – removing the sin.
Indignation – anger is given to motivate ourselves to deal with the sin.
Fear – the alarm for us seeing the need to get rid of the sin.
Vehement desire – wanting to get rid of the sin.
Zeal – the concern to do what is right.
Revenge – readiness to avenge the wrong and see justice done.
As we understand who we are in Christ, then we are able to see how we are to live by grace.
This all leads to us being approved and cleared in the matter. We know that we have a place to send our sins to, the cross. We have already had our sins paid for by the cross, we already know that our sins are forgiven by the cross, and then we have the ability to look the cross. We can then say that this sin has already been paid for and forgiven, so I am free to get rid of it and replace it with the proper response, We know that we have been cleared in the manner and we need our walk to correspond to our position in Christ.
Grace and Peace
Complete in Him