Paul’s Footsteps #185

Footsteps #185

“10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. 11 Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.” NLT (2Cor.7:10-11)

2Cor.7:10-11 the Apostle reveals the 8 evidences of repentance 1. Earnestness, a desire for righteousness and it ended their indifference toward Paul and their complacency about their sin. 2. Eagerness to clear oneself. They desperately want to free themselves of any blame in the matter, to remove the stigma of their sin and prove themselves once again trustworthy. 3. Indignation. They were actually disgusted at themselves for offending Paul and for sinning against God. 4. Alarm. Indicating that they had arrived at a renewed reverential fear and awe of God as the One who disciplines and judges. 5. Longing. This speaks of their deep, heart-felt desire for the former relationship with Paul to be restored. 6. Concern. This is the same term often translated “zeal” elsewhere in Scripture. 7. Readiness to see justice done. Truly repentant people have a strong desire to see justice done and to make restitution for the wrongs they have done. The last phrase of v11 is remarkable: “At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.” They were not innocent, so the point Paul must be making is that they have recovered innocence through repentance. 8. V10 Godly sorrow. 

Now in the final section of the chapter, Paul speaks of the ultimate value of godly confrontation – vs12-16. V12, Paul indicates that the real value of his harsh (now lost) letter is not to finger the bad guys, nor to vindicate the victims, but rather to help the congregation to see he was their real friend, not the false teachers and false apostles who had undermined him. Sometimes we need to be reminded who our real friends are.  

In Acts11:18 and 2Tim.2:25 we find that God Himself grants repentance. Both repentance and faith are more often commanded or required, but an occasional passage indicates faith is “given” (Eph.2:8, 9). Perhaps the ultimate conclusion is that we are required to repent and to believe, but if we think we can do either on our own, without divine help, we are mistaken. If they are gifts (and they are), they are not gifts we can receive passively but rather must receive actively.  

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