Godly Sorrow Works Repentance

When there is sin, there should be sorrow. The ‘greater’ the sin, the greater the sorrow… and there are ‘greater’ sins. These are the ones that result in a greater loss and are therefore more difficult with which to deal.

For example, if you or I are suddenly angered and let loose a curse or two in private, that’s pretty much between us and the Lord. Our conscience may strike us and we will berate ourselves and repent before the Lord and it’s all over in short order.

Other sins are not so easy to deal with. Some carry baggage. They bring with them long-term results that don’t go away quickly or easily. We, and all who are either involved or affected by the sin, experience a sense of loss that cannot be quickly dealt with or simply put aside. It may not be pleasant, but it is a good thing.

God teaches us that the result of sin is death, Romans 6:23. When there is death, there should be grief. This is absolutely true with sin. Sin should bring our hearts to grieve and we should make no attempt to avoid, sidestep or downplay neither the sin nor the grief.

The best way to handle sin and move on is to take the time to embrace the pain, and to grieve, allowing grief to run its full, natural, cleansing course.

This is all according to the word of God. The apostle Paul put it simply when he said, ’For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death’, 2nd Corinthians 7:10.

Godly sorrow brings us to repentance. In repentance we face our sin, deal with it and then move on. The sorrow of the world brings only an untreatable, terminal regret.

Consider Judas and Peter. Each betrayed/denied their Lord. Judas’ remorse eventually drove him to suicide. He dreaded the pain
remorse brought him more than death. Peter, on the other hand,
humbled himself, grieved, and then rose from it with a clear resolve to serve his Lord with a new vigor. Continued on page two
Continued from page one

There is a condition worse than Judas’ remorse, however. Israel had this problem, which may be the worst thing that can happen to anyone.

‘Were they ashamed because of the abomination they had done? They
certainly were not ashamed, and they did not know how to blush; therefore
they shall fall among those who fall; and the time of their punishment they
shall be brought down‘, says the Lord.     Jeremiah 8:12

Once you are past the point of grieving over sin, you cannot experience the Godly sorrow that brings you to repent. Jesus said that without repentance, there can be no salvation; only a severe expectation of judgment, Luke 13:3-5.

Marty Kessler

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