Trusting in God for Salvation
2 Corinthians – Chapter 7
- 2 Cor 7:1 Let us purify ourselves
- 2 Cor 7:2-4 – Paul asks the Corinthians to open their hearts to him
- 2 Cor 7:5-7 – Paul was comforted when he was in Macedonia by the coming of Titus and by them
- 2 Cor 7:8-11 – They were made sorry by his previous letter and their sorrow led to repentance
- 2 Cor 7:12 – Paul had written to them not for the sake of he who had done wrong, but to show his care for them
- 2 Cor 7:13-15 – Paul rejoiced because Titus had been refreshed by them and he has confidence in them
This chapter shows the love and care that Paul has for the Corinthians. He is proud of their response to his previous letter and of their welcome to Titus.
Here he describes an important concept about repentance.
Two Types of Sorrow
In 2 Cor 7:10 we see that there are two ways of being sorry for our sins and wrong actions. One comes from God and the other one comes from our flesh. Distinguishing between the two is very important because they produce opposite results. The first re-establishes our relationship with God that we had broken and empowers us through His grace to overcome the temptation and to resolve the damage we had produced.
Godly Sorrow Produces Repentance and Rejoicing
Godly sorrow is motivated by our realization that we have separated ourselves from God because we had preferred other things to the pleasure of being close to him. It is a sorrow that is focused on the desire to be one with Him. Godly sorrow enables us to repent, to decide to change and to obey God. This is a positive sorrow that does not make us depressed but makes us decide to act. When we have godly sorrow we are actually glad that our sin has been revealed because we don’t want it in our life.
This type of sorrow has a positive impact on us. It brings resolution of issues and once we have taken the resulting action, we look back with a sense of gratitude. You experience this type of sorrow when you are born again and any time a child of God realizes that he has sinned. The gospel enables you to see your sinfulness but also to see the love and power of God to save you. Then you can look back and rejoice in that realization and the decision you have made to open your heart to God.
Worldly Sorrow Produces Guilt and Depression
Worldly sorrow is often called guilt. Guilt is not a positive emotion and is related to our ego. It causes us to feel hopeless because it is focused on self and our lack of power to change. We feel sorry that we have been caught, but have not really repented. The focus is not on God, His love and His forgiveness. You hurt because you are not right and others know it too. Your feelings do not get you closer to God, but make you hide from Him and be resentful. We see this kind of sorrow in Cain’s reaction to God (Gen 4:5-9). This sorrow will trigger depression and all types of negative feelings. It can end up in hardening our heart, despair and empowering sin in us even more because in our heart we have chosen not to trust in God’s ability to deliver and save us. We have rejected His grace. This sorrow remains with us and brings no emotional resolution
Judas is an extreme example of this type of sorrow. He was truly sorrowful unto death (Mt 27:5).
Prayer of Faith
I thank you Father that as I keep trusting in You and keep my heart open to Your direction, I can resolve all my mistakes and can receive Your forgiveness. As I receive Your love and I love You back, I also remain open to your correction. I don’t need nor want to hide from You. I want You to show me my sins so that I can repent and walk in Your righteousness. Open my eyes so that I can see and my ears that I can hear your voice. My heart seeks after You.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!
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