Godly Sorrow

2 Corinthians

Godly Sorrow

May 27th, 1956 @ 7:30 PM

2 Corinthians 7:8-10

For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
Print Sermon
Downloadable Media
  
Play Audio

Show References:
ON OFF

GODLY SORROW

Dr. W. A. Criswell

2 Corinthians 7:8-10

5-27-56    7:30 p.m.

 

Now turn to the seventh chapter of the second Corinthian letter.  Last Sunday evening, we concluded with the last part of the sixth chapter.  And today, this evening, we are in the seventh chapter, and we will read the whole chapter together [2 Corinthians 7].  And the passage that comprises the text is the eighth through the tenth verses [2 Corinthians 7:8-10]: Godly Sorrow—2 Corinthians, the seventh chapter.  Now all of us together:

Having therefore these promises dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.

I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you.

Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.

For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.

Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforteth us by the coming of Titus;

And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us of your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.

For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.

Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that you sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that you might receive damage by us in nothing.

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

For behold this selfsame thing, that you sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge!  In all things have ye approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.

Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceeding the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all.

For if I have boasted any thing to him of you, I am not ashamed; but as we spake all things to you in truth, even so our boasting, which I made before Titus, is found a truth.

And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him.

I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.

[2 Corinthians 7:1-16]

Now that’s the passage.  Paul wrote a letter.  That letter is lost.  The letter was very condemnatory.  It took them to task.  It spared no word.  And it had a tremendous repercussion.  They were having much trouble in the church.  And there were those in the church who created tremendous difficulties, not only for Paul and not only for the congregation, but for the whole message and preaching of the gospel of Christ.

He wrote them a letter.  The letter has been lost.  But it wrought that thing, that purpose for which Paul intended.  Then he says, now concerning that letter:

For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were for but a season.

But now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that you might receive damage by us—

loss by us—

in nothing.

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

 [2 Corinthians 7:8-10]

Now first, a definition of terms: in the passage that I have read in the King James Version, there are two words, both of them translated alike.  Both of them are translated “repent.”

“For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not metamelomai, though I did metamelomai  [2 Corinthians 7:8]. Now, but now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you sorrowed to metanoia kata theon”—after a godly manner, in accordance with reference to God [2 Corinthians 7:9].  “For godly sorrow kata theon”—for sorrow according to God, “worketh metanoia”—repentance—”to salvation not to be metamelomai”—repented of—”but the sorrow of the world worketh death” [2 Corinthians 7:10].

Now I say those two words, metanoeō, which is the verbal form; metanoia, which is the substantival form, the noun form, that is translated “repentance”; and the other word, metamelomai, is translated “repentance” also.  But they’re not the same.  Now may I say it, reading it just like you would have it in the Greek:

For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not metamelomai—I do not regret it.  I am not filled with remorse now, though I did metamelomai—though I did regret it, though I was filled with remorse.

But now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you sorrowed to metanoia—to a change, to a new spirit and a new attitude, and a new way:  repentance; for you were made sorry with a godly manner—with reference to God—that you might lose nothing, for sorrow that has reference to God—for godly sorrow—worketh metanoia—repentance—a change, a new attitude, a new spirit, a new way, a new action.

For godly sorrow worketh metanoia—repentance—to salvation; metamelomai: not to be regretted, not filled with remorse—for godly sorrow makes a change in a man by which he has never regret; but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

[2 Corinthians 7:8-10]

Now those two words for repentance: metamelomai means remorse.  “Then Judas”—this is Matthew 27:3—”Then Judas, who had betrayed Him, when he saw that He was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned, I have betrayed innocent blood” [Matthew 27:3-4].  Now your Greek word there is metamelomai:” Then Judas… when he saw what had happened repented himself” [Matthew 27:3].  Well, that’s a poor translation.  “Then Judas when he saw what had happened, “metamelomai—filled with remorse, filled with despair, was in indescribable regret—cast the pieces of silver down, went out and took his own life [Matthew 27:4-5].  That’s metamelomai, translated “repent,” but means “regret, remorse” [Matthew 27:3].

Now, this other word is metanoia.  This other word is metanoia [2 Corinthians 7:9-10].  It is a change of attitude.  It is a change of spirit.  It is a change of way.  It is a change of doing.  It is a change of action.  That’s the word that is translated “repent” in all of those passages where it speaks of our giving ourselves to God.

In the third chapter of Matthew, “And John the Baptist came, preached, and said, ‘Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” [Matthew 3:1-2].  That’s the passage in the thirteenth chapter of Luke, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” [Luke 13:5].  That’s the passage in the fifteenth of Luke, “For verily I say unto you, there is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth” [Luke 15:10]metanoeō—than over a thousand people that don’t need to repent, or think they don’t need.  And that’s the passage in the twentieth chapter of the Book of Acts—Acts 20:21, “Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Well, does that mean “sorrow for sin?”   No, it doesn’t mean—repentance does not mean penitence, regret for our sin.  It does not mean penance, which means actions that are supposed to nullify, equate our sins—I do this much bad, therefore I do this much good.  Doing penance.  And it doesn’t mean sorrow for our sin.  That’s the distinction Paul makes in the text.   It doesn’t mean anything but this:  repentance means a change in action, a change in attitude, a change in doing, a change in spirit.

For example, in the third chapter of the Book of Jonah, it says, “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way”—all these Ninevites—“and God repented of the evil, that He had said that He would do to them; and He did it not!” [Jonah 3:10]  And Jonah was angry and furious [Jonah 4:1].

Now “repent,” what did I say “repent” meant?  The word that ought to be translated repent—“and God saw what those Ninevites were doing, repenting themselves, and God repented of the evil that He said He was going to do” [Jonah 3:5-10]—didn’t I tell you just now that repentance means a change of attitude, a change in spirit, a change in doing?  God changed what He said He was going to do.  God repented.  It had nothing to do with sin in God.  God changed.  He changed! [Jonah 3:10].

All right take one other passage.  Over here in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Romans, it says in that passage about the Jewish people and the promises God made to them [Romans 11:25-28], “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” [Romans 11:29].  God’s great promises are made without repentance, that is, without change!  He doesn’t change, His attitude and His spirit.  Repentance refers to how a man does: the outside, the inside, the doings of his life.

Now let’s go back to this passage here in the second Corinthian letter and read that.  “For godly sorrow worketh a change, a change that makes possible salvation, not to be regretted, not to be despaired of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” [2 Corinthians 7:10].  So he has here two kinds of sorrow.  One kind leads to life, and the other kind leads to death.  One kind of sorrow he calls kata theon, according to God, with reference to God: godly sorrow [2 Corinthians 7:10].  And the other sorrow is sorrow with reference to the world: worldly sorrow [2 Corinthians 7:10].  And he says godly sorrow leads to repentance that makes possible salvation; but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

All right, now let’s take these two passages: verse 9 and verse 10.  In verse 9 he says, “Now I rejoice.”  I rejoice.  “It is a good thing when sorrow comes,” says Paul.  “Not that sorrow in itself is good, but it is a good thing when sorrow comes if that sorrow leads you to God.”  Sorrow is a good thing if it brings you unto God [2 Corinthians 7:9].

When I was over there in Nigeria, in a great leper settlement that our great Baptist people have built, presided over by Dr. Goldie, one of those missionaries told me of a service they held right there in that compound.  And they were having a testimony meeting, and one of the lepers stood up, and he said, “I am thankful to God that I am a leper.”  And one of the missionaries, amazed and astounded, said, “How could you be thankful to God that you are a leper?”  And the Nigerian replied, “When I was well, when I was whole and sound, I was a heathen, and I worshiped god made out of sticks and stones.   Then I became a leper, and I was brought here to this compound, and here I found Christ as my Savior.”  He said, “Had I remained sound and strong, I would still be a heathen, worshiping sticks and stones.”  “But,” he said, “because I am a leper, I was brought here, and I found Jesus as my Savior.”  And the Nigerian said, “I’d rather be a leper and be saved and know Christ than to be well and sound and be a heathen!”

“Sorrow is a good thing,” says Paul, “if it leads us to God” [2 Corinthians 7:10].  There’s a man in this congregation here tonight.  His wife—devout, great Christian woman—belonged to this church.  Her husband—so fine a man, but so indifferent—just as well as he could be.  Upon a day, the wife called me and said, “My husband has been stricken with a severe heart attack, and we are despairing of his life.  Would you go speak to him, and talk to him about his soul?  He’s not ready to die.”

I went to the man and I talked to him.  I didn’t recognize him.  His spirit, his attitude, his manner—he was so different.  He was changed.  He was another man.  When I talked to him there on that hospital bed about giving his heart to Christ, and about praying God to restore his life, and to give him strength and health again, if he’d give his life to God, and there in Baylor, that man gave his heart to God, and made a solemn covenant with Christ, and the Lord touched him and healed him and made him well.  And he came down this aisle, and I baptized him here.  “Sorrow is a good thing,” says Paul.  “It’s a good thing, if it leads a man to God”; godly sorrow, godly sorrow.

Now this next verse, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance, but the sorrow of the world worketh death” [2 Corinthians 7:10].   Now there’s a basis that lies in the back of the passage, and it is this, that sorrow is coming inevitably, always, one way or the other.  There is no escaping it.  It is one of the great inevitabilenesses of life.  Sometime, somewhere, we are going to fall into tears and into sorrow, into agony and into despair, all of us.  It may come tomorrow.  It may come years away and away, but all of us shall know it.  Sorrow is coming.  We live in a world that is called the veil of tears.

You know, I could imagine easily a visitor from some foreign planet, say, Uranus—there are two of them, and they go back and they report on the world.  And one visitor says, “Oh, it was a marvelous planet, that planet Earth!  The world is so beautiful, the skylarks are singing, and the flowers are blooming, and there’s music and laughter everywhere.  It is a world of beauty and color and glory, a happy and wonderful world.”  And he’d be right.  He’d be correct.  This world is the best, as they say, of all possible worlds.  But the other visitor—when he reported, he says, “But, oh, I looked deeper.  I went into their homes, and I looked into their hearts, and I saw into their lives.  And it’s a world of tears.  It’s a world of sorrow.  It’s a world of disappointment.  It’s a world of needs.  It’s a world of sickness and disease.  It’s a world of death, and I saw cemeteries everywhere.”  There’s no exception to that.  Paul bases his argument upon it.  There is sorrow coming in every life.  It may be godly sorrow.  It may be worldly sorrow.  But there is sorrow coming! [2 Corinthians 7:10].

Could I digress here just for a moment?  I read this week in my studying, in my reading, I came across a man who said an unusual thing.  He said, “You know, when I was not a Christian, I used to see young people come down the aisle and give their hand to the preacher and give their hearts to God.”  And he said, “When I looked upon it, I thought, ‘That’s a commendable thing to do.  It’s a fine thing to do; young people to get religion.  It’s a noble thing to have religion.’”  But he said, “I felt sad in my heart.  As I looked upon those young people, giving their hearts to God and getting religion, because,” he said, “I felt that they were going to be unhappy, and they were going to be miserable.  They were going to miss so much of the abundance, and the happiness, and the excitement, and the wild joy of living that you find in the world.”  And he said, “I just felt sorry when I saw the young people come down the aisle.”

Then he went off, and he started out on another direction.  But I want to start out on my own direction here.  Young people giving their lives to God; what do they miss?  What do they miss?  Well, I’ll tell you one thing, and I can speak of it for forty minutes here.  I’ll tell you one thing that, when a young fellow gives his heart to God, this is one of the joys of the world that he misses; I never had a hangover in my life—never did; not a one, not a one.  I’ve never had a dark brown taste in my mouth the next morning, on account of a wild orgy the night before.  I missed all that.

Wonder why it is that out there in the world there is a concomitant with all of their parties and all of their happinesses; it is universal.  Why, I rarely meet a prominent citizen of Dallas that that isn’t constantly in a cocktail party.  I rarely meet the people out there in the world who do not know what it is to drink all of the time, here at a business deal, there at home, yonder at the dinner.  Now I wonder why.  Why, I’ll tell you why.  Out there in the world, you’ve got to drink to have a good time!  You don’t have any choice.  You’ve got to do it.  How are you going to have a good time out there in the world, and not drink?  Why, sure you have to drink.  You’ve got to liven up the party—a bunch of deadbeats; dead in their heads, dead in their souls, dead in their hearts—you can’t liven the thing up, except to drink.  You’ve got to put something in it.  Got to set a fire to it, somehow or the other.  Well, you don’t have to set fire to me.  I’m already afire!  You don’t have to serve me a glass of liquor to have a good time.  I’m already having a good time, most of the time.

Why, there is all the difference in the world.   You say, “That young fellow, he’s given his heart to God.  That girl, she’s dedicated her life to Christ.  Oh, what she’s going to miss!”  That’s right.  You’re going to miss a whole lot of things.  And I’ll tell you, according to God, the things you’re going to miss are the things that will bless your life.  You don’t ever need to get drunk, not if you walk with the Lord.  You’ll have the best time in the world without it.  You don’t need it.

And let me go back to my preaching.  “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” [2 Corinthians 7:10].  Now this is what I said.  Paul’s assumption there is that sorrow is coming.   All of us shall know it.  We shall walk through this veil of tears.  Now he says there are two kinds of sorrow; sorrow kata theon—according to God, sorrow that has reference to God.  Godly sorrow and the sorrow of the world; one, he says, brings us to God and to salvation; the other sorrow, he says, works death [2 Corinthians 7:10].

Now I want to describe the difference in those two sorrows.  First, they differ in their source.  Godly sorrow comes from the inside.  It is self motivated.  It arises from a fountain within.   Worldly sorrow is enforced.  It comes from the outside.  They start in two different places.

Now may I illustrate it?  This is the sorrow of the world.  Judas, when he saw what was done—“I have betrayed the innocent blood!”—and in despair and in remorse, in unspeakable regret, he dies a suicide [Matthew 27:4-5].  The man who lived in Waco, the head of a great, vast financial empire here in Texas, took a pistol, and how that man has lived, I do not know, but the bullet went clear through his brain: the sorrow of the world.

 

Byron—Lord Byron—wrote this poem on his thirty-seventh birthday:

My days are in the yellow leaf;

The flowers and fruits of love are gone;

The worm, the canker and the grief

Are mine alone!

[“On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year,” Lord Byron]

The sorrow of the world: enforced on the outside, despair, remorse and regret.  Godly sorrow comes from within.  It’s a fountain that rises in the soul.  This is godly sorrow.  And the prodigal said, “How many servants are in my father’s house who have bread and something to spare, and I perish here with hunger; living with the animals, feeding the swine, and I am a child of a king?”  And the prodigal said, “I will go back to my father and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight.  And I am not worthy to be called thy son.  If you will just let me come back home, I will be a hired servant in the house” [Luke 15:17-19].  Godly sorrow, and it leads to heaven—the difference in the source [2 Corinthians 7:10].

Now a second thing, the sorrow of the world and godly sorrow [2 Corinthians 7:10]: they differ in their motivation.  The motivation of worldly sorrow is despair, and remorse, and regret, and bitterness, just a night in the wall, the grave and the judgment.  But godly sorrow in its motivation arises out of a heart of love.  May I illustrate it?

And while Peter cursed and swore and denied the Lord [Luke 22:54-60], the Lord turned and looked upon Peter.  And Peter went out, and wept bitterly [Luke 22:61-62].  Why?  For fear of punishment?  The fear of the judgment, remorse, and regret?   No.  For the love of Jesus.  And when Jesus saw him, He said to him, “Simon, lovest thou Me?”  And he said, “Lord, Thou knowest that I love You” [John 21:15].  One time—denied Him one time [Luke 22:56-57].  And the Lord said the second time, “Simon, lovest thou Me?”  And Simon said, “Lord, Thou knowest that I love You” [John 21:16].  The second time—denied Him two times [Luke 22:58].  And the Lord said the third time, “Simon, lovest thou Me?”  And, Simon answered, “Lord, You know everything.  You know that I love You” [John 21:17].  It differs in its motivation.  Godly sorrow arises out of a heart of love: “And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter” [Luke 22:61].

Now a third thing: they differ in their nature.  The sorrow of the world has reference just to the world, but the sorrow that leads to salvation has reference to God; godly sorrow and worldly sorrow [2 Corinthians 7:10].  Now may I illustrate them with reference to their nature?  The sorrow of the world has reference just to the world—has no reference to God at all—has no reference to a change in action, a change in course, a new commitment of life, a new spirit or a new attitude.  It is just in itself remorse and regret, tears and sorrow; the sorrow of the world.

Now may I illustrate it?  I preached one time on the top floor of a city jail.  The men up there were the hardened criminals.  Most of them were kept there against the day when they were sent to the penitentiary.  And I spoke to those men, and I preached to those men, and God was with me.  We had service that day and hour, and especially what I’m thinking of now, and the Lord was there.  Some of those men cried as they listened to the appeal that I made.  Their hard hearts were touched.  I stayed with them.  I talked to them.  I visited with them a long time.  Every man in that top floor of that jail that heard me preach—every one of them—those that were unmoved, those that were moved—they all had tremendous regrets for having been caught, great remorse for having been apprehended.  They were miserable and unhappy, such as they were.  But there wasn’t a single one of them—not a one of them, not a one of them—though I pled and begged and extended my hand in appeal—not a one of them changed his spirit, changed his attitude, changed his heart.  Not a one.

They all wanted out.  They all wanted to be free.  They all were filled with remorse that they were apprehended and incarcerated.  But not a one of them changed on the inside.  His sorrow was just where he was and how he got there.  But it was never on the inside, toward God.  Not a one!

Now I can go down the streets here, men in the hospital and among some of the people I that I know.  Here’s a woman, and she’s miserable—oh, how miserable!  And she asks for help from me.  Why does she want that help?   She’s a narcotic—she’s a dope addict—and she wants help from me.  For what purpose?  She’s miserable, filled with sorrow, but it’s the sorrow of the world.  She’s unhappy.  She could die.  She’s miserable beyond description!  She wants money.  Anyway in the world she could use me, playing upon any sympathy that I might have in my heart for her, her children, or her family.  She begs for money.  Has she changed in her heart?  No.  What would she do with the money?  She’d go up to the peddler—the dope peddler—and buy more of the insane stuff.  Her sorrow is of the world.

Here’s a man and he’s afflicted.  He’s an alcoholic, and he’s miserable, and he lives miserably, and he’s a tragic case, and he wants help.  And he wants money.  And if I give him money, what does he do with it?  Does he live a new life?  Does he change?  No, he’s in the world and full of sorrow and misery.  But it has no reference to God.  If I give him money, he buys more liquor.  The sorrow of the world, and it worketh death and more death and still other death.

The most unforgettable picture, I suppose, that a man could ever look at is Napoleon Bonaparte, with his hands behind his back, looking out over the infinite pounding sea.  He’s on St. Helena.  And he’s going to die there, an imprisoned monarch, in a little isle in the South Atlantic.  And there is an indescribable sadness on his face.  Has he changed in his spirit?  No.  Has he changed in his heart?  No.  If he could, he’d squeeze the nations in the palm of an iron hand still.  But the sorrow of the world is written in his face.

Godly sorrow, ah, it is so different, like Job says, as he said in his grief and in his misery.  “Oh that I might know where I could find Him [Job 23:3], that I could meet God and find the Lord!  These ashes, they are nothing [Job 2:8].  These boils, they are nothing [Job 2:7].  This loss and privation, they are nothing [Job 1:13-19].  Oh that I might find God, that somebody could tell me where I could find Him” [Job 23:3].

Now this last; how does godly sorrow and worldly sorrow differ?  They differ in their end results, what they accomplish.  I’ve said this before.  The same thing will so many times have two diametrically opposite results, the same thing.  It depends upon the spirit of the one, the heart of the one upon whom it falls.  Fire; fire will burn straw.  Fire will melt iron.  Fire will harden clay.  Same fire, one substance harder, harder, more confirmed and harder; the other, though it be iron, melt and flow; the same fire.  Warmth, warmth, the warm sunshine, falling upon the ground, breaks open a little seed, sprout, grow; warm sunshine and flower, that same warm sunshine will tenfold speed up decay and putrefaction the same warmth, same thing.  That’s the way it is in a man’s life.  Sorrow is coming; disappointment is coming.  Age is coming.  Disease and death are coming.  No life without its shadow, no soul without its hurt; every home shall someday find its ultimate dissolution.  Sorrow comes.

How it is depends upon the heart of the one upon whom it falls.  To some, it embitters.  Stony hearted, the wells of compassion dried up; fill with remorse and despair; nothing but the night, and the grave, and the death, and the judgment that lies ahead; the sorrow of the world.  But to others, it comes, it inevitably comes, but how does it work?  You’ll find the Bible with tear stains on the page.

Fourteenth chapter of John; tear stains all over the Bible [John 14:1-31].  You will find them when they can hardly get out of bed, you will find them pull themselves out of bed, and like David Livingstone maybe die on his knees.  It mellows.  It softens.  It leads to God. Oh, dear friend, blessed friend, that we might find a refuge in Jesus!  The day comes, it always comes, it inevitably comes, and no man is equal for it in himself.  Our sufficiency, our adequacy is in God.  It’s the sorrow that pertains to God.  It’s the sorrow that leads to salvation.  It’s the sorrow that, in a change of heart and spirit bowed and humble, looks up through tears and sees the face of Jesus.  It’s the godly sorry that saves the soul [2 Corinthians 7:10].

Will you make it that tonight?  Will you?  In the great throng who have heard this appeal, somebody you give your heart to Jesus, would you?  Somebody you put your life in the fellowship of the church.  A family of you, “Pastor, we’re all coming tonight, all of us.”  “Here is my hand, I’ve given my heart to God.  Here I come and here I am.”  In the balcony, down these stairwells, or on this lower floor, into the aisle and down here to the front, “Preacher, here I come and here I am.  What you said I know it’s true.  It isn’t always day, there’s a night that comes.  It isn’t always music and laughter, there are also tears and sorrow.  I know, preacher, I know.  Even though I’m young, I know.  But I’m looking to Jesus, my soul is hid with Him, I’m trusting Jesus.”  Will you?  By confession of faith, by letter, however God shall say the word and press the appeal, will you make it tonight?   Will you?  While we stand and while we sing.

GODLY SORROW

Dr. W. A. Criswell

2 Corinthians 7:8-10

5-27-56

I.          Definition of terms

A. “Repentance” – two different words translated the same way(2 Corinthians 7:8-10)

1.  Metamelomai – “remorse, regret”(Matthew 27:3)

2.  Metanoia – “change of purpose, attitude, way”(Matthew 3:2, Luke 13:5, 15:10, Acts 20:21)

3.  It is not penitence, penance, or sorrow for sin; but a change of purpose, attitude, action(Jonah 3:10, 4:1, Romans 11:29)

B. “Godly sorrow” – two kinds of sorrow(2 Corinthians 7:10)

1.  Kata theon – “according to God”, with reference to God; worketh life

2. The other sorrow is worldly sorrow; worketh death

II.         A good thing, sorrow unto repentance(2 Corinthians 7:9)

A. Not that sorrow in itself is a good thing, but sorrow that brings us to God is a good thing

1.  In Nigerian leper colonies of Dr. Goldie, leper says he is thankful to God that he is a leper

2.  Man who has heart attack is changed, saved

III.        Godly sorrow worketh repentance…worldly sorrow worketh death

A.  Basis for the text:  sorrow inevitable

B.  Why sinners feel it a great cross to become a Christian

1. Man saddened seeing young people come to the Lord – thought they would miss out on life

  IV.       The difference between the two sorrows

A.  Differ in source

1.  Worldly sorrow is enforced

a. Judas (Matthew 27:4-5)

b. President of insurance company at Waco

c. Lord Byron

2.  Godly sorrow arises from within

a. The prodigal son(Luke 15:13-21)

B.  Differ in motivation

1.  Personal despair over failure, fear of punishment, loss of prestige, reputation

2.  Love(Luke 22:61-62, John 21:15-17)

C.  Differ in nature

1.  No reference to God – the disposition, soul, heart, choices never change, but continue on

2.  Health, wealth, world nothing, if only find God(Job 23:3)

D.  Differ in results

1.  Sorrow has two results – depends upon the spirit of the person on whom it falls

a. To some it embitters, hardens hearts

b. To some it leads to God(John 14)