Lord, Change Our Minds

Bible Book: 2 Corinthians  7 : 8-12
Subject: Repentence, True; Humility
INTRODUCTION

This passage records the joy that Paul felt when Titus brought the news that the Corinthians had received the message he had sent to them. What a joy when a pastor knows his leadership is being followed. (Heb 13:7-17)

Paul had written a letter to this church as one broken-hearted over sin in the church. He knew the letter had caused the Corinthians sorrow and as a result, Paul, at moments, regretted sending it. However, the Corinthians not only responded correctly to Paul, but also to God. This is a passage that outlines what is essential to restoring broken relationships.

Proverbs 9:8-9

“Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;

Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;

Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”

Proverbs 27:5-6

“Open rebuke is better

Than love carefully concealed.

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend,

But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”

This letter speaks of how Paul feared that his confrontation of sin had only caused things to get worse. The pleasure of sin is brief, while the sorrow it produces lasts; the sorrow of repentance is brief, while the joy it produces lasts.

This text helps us to discern between “godly sorrow” and “sorrow” (remorse). The Corinthians’ remorse was not a sorrow of self-pity, of getting caught, of despair, bitterness, wounded pride, or manipulative remorse. Their sorrow led to repentance (a change of mind, heart, and life. It’s a turning from sin to holiness) which produced genuine change.

They were not defensive; they did not view themselves as victims or seek to justify their sinful behavior. Their sorrow was in “a godly manner,” according to the will of God. It was the healing, transforming sorrow for sin that God intended for them to feel, because it produces repentance.

2 Corinthians 7:9, “Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.”

“that you might suffer loss from us in nothing” – Paul was comforted by their response. There were many blessings God could pour out on the Corinthians through his ministry. Had they remained alienated from him, they would have forfeited their blessings. Paul’s concern was not for his loss, but theirs.

According to v.10, no one who truly repents will ever regret it, or the sorrow that led to it.

2 Corinthians 7:10, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”

True biblical repentance is not psychological, emotional, human remorse, seeking merely to relieve stress and improve one’s circumstances. The “sorrow of the world” – remorse, wounded pride, self-pity, unfulfilled hopes, has no healing power, no transforming, saving, or redeeming capability. It produces guilt, shame, resentment, anguish, despair, depression, hopelessness, even death.

“godly sorrow” – produced by the Holy Spirit’s conviction

Proverbs 28:13, “He who covers his sins will not prosper,

But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

Psalms 32:3-4

“When I kept silent, my bones grew old

Through my groaning all the day long.

For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;

My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.”

Selah

2 Timothy 2:25-26, “in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”

WHAT DOES REPENTANCE LOOK LIKE?

2 Corinthians 7:11, “For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”

“you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in this matter”

I. DILIGENCE

Speaks of earnestness or eagerness for righteousness on their part. It ended their indifference toward Paul and their complacency about their sin. They were eager to make things right, to make restitution, to restore their broken relationship.

II. CLEARING OF YOURSELVES

Vindication, a speech of defense. It speaks of a strong desire to remove the stigma of their sin, rid themselves of their guilt, and prove themselves trustworthy. They made sure that all who had known of their sin now knew of their repentance.

III. INDIGNATION

To be indignant or to be angry. They were outraged over their sin; they were angry that they had brought shame on themselves, offended Paul, and sinned against God. They now hated the sin they had formerly cherished.

Romans 6:21, “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.”

What you did like, now you detest

What you detested, you now like

IV. FEAR

They had a reverential fear and awe of God as the One Who chastens and judges. Their concern now was to obey and honor Him.

V. VEHEMENT DESIRE

A longing; an overwhelming desire to see relationships righted.

VI. ZEAL

A renewed zeal for holiness, for what’s right

VII. VINDICATION

Avenging of wrong. A wish to see justice done in the sense of making restitution for wrongs committed. Instead of protecting themselves, they accept the consequences of their sins.