Sunday, Feb 12, 2017PM Service
The Cost of Repentance
Speaker: Daron Roberts
Passage: 2 Corinthians 7:11
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This evening, we studied again a very important theological discipline – repentance!  As believers, it is our conviction that until we meet Christ face-to-face, we will sin.  And since we are sinners, we must practice Biblical repentance.  Unfortunately, repentance has fallen on hard times in Evangelicalism; in fact, it is under attack. 

There are three general ways that repentance is attacked:

  1. The psychology movement has attacked the language we use for repentance. 
  2. Repentance is affirmed as being authentic by the sheer declaration approach.
    • A human standard for repentance is established, while and the authentic Biblical standard is ignored.
    • Without fruit of repentance, the declaration cannot be proven to be authentic.
    • Our hearts don’t like the cost; there is pain in repentance.
  3. Our hearts love shallow repentance.
    • A death must occur.  Sin must be mortified.  We die to our own desires.
    • Shallow repentance results in:
      1. The lack of holiness.
      2. An inability to help others authentically repent.

We know that repentance is a supernatural work by God (2 Timothy 2:24-26).  God is the one who does the work, yet the Scriptures are clear, we are responsible.  We must be repenting all the time.  Every day, we need to have a Biblically informed, profoundly comprehensive approach to what repentance looks like in our heart and the fruit that should be evident.  Perhaps the reason the church is so worldly is because the doctrine of repentance has been neglected.  No one wants to pay the price that is so costly to their flesh. 

We can learn much about our responsibility in repentance from the Apostle Paul.  In 2 Corinthians 7:10-12, Paul describes the repentance that happened in Corinth as he is looking back in time at their repentance.  The Greek word, metánoia is to have “a change in mind that leads to a change of conviction”.  It is a change in action, behavior, and motivations; it is a turnaround in your thinking.  It is a severing from the old and turning in a new direction.

At the outset of this passage, we need to define a couple of terms found in verse 10.

  • Godly sorrow
    • It is a grief about sin vertically toward God.
    • Godly sorrow is the soil that produces the fruit of repentance.
    • John Owen said, “Charge your conscience with the guilt of sin.” 
    • Or said another way, consider yourself guilty in all matters.
  • In contrast, there is a worldly sorrow:
    • It is a grief in a horizontal manner.
    • You are grieved only over your circumstances, consequences, and feelings of guilt.
    • Worldly sorrow is shallow repentance.

Specifically, in 2 Corinthians 7:11 we find, “The Seven Unmistakable Fruits of Repentance”:

  1. Earnestness – Urgently killing your sin
    • When you are earnest, you are not casual or complacent.
    • You are urgent to put that sin to death.
    • You have a compulsion or eagerness to forsake sin and give glory to God.
    • You will no longer tolerate compromise.
    • You confess and you go about the very business to permanently beat that sin.
  2. Vindication of self – Sparing no effort to clear your name
    • You make a defense that your repentance is real.
    • You stop justifying, rationalizing, and blame-shifting.
    • Your aim is to give God the glory and accept all the responsibility for the sin.
    • You own your sin in front of the Lord with clarity (see Psalm 32:5).
    • Proverbs 28:13 – There is no concealment of sin.
    • Psalm 73:21-22 is another excellent reference.  Own your lack of self-control.
      1. For further study, click the link below for the sermon series by Jerry Wragg called, “Becoming Mature Captives of Christ
      2. For further study, click the link below for the sermon called, “Perspective Lost, Perspective Gained
  3. Indignation – Loathing of yourself
    • You have great disdain for yourself.  You are disgusted with your sin.  You loath that that you dishonored God.
    • Job chapters 38 through 42 are instructive.
      1. This is the section where God admonishes and rebukes a puny little human.
      2. In Job 40:3-5, Job shuts his mouth at God’s rebuke, but this illustrates shallow repentance.  God rejects this weak confession.
      3. In Job 42:6, he “retracts/loathes himself” and repents.  This is acceptable to God.  The Lord stands ready to forgive those who repent Biblically.
  4. Fear – Circumspectly trembling at God’s holiness.
    • This kind of fear has great reverence toward God and His Word.
    • Brash, bold sinning turns into a fresh new fear in the heart.
    • You begin to tremble at God’s holiness.
    • In the past, you sinned like God wasn’t present (but He was).
    • Now in repentance, you are conscious of God’s presence and you have an awareness that He knows everything you think, say, and do.
  5. Longing – Restoring any relationship damaged by your sin
    • There is a sense of separation from God and we long to be restored to His fellowship.
    • We also long to restore all relationships damaged by our sin.
  6. Zeal – Jealously for God’s glory
    • Not only do you own your sin, but you now take extreme measures to forsake it.
    • It is the zeal expressed in Isaiah 50:7 where you set your face like flint.  Even when the worst happens, your zeal for righteous living is determined and fixed not to give in to temptation.
    • You put specific plans in place to change and grow.
    • To mortify the flesh, a haphazard plan will fail.  One must be studious and create a plan to prevent vulnerabilities from being exposed.
    • It is a comprehensive approach of repentance in the weeds of our lives.
  7. Justice – Accepting the consequences of your sin
    • Real repentance accepts whatever justice is required, including whatever consequences God allows in His sovereign will.
    • Hebrews 12:11 – We know that no discipline or training in righteousness is a cause for joy, but it is painful.  But those who are trained by it, God promises to produce peaceful fruit of righteousness.

We sum up this exposition in the words of Paul, “In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent.”  No cost is too great!  If there is a limit in your repentance, it is not real repentance.  If you are willing to go only so far, you will not reap the fruit of Biblical repentance.  Let’s all commit to leaving the definition for repentance with God’s Word and not fabricate our own definition.  Christ paid the cost even for shallow repentance, but let’s all strive to have repentance that is profoundly deep and fruitful.