Do we need to repent of our repentance?

Vaclav's picture

In 2Corinthians 7:8-13 Paul writes -

8 For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while.
9 As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.
10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
11 For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.
12 So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the one who did the wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God.
13 Therefore we are comforted.

Between 1 and 2 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul has written a letter (which is now lost) that has grieved the Corinthians, but only for a while. It is not clear, but it seems the issue was about the sinning brother from 1Corinthians 5. By the instruction of Paul to the church at Corinth, they were to deliver this man to Satan, the church being purged by casting the man out from among them. From 2Corinthians 2 we see that the man repented, but the church has not accepted him back into fellowship, which caused him to be overwhelmed with excessive sorrow. They were to forgive and comfort the repentant brother instead, just as the apostle Paul did. It is clear that Corinthians were very slow in imitating Paul in forgiving the once horribly sinning brother, and perhaps doubted Paul's wisdom in this matter. Now, Paul's apostolic authority is in danger of being rejected by the Corinthian church. So Paul has a new fear for the church. The fear being - will the 'super apostles' that are trying to disturb the Corinthian church gain a listening ear of the Corinthians, and turn their devotion from Christ to a false gospel? This is why Paul wrote the strong letter to the Corinthians, that has caused them grief, but only for a while. The letter has caused the Corinthians to repent of their doubt and rejection of Paul's apostolic instruction, regarding the once sinning brother. And once again the church is earnestly longing, mourning and being zealous for Paul, the Apostle of Christ Jesus.

What is repentance according to God? It is grief produced by looking at our sin from God's perspective that results in life turned back to God. Any sin, is wrong done against God, first and foremost. Not, what pain has sin caused me, or another, but how have I offended God in my wrong action. Looking at self and others will produce only worldly grief like that of Judas, who hanged himself afterwards, which ultimately leads to death everlasting. But Godly grief, sorrow according to God produces a repentance that leads to salvation (and that) without regret. Godly grief changes not only person's mind about sin, but direction in life. This grief acknowledges its sin against God, but also receives God's provision for the forgiveness and cleansing of the sin. There is no more regret after we have confessed our sin, AND have received God's forgiveness and acceptance through the death of his Son Christ Jesus on our behalf.

Forgiven and set free to willingly trust and obey our merciful God.

Psalm 32:5b - I said, I will confess my transgressions to the LORD, and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.


Great topic Vaclav. One i

Great topic Vaclav.
One i suppose invokes alot of inner resentment when preached from the pulpits. Christians (myself included) love to claim that they have indeed repented of their sins when discussing such issues such as sin amongst friends. But have we, really?
In order to have repented, we must understand what repentance is!
Someone once said that if you've never met the devil, it's because you're walking in the same direction as him. This may seem irrelevant, but is it?
As many beleive, repentance to them is the act of asking the God of mercy to forgive them of their sins commited. After being forgiven, they continually repeat this same offense. A great example of this is in Exodus 9:27-35 Pharaoh "repents" about his ways to Moses and asks him offer prayers to God and stop the thunder and hail. As he was watching the thunder and hail stop, he sinned again.
In this case

Repentance must be tied to action. it should not be thought of as an outward act of only confession by mouth, but rather an inner decision to turn away from the sin and turn to rightousness.

2Kings 22 King Josiah shows what true repentance is. Vs.19 should really be read more often, follwed up by chapter 23
Josiah A) His heart was responsive
B) tore his robes
C)Renewed the Covenant
D)Destroyed the articles made to demons
E)He turned to the Lord with all his heart (chapter 23:25)

In this case

If we really want to answer your question Vaclav, most of us would be honest and say yes. We need to repent for our repentance.
Thanks brohter you have brought to mind something to think about

It's a new direction of the heart

Vaclav's picture

I really believe we present day believers, for the most part, overlook what Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Chalmers and presently John Piper emphasized -

the need of having such a revelation of God in Christ crucified on our behalf, hell deserving sinners, a revelation to our mind/heart, so we would have what Chalmers said, "Expulsive power of a new affection" driving out of our hearts the self-centered affections that love sin and hate God at the core of our being. It's then, sinful as we are, turning to God by faith in Jesus Christ, that our direction in life is changed 180 degrees.

Thus being turned, or in "the way", we experience what Paul wrote,

"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." (2Corinthians 3:18).

Thanks for your inspiring comments brother. We truly need to spend more time reading the Old Testament Scriptures, to be encouraged and have hope by them; as Paul says in Romans 15.

Regarding Godly grief

The Doctor's picture

Vaclav, I like what you said regarding Godly grief changing not only the person's mind about sin, but direction in life. This is true. I can see that some believers would think that all they have to do is have some Godly sorrow about their sin, yet still commit these terrible atrocities, like I do. I do agree when you said that '...this grief acknowledges its sin against God, but also receives God's provision for the forgiveness and cleansing of the sin." Then, as believers, we can still walk in total freedom of the Lord and know that He has cleansed us with the blood of His Son. We have no more regret after we have confessed our sin. Vaclav, we have received God's forgiveness and acceptance through the death of his Son Christ Jesus on our behalf. I believe that totally. Where is true faith if we can't experience it? Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Vaclav, don't forget 1 John 1:9 where it says:

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness..."

We can believe that He has sent our sins way far from Him, into the sea of, we can move on in faith in our beloved Saviour....

Do you desire Godly grief that leads to repentance?

Vaclav's picture

This is my advice, or rather, Paul's in Romans 2:4 -

4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

Set the kindness of God before your eyes, the eyes of faith. His kindness toward you as is seen in his forbearance and patience with your sin. His kindness in God's righteous provision of the sufficient, perfect and complete substitute in the person of Jesus Christ, dying in your and my place, for us, hell deserving sinners. So, let us not presume upon his kindness toward us sinners, but let God's kindness...lead us to repentance (turned from self to God).

godly grief produces repentance

Andrew's picture

Great post! Just one minor comment--if the godly grief leads us to repentance, how can you define repentance as grief? I liked what you said last night about it being the direction we were facing, turning from facing away from God to facing towards him. I think that there is a very fine distinction between repentance (a heart attitude) and repentant behaviour. This is very similar to the faith/works distinction in James. I.e. "repentance without change of life is dead".

Andrew Fountain -- blog: in Christ

thanks Andrew

Vaclav's picture

I've added the thought from last night to it. Repentance is turning around as you shared. And it is a radical turning from self preoccupation to God occupation. It is not, 'I have to change in order for God to accept me'. But because God has provided forgiveness and cleansing in the blood of Christ on my behalf, I confess my sin, receive his forgiveness and trust Christ to free me from my sin, whatever bondage it may be, and yield my life to him.

New Blog? this Life With Christ (LWC)???

hey Mundo

Vaclav's picture

Nope. This is my own blog man. Enjoy it.