7:9 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. 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. I Corinthians 7:9&10 (Emphasis supplied).
Last week we looked at how confession of sin leads to godly sorrow. This week I will deal with why confession of sin is called godly sorrow and why it has saving power.
First, confession of sin is called godly sorrow because it comes from God. Acts 5:30-32 says:
5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand [to be] a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and [so is] also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. (Emphasis supplied).
I Corinthians 7: 9&10 tells us that there are 2 kinds of sorrow: worldly sorrow and godly sorrow. Worldly sorrow leads to death (v.10) but godly sorrow leads to repentance unto salvation. Acts 5:30-32 lets us know that it is called godly sorrow because it comes from God. This why John 3:16&17 says:
3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Our flesh can only produce worldly sorrow which only sees the wrong behavior (sins). It takes the Spirit of God to reveal the fact that the source of our sins lies in our sinful nature (our flesh) and that we are sinners even when we are doing good things (see Isaiah 64:6).
The second reason repentance is also called godly sorrow is because it not only comes from God but it also leads to God. This is why John 3:20&21 says:
3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (Emphasis supplied).
When the Spirit of God reveals our sinful nature we do one of two things: We either surrender to the Holy Spirit’s conviction, or we reject the Holy Spirit’s conviction. But the most important truth this text brings out is this:
Before we can do anything that is righteous we must come to Jesus who is the light that lights the way for everyone (see John 1:1-14): If we do not come to this light of truth we can only do that which is evil because our deeds are not done (wrought) in the power of God (Jesus in me) they are done in the power of the flesh which can only do evil.
This is why Jesus said:
9:23 And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. Luke 9:23&24 (Emphasis supplied).
The apostle Paul makes it clear what happens when we do what Jesus said we must do in order to follow Him:
2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Galatians 2:20&21 (Emphasis supplied).
For the vast majority of the world Jesus is dead in vain. I say this because I look at the condition of the world today and I see so much pain, unhappiness and sorrow. I see so many struggling under the weight of guilt, shame and sin. All because they do not believe or have not yet heard that the reason for all of their problems is that they are living in the power of their flesh instead of the power of Jesus. This includes the vast majority of Christians. We frustrate the grace of God because we refuse to come to the light that only Jesus can make us complete (see Colossians 2:8-10). Therefore, Jesus cannot make us whole; neither can He cleanse us from all unrighteousness because we are still walking in the flesh instead of the power of His Spirit. If we want to be made whole we must take up our cross daily and lose our lives so we can gain Jesus’ life: His joy, His peace, His happiness, His strength, His righteousness, His faith.
To all who want the peace, happiness, wholeness, strength, righteousness, and the faith that comes from Jesus living in you: To all who want to die to the flesh so you can walk in the power of the Holy Spirit: To all who want to taste the joys of heaven while living in the midst of the tribulations of this world: Jesus says:
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33 (Emphasis supplied).
In my next blog I am going to show the important part the confession of sin plays in receiving the seal of God. Until then I leave you with this scripture to ponder and pray over:
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30