Rockport Sermon

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Difference Between Being Really Sorry and Repentance

Repentance is a radical change of mind wrought by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God that is given with the gift of faith. The results of repentance are a change in attitude about sin that is radically different than the attitude we had about sin before repentance was given, and a change in behavior, which attitude and behavior does not fade back into the former attitude and behavior.
There is no self-justification when repentance is given by God. The repenters’ purpose has been altered, as it were, in his own mind. His intentions are not to return to that sin, or to sins in general because he has also been given a new heart. This does not mean that the truly repentant will never return to that sin, but that it is his real mind that he does not have the intention to sin again.
Although repentance does not cause a sinless walk, there will be a walk in which the repentant sins less, because this change of mind given by God is real
The new purpose in life is no longer about the one who has repented and the hatred of sin is profound. He does not take sin lightly because his real attitude about sin has been, as has already been said, changed!
There is a persistent endeavor after a holy life in walking with God. The truly repentant are conscious of their guilt, of inward sin and of helplessness, but at the same time truly comprehend the mercy of God, without which there can be no true repentance.

When one is merely “really sorry” for their sins, they do not comprehend the mercy of God because what they are experiencing is of themselves. They are like Judas in that they see what they have done only after seeing the awful consequences and feel the heat of impending judgment. They are motivated more by a desire for a standing with God that is without consequence than by a hatred for the sin that Jesus died for. The mind has not truly been changed. There was always a desire for what was good for ones self, and only after seeing once again that what sin had promised it did not fulfill is there a remorse for having acted in a way that will not procure what they were deceived into believing it would procure.
Thus there are those who live in a state of being really sorry for what they are and what they do, but it is a worldly sorrow concerned more with the here and now workings and results of what controls them. There is often a strong effort to think differently, but it is grounded in selfishness. If they could have their sin and heaven too, it would be fine with them.
The godly sorrow that brings about repentance is something that does not come from a free will, or from a natural conscience, or from a fear of hell and judgment. It is a work of the grace of God in the heart of man by the Holy Spirit and the result of His mighty power. It has God as its object and its author. It is on account of God because of sin against God. It is the beginning of true repentance and is a part of it, in fact an essential part, without which there is no true repentance. It is unto salvation, not salvation, because Christ is our salvation. Godly sorrow being the first fruits of the work of the Spirit will surely see Christ as our only salvation.
Matt 27:3 Psalm 119:128 Psalm 51 Acts 11:18 Romans 2;4 2 Cor 7:1 2 Tim 2:25

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