Short Lesson about Repentance
2 Cor. 7:6-12
Preaching the good news of salvation is no easy task. There are times that it’s difficult, and dangerous, even life threatening. However, Christ is in control and he sends comfort and gives consolation to his children who are in need. One consolation and comfort that Paul and his coworkers in Christ is the repentance of the believers there specially the sinner mentioned in 1 Cor. 5.
Today, we will have a brief discussion about repentance.
Illustration 1: Our Nation Has Forgotten God
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, the many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved
us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the
necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
President Abraham Lincoln’s Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humliation and Prayer, April 30, 1863
I. The arrival of Titus (2 Cor. 7:6-7)
A. The Lord consoles those who are cast down, or those who have been depressed, in dire straits, those who are getting weary and losing hope.
B. “Nevertheless God… comforted us by the coming of Titus” (2 Cor, 7:6): Paul rejoiced not only in again seeing him, but especially in the good news which he brought telling about the repentance of the Corinthians, and their positive response to his letter
C. Paul was encouraged on how the Corinthians treated Titus (2 Cor. 7:7). He brought to them a confrontational letter yet he was well received. Another source of encouragement for Paul is:
1. Their “earnest desire” to see Paul and have fellowship with him again
2. Their “mourning”, they were sorrowful about their sin,
3. Their “fervent mind toward Paul”, they love Paul and they were willing to
defend him against his enemies specially the false teachers.
Illustration 2: By Their Fruits You Shall Know Them
The sure test of the quality of any supposed change of heart will be found in its permanent effects. ‘By their fruits you shall know them’ is as applicable to the right method of judging ourselves as of judging others. Whatever, therefore, may have been our inward experience, whatever joy or sorrow we may have felt, unless we bring forth fruits meet for repentance, our experience will profit us nothing. Repentance is incomplete unless it leads to confession and restitution in cases of injury; unless it causes us to forsake not merely outward sins, which others notice, but those which lie concealed in the heart; unless it makes us choose the service of God and live not for ourselves but for Him. There is no duty which is either more obvious in itself, or more frequently asserted in the Word of God, than that of repentance. – Charles Hodge
II. Repentance (2 Cor. 7:8-11)
A. “For though I made you sorry with a letter… “(2 Cor. 7:8): Paul harshly rebuked their carelessness. For a time, he was sorry he had written them. He was in a regretful mood at first. “I do not repent”, or “regret”. The word rendered “repent” in verse 8 is not the one rendered “repentance” in verses 9 and 10. Paul’s first letter had cause the Corinthians sorrow, and at one time he regretted sending it, because he feared it would not work the result he wished, but since it had, he did not regret that he sent it.
B. “Now I rejoice…” (2 Cor. 7:9): Paul was glad he had sent the letter of severe rebuke, not because the Corinthians suffered pain, but because their pain resulted in repentance. It accomplished what he had hoped for. Observe three things:
1. Regret is not repentance.
2. Sorrow is not repentance.
3. Godly sorrow (verse 10) works repentance.
C. “After a godly manner.” The letter produced a sorrow in the Corinthians believers that led them to repent of their sins. It was not mere sorrow, but a change in their attitude that counted. It was God’s way and God’s will that the suffering should issue in repentance, not that the apostle should work them any harm.
D. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation…” (2 Cor. 7:10): Godly sorrow results in repentance, and repentance results in salvation, and ‘this result is never to be regretted! Note the steps:
1. Godly sorrow.
2. Repentance as a result of godly sorrow.
3. Salvation secured by repentance.
4. This effect of repentance is never regretted.
E. “The sorrow of the world worketh death.” The kind of sorrow the world has in grief for “failure, not for sin” (Bernard). This is not godly sorrow, but remorse. Such remorse is seen in Cain’s lament (Gen. 4:9, 13), Esau’s tears (Heb. 12:16, 17), and the suicide of Judas (Matt. 27:3-10; Acts 1:16-19).
F. “Ye sorrowed after a godly sort…” (2 Cor. 7:11): The Corinthians proved their repentance by their willingness to follow his instructions (2 Cor. 2:9). What “I wrote” is seen in 1 Cor. 5:1-5.
G. Paul points out the good results of such “godly sorrow” in the case of the
Corinthians. “For behold… what earnest care it wrought in you,” is contrast with former indifference. “What clearing of yourselves,” by showing that the offender has not been shielded or his offense condoned; “what indignation,” at the disgrace brought upon the church; “what fear” of consequences; “what longing” for the apostle’s forgiveness and for his return; “what zeal” to discipline. The offender; “what avenging,” what severity in his punishment. In every one of these points the Corinthians had approved themselves, and had shown that they were purged from all complicity in the sin and no longer felt any guilt sympathy with the offender
H. Paul “wrote unto you” (verse 12) not merely to secure the discipline of the offender, but to call forth an expression of the deep concern, the “earnest care” which the Corinthians felt for him, and that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.”
I. More about Repentance
1. “All” must repent, or perish (Luke 13:3).
2. “All” are commanded to repent (Acts 17:30).
3. Repentance is “unto life” (Acts 11:18).
4. Heaven rejoices when “one sinner” repents (Luke 15:7).
5. People in hell want us to repent (Luke 16:27-30).
6. Repentance is not “godly sorrow” (2 Cor. 7:10). Godly sorrow comes before and fruits in repentance.
7. Repentance is not reformation (Matt. 3:8). Reformation comes after repentance.
8. Repentance is a change of will or mind (Matt. 21:28, 29).
9. Men “everywhere” should repent because they fear the judgment (Acts 17:30, 31).
10. Sinners should repent because of the “goodness of God” (Rom. 2:4).
11. Repentance is after faith and before baptism (Acts 2:38). It is “for the remission of sins, and… the gift of the Holy Ghost”!
12. Not only is repentance a command to all alien sinners, but it is a command to the erring Christian. Whenever we sin, we must repent and “pray God, if
perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee” (Acts 8:22).
Illustration 3: Joined Face to Face with A Dead Body
“The Romans sometimes compelled a captive to be joined face-to-face with a dead body, and to bear it about until the horrible effluvia destroyed the life of the living victim. Virgil describes this cruel punishment: ‘The living and the dead at his command were coupled face to face, and hand to
hand; Till choked with stench, in loathed embraces tied, the lingering wretches pined away and died.’”
Without Christ, we are shackled to a dead corpse—our sinfulness. Only repentance frees us from certain death, for life and death cannot coexist indefinitely.
Paul Lee Tan’s Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations
Indeed, repentance is very important Bible doctrine yet, modern or liberal preachers doesn’t preach about it anymore. All they preach is receiving Christ without even repenting from their sins. They never realize that without repentance, there is no salvation. The words of Christ are very clear, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Lk. 13:5). Repent from your sins now. For those who are teaching and preaching the Word of God, preach repentance to your congregation.