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Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:12-17
Sorrow for Sin
1. There is no question that sorrow for sin plays a part in genuine repentance, 2 Cor. 7:9-10.
2. It is also undeniable that the world offers a counterfeit sorrow disguised as godly sorrow, but it produces death, 2 Cor. 7:9.
3. Esau: Despised his birthright (sold it for food, Gen. 25:29-34); later he cried for a blessing but was rejected (Heb. 12:17).
a. WHY was his sorrow unable to produce repentance?
b. Esau's sorrow was worldly, not godly - His heart was not repentant, Heb. 12:17 (Gen. 27:30-40, 41).
4. The heart is only prepared for conversion and salvation once it is crushed by the weight of sin and turns completely to God. Then the joy of salvation is renewed/restored, Psa. 51:10-12.
I. THE SORROW OF THE WORLD.
A. Momentary, but Void of Any Fundamental Change.
1. King Saul, whose sorrow was directed toward maintaining his honor before the people, not toward God, 1 Sam. 15:24-30.
2. Later, his sorrow as he faced death, 1 Sam. 28:17-20.
B. Rash, not Looking to God for Solutions to Escape Sorrow and Sin.
1. Judas, Matt. 27:3-5.
2. His solutions did not address his heart/sin; they were hopeless.
C. Futile and Produces (Eternal) Death, 2 Cor. 7:10.
1. Sorrow of the world is futile because it does not offer any remedy for sin and its correction. The worldly are not sorry for their sin!
2. If they were they would seek God and find Him! But, the worldly are not merciful and do not seek mercy, Rom. 1:30-31.
II. GODLY SORROW.
A. God is the Object of Godly Sorrow, Psa. 32:5-6.
1. Not ourselves (self-pity, self-justification).
2. Cf. the prodigal son who came to himself and went to his father, Lk. 15:17-19. How we must come to God!!
B. The Heart is Crushed before God, Psa. 51:17; 34:18; Acts 2:37.
1. God will have regard for the person whose heart is contrite, Isa. 66:2.
2. It returns to obeying God and is blessed by God, Deut. 30:2-3.
C. Produces Repentance (change of heart), 2 Cor. 7:10; Acts 8:21-22.
1. Godly sorrow helps replace hardness with understanding, Jno. 12:37-40.
2. Godly sorrow helps replace disobedience with observable proof (the fruit of repentance), 2 Cor. 7:11.
III. ARE YOU READY TO REPENT OF SINS, BE CONVERTED TO CHRIST AND BEAR GODLY FRUIT?
A. Not Ready Without Genuine Faith, Heb. 11:6; 12:16.
1. Remove bitterness from your heart, Heb. 12:15.
2. Pursue peace and holiness, Heb. 12:14.
3. Be careful! Heb. 12:15
B. Not Ready Without a Heart that is Responsive to God, not Hardened against Him (godly sorrow), Deut. 10:16; 30:2, 6 (Ezek. 11:18-19).
1. When there is humble sorrow, God promises to revive our hearts with forgiveness, Isa. 57:15 (Acts 16:34).
2. Must not only be intellectually aware of your need to change, but also mentally and emotionally (spiritually) motivated to change. Acts 2:36-40
a. And, that you look to God for the solution.
b. This is when godly sorrow for sin produces repentance.
1. God will not despise a broken and contrite heart, Psa. 51:17.
2. "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" And, He was! He still is to those who humble themselves in sorrow for their sins, Lk. 18:13-14.