Lesson Four: Sorrow For Sin(Part II)
Let's take a second and review what we have learned so far. First of all, for repentance to be genuine it involves us seeing sin for what it really is. We have to understand that it is rebellion against God and His Law. Then, once we have admitted we are sinners, this should produce sorrow or mourning for what we have done. This is a deep, convicting sadness that hangs heavy upon us because we have offended a holy God.
Continuing our study, we want to look again at this sorrow for sin. Just as we can fool ourselves into thinking we have repented when we truly haven't, it is also possible to think we have sorrow for sin we all we really have is a worldly type of sorrow-a sorrow that doesn't change us or the way we think about God. Below are four aspects of godly sorrow. As you look at each one, ask yourself if this is type of sorrow you experience when you sin against God.
1. It is a sorrow of the heart
Jesus spoke often about the religious leaders of His day. They were called Pharisees. These men liked to "play" religion, but they never really came to God and admitted their own sin. Jesus said they had a sorrow "of the face"(Matthew 6:16), but not of the heart. We learn from the Pharisees that there can be an outward sorrow, something that looks real to other people. But inside us, and only known to us, there is no real sorrow or repentance. This again is worldly sorrow. Godly sorrow goes deep and cuts the heart.
Now when they heard this(Peter's preaching), they were cut to the heart...(Acts 2:37)
2. It is a sorry for our secret or inner
There are many sins that no one ever sees because they are hidden deep in our hearts. It is easy to be sorry for the sins that others see, but what about the sins that only you know about? Are you sorry for the things you get away with? Godly sorrow is a mourning for ALL sins we commit against God.
3. It is being sorry for what we have done, not
because we were "caught".
Sometimes we are sorry for what we have done, only because it got us in trouble. It is like a thief who is sorry because he has to go to jail, but is not sorry that he stole from someone. Godly sorrow causes us to mourn because we have sinned against God and our fellow man, not because we are punished for what we did.
Against You, You only have I sinned...(Psalm 51:4)
4. It is a sorrow that remains.
Some people hear the preaching of the gospel and are shaken up by it. They say a prayer or walk an aisle, but the next day nothing changes in their lives. This is counterfeit sorrow. True, godly sorrow is a sorrow that stays with us and continues to convict us of our sin every day.
Unless our sorrow is genuine and remains with us, we will never truly repent. It is just a passing phase or fad. But if God is really working within us, we will begin to feel the joy of mourning.