Posted: Wednesday, September 4
2 Corinthians 7:8-16
Verse of the day:
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.
2 Corinthians 7:10
According to his own admission, the Apostle Paul wrote a pretty nasty letter to the church in Corinth. What did the letter say? We’ll never know exactly, as it one of at least two letters Paul wrote to the church that are lost to history. Apparently, Paul had called out some serious sins that were happening among the members of the Corinthian church and the Apostle didn’t hold back in voicing his displeasure. Paul described the letter as “severe” and even “painful” for those who read it (2 Cor. 2:9). Then he said he wasn’t even sorry for doing it – because it led to the Corinthian church becoming genuinely sorry for their actions and turning away from their sin. This was the exact reaction God wanted. Paul also made it clear that the sorrow the Corinthians felt from his letter was different from the sorrow many people in the world exhibit after being caught in the wrong, yet they don’t turn to God or away from their sin.
This leads me to ask two questions:
1) What were the results of Corinthian church’s reaction to the Apostle Paul’s letter?
2) How can we respond in a similar way when confronted with our own sin?
In 2 Corinthians 7:11, Paul described several key changes in the Corinthians after reading his letter. Those changes are summed up in four characteristics: sincerity, anger, alarm and eagerness. If we turn those characteristics into specific questions, our answers may help us determine if we are responding to sin in a way that truly pleases God.
Do you have sincere regret for your sin?
Being sorry because you were caught is not the kind of sorrow God wants. God wants us to be genuinely sorry for violating his commands. This cannot be faked.
Are you angry that your sin has hurt God and likely other people?
Sin gets in the way of our relationship with God and can cause us to drift from Him. Plus, there are often painful consequences we have to face because of sin. This should make us angry. Our sin also negatively impacts our relationships with others. Being angry about the distance our sin can put between us, God and others, will help deter us from doing it in the future.
Are you alarmed that you may be tempted to sin in this way again?
When we’re alarmed, we’re concerned about danger headed our way, which prompts us to do something to avoid it. Being spiritually alarmed means we are aware of the things that tempt us to sin and we take action to move ourselves from that temptation.
Are you eager to turn back to God?
Turning to the love and peace found in Christ’s forgiveness is the greatest feeling ever! Leave behind the pain and misery of sin and run back to Him as fast as you can.