- 2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
So the response is in one of two ways: godly sorrow and worldly sorrow. One way leads to life, the other leads to death. The person who has a worldly sorrow may be genuine in his sorrow, may be sincere in his sorrow, but there is a missing repentance. This person may have been caught in the act of a sin and have his pride wounded and he is sorry it happened. He may feel sorrowful because he got caught but not for his actions. But there is no true repentance. What is repentance?
- Repentance G3341 metanoia From G3340; (subjectively) compunction (for guilt, including reformation); by implication reversal (of decision): – repentance. (1)
God’s sorrow occurs when we are not terrified with the fear of punishment, but because we feel we have offended God our most merciful Father. Contrary to this there is another sorrow, that only fears punishment, or when a man is vexed for the loss of some worldly goods. The fruit of the first is repentance, and the fruit of the second is desperation, unless the Lord quickly helps. (2)
This sorrowing over our condition before a Holy God, realizing we are without hope without God, brings us the conviction that we need somebody to save us from our sins. That somebody is Jesus. When we realize that He is the payment for our sins, just as He had said:
- Matthew 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
And the author of Hebrews tells us:
- Hebrews 9:13-16 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: (14) How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (15) And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. (16) For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
In the Old Testament when a sacrifice was brought before the priest, the person making the sacrifice would place his hands upon the animal identifying himself with the sacrifice.God then looked at the sacrifice, not the sinner. These things were yet just pictures, types of the perfect sacrifice yet to come. They were not perfect, they had to be repeated each year. Sin needs to be paid for, and the price is blood. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission (Hebrews 9:22). There has to be a price paid in blood.
So it is either Jesus’ perfect sacrifice or we pay the price by eternal separation from God. When we realize just how terrible sin is in the sight of a holy God, the love He showed by giving such a great sacrifice, the cost leads to conviction of the need of a Saviour, the conviction leads to our next topic, confession.