Sorrow that leads to repentance 2 Corinthians 7:5-13 Advent Matthew 3:1-12

If you are a pastor or lay person who wants to use this to preach in church – that is why I posted it.  I don’t care about credit, I only care that God’s word is preached and Christ is glorified.  I pray He uses this sermon in a mighty way through you.  You have my permission to alter it and/or use it however God leads you.  God bless you in your ministry.  You can also bookmark this to check out the other free written sermons on my blog.

Metanoia – We translate it in the english language as repentance –

In Treadwell Walden’s The Great Meaning of the Word Metanoia: Lost in the Old Version, Unrecovered in the New – he says in biblical Greek, metanoeō/μετανοἐω and metanoia/μετἀνοια signify a “change of Mind, a change in the trend and action of the whole inner nature, intellectual, affectional and moral.” This meaning of metanoia as a “transmutation” of consciousness contrasts with classical Greek in which the word expressed a superficial change of mind.

In other words, repentance is more than being sorry that we got caught.

Real repentance no longer produces regret, spinning the wheels of what could have been. Rather you now look at today and the future and do not dwell on the sins of your past.

Hebrews 12:17 – sometimes repentance is impossible.

Esau sold his birthright-

Nobody comes unless the Spirit draws you.

If you feel convicted today – If you feel drawn to repent today, If you feel drawn to be saved today – That feeling may never come again.

A lot of wise Biblical scholars and preachers I respect very much believe that you can only be saved if God sends the Holy Spirit to allow you to make that choice – it’s still your choice – some of you may have never repented and been saved, and you fell like this sermon is for you today and you will make a decision to accept Christ today or you won’t and the Spirit of God may never be touching your heart like it is today, ever again.

Don’t regret it, did regret it. Can you see the difference? It’s more than mixed emotions.

Even though it hurt you, I don’t regret it, even though I did when I was writing it.

Paul knows he had written them with very “frank speech”. Throughout the letter, Paul says he wrote it in tears.

I don’t regret it now because of what it accomplished.

What did it accomplish? Sorrow, but not just sorrow. Godly sorrow that leads to repentance.

If it just results in a worldly sorrow, it wasn’t worth it, he would have regretted it.

A worldly sorrow is pointless. If it just makes them feel guilty, it’s a waste of Paul’s time and their emotion. Worldly sorrow leads to death.

The person speaking frankly must have personal integrity, and the frankness must be in the context of Christian love and friendship by seeking what is beneficial to the hearer. It’s not always beneficial to the speaker. The speaker can just be hated because of the sting and/or hurt it causes the hearer.

But the sting and hurt can’t be the goal.

Have you ever known anyone who has sting and hurt as the goal?

Have you ever known anyone who just says things to get someone mad? Have you ever done that?

If you know someone hates hearing a particular phrase and you use that phrase to make them mad, is that what’s going on here?

When we say things just to cause hurt and sting, that’s bad.

Is Paul’s goal here to just get them upset? No.

The goal is to get them to turn away from sin, repentance is the goal.

He wants them to be sorry for the right reason. Sometimes we’re just sorry we got caught.

This sorrow that Paul’s looking for is the word “lype”

Sorrow, in tears, grief, distress, affliction, pain of mind or spirit.

Think about the Beattitudes, Matthew 5:4 – Happy are those who grieve, they will be made glad.

This is the benefit of the Godly sorrow. Worldly sorrow is not going to lead to gladness.

harsh, frank speech, such as Paul’s risks rejection – of the message and of the messenger.

Paul’s willing to take that risk because something more is at stake, something larger than their friendship.

Most of the time relationships are risk-free. Sometimes relationships call for risky honesty. Here, Paul puts their well-being above their friendship. The problem is, we don’t know how they’re going to take it. That’s why Paul can say in the beginning that he regretted writing it when he wrote it, but not after he found out how they took it.

“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Sermons – sometimes we leave feeling really good, some we leave feeling really bad – when we leave feeling really bad, I can take from this scripture that we have a sorrow, but it’s a worldly sorrow. A Godly sorrow that leads to repentance leaves you feeling better, not worse. Here’s the scripture in the common English bible:

Godly sadness produces a changed heart and life that leads to salvation and leaves no regrets, but sorrow under the influence of the world produces death. 11 Look at what this very experience of godly sadness has produced in you: such enthusiasm, what a desire to clear yourselves of blame, such indignation, what fear, what purpose, such concern, what justice! In everything you have shown yourselves to be innocent in the matter.

I’ve talked about repentance the last two weeks, about admitting sin. I’ve touched on some tough topics that maybe you wished I hadn’t said. It has been frank talk.

Is it talk in which the goal is to make you hurt and sting? NO. What’s it for?

To lead you to Godly sorrow that leads to repentance which makes you feel better. Godly repentance makes you innocent in the matter. You leave not carrying the burden of sin that you walked in with. Lighter, freer, forgiven.

Falling under conviction is a good thing when it causes us to turn to Jesus for forgiveness.  Sending you out of the church sad and with a guilty feeling is not the goal.  Sending you out with the joy of forgiveness is the goal.  If you leave the church sad, you haven’t repented and you haven’t left the church forgiven – you’ve just left sad.

If you just feel bad after this sermon or any sermon, I regret it. That’s not the goal. It is not enough just to make you feel sorrow. The goal is to bring you the good news that no matter what it is you’ve done, God will forgive you if you are sorry and you ask him for forgiveness.  Repent.


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