"SECOND CORINTHIANS – EXPOSITORY OUTLINES"
True Repentance (2 Cor 7:9-11)
1. A prominent theme in the preaching of the Gospel is the call to
a. Jesus wanted it to be preached in His name to all nations –
b. Peter proclaimed the call to repent in his first two sermons
– Ac 2:36-38; Acts 3:19
c. Paul spoke of repentance to philosophers and kings –
Ac 17:30-31; Acts 26:19-20
2. However, the call to repentance is often neglected in modern day
a. By some who preach "faith only"
b. By some who in reaction stress "baptism"
3. One cannot truly preach the gospel of Christ without the call to
repent; and yet…
a. What is repentance?
b. How is it produced?
c. What are some indications that repentance has occurred?
[Perhaps the most elaborate discussion on repentance is found in
2 Co 7:9-11, which serves as the text for this lesson entitled
"True Repentance". Let’s begin by…]
I. DEFINING "TRUE REPENTANCE"
A. SOME MISCONCEPTIONS OF REPENTANCE…
1. That repentance is "sorrow"
a. ibid. shows that repentance is an OUTCOME of sorrow
b. Sorrow leads to repentance; sorrow itself is not repentance
2. That repentance is "a changed life"
a. Some understand that repentance is a converted life
b. But Ac 3:19 reveals that repentance and conversion are two
1) Peter says "Repent therefore and be converted"
2) If repentance is the same as conversion, then Peter is
c. As we shall see, the order is actually this:
1) First, sorrow
2) Then, repentance
3) Finally, a changed life
B. A PROPER DEFINITION OF REPENTANCE…
1. W. E. Vine’s definition …
a. "change of mind"
b. "involves both a turning from sin and a turning to God"
2. So think of repentance as simply "a change of mind" in which
we DECIDE to "turn from sin and turn to God"
a. Which is PRECEDED by sorrow
b. And is FOLLOWED by a changed life
[Repentance is therefore a decision of the mind in which one decides to
change their life; but what prompts one to make such decision?]
II. PRODUCING "TRUE REPENTANCE"
A. IT IS "GODLY SORROW" THAT PRODUCES REPENTANCE…
1. This we glean from our text (2 Co 7:9-10); but note carefully:
a. It is not simply "sorrow", but sorrow that is "godly"
b. For there is a sorrow that is "of the world"
2. Note the difference between "godly sorrow" and "worldly
a. "Worldly sorrow" is a SELFISH kind of sorrow
1) E.g., when one is sorry because he got CAUGHT
2) E.g., when one is sorry because what one did made
him LOOK BAD
— In "worldly sorrow", one is more concerned about SELF!
b. "Godly sorrow" is sorrow directed toward GOD ("godly" is
literally "according to God")
1) I.e., one is sorry because their actions are sins
against a Holy God -cf. Ps 51:4
2) Also, one is sorry for the price that was paid to have
our sins removed
— In "godly sorrow", one is more concerned with GOD and CHRIST
3. Some more differences…
a. "Worldly sorrow" produces regret; "godly sorrow" suffers
loss in nothing
b. "Worldly sorrow" produces death; "godly sorrow" produces
repentance to salvation
[If "godly sorrow" leads to repentance, how best to produce this
"godly sorrow" in others?]
B. PRODUCING "GODLY SORROW" THAT LEADS TO REPENTANCE…
1. Nathan’s rebuke to David in 2 Sam 12:7-12 provides some
a. He made an appeal to God’s love (2 Cor 7:7-8)
b. He revealed the sin (v 9)
c. He warned of the consequences (Vs 10-12)
2. The Gospel of Christ, when properly taught, is designed to so
produce "godly sorrow", and in turn, repentance…
a. It appeals to God’s love as a basis for repentance – Ro 2:4
b. It reveals our sin – Ro 3:23
c. It warns of the consequences – Ro 2:5-11
3. Our best hope for producing repentance in others that leads to
salvation is proclaim the gospel in its entirety
a. Not just the "commands" (believe, repent, be baptized)
b. Nor just the "promises" (remission of sins, eternal life,
gift of the Holy Spirit)
b. But also the "facts" (man’s sin, God’s love, the coming
[If people are not responding to the "commands" of the gospel, perhaps
we need to consider whether we are providing proper emphasis to the
"facts" of the gospel. Finally, consider the…]
III. INDICATIONS OF "TRUE REPENTANCE"
A. OUR TEXT (2 CO 7:11 ) MENTIONS SEVERAL…
1. "diligence" (KJV, carefulness)
a. This can be defined as "earnestness, zeal, sometimes with
haste accompanying it"
b. I.e., being quick to do what is right!
c. Examples of conversion in ACTS demonstrate this diligence
in that every case described in detail shows people obeying
the gospel after just one lesson!
2. "clearing of yourselves"
a. To clear one’s self of blame
b. E.g., quick to stop doing what is wrong, if such is the
c. E.g., quick to respond to the offer of forgiveness when one
realizes their guilt
a. This involves a sort of anger, or moral outrage
b. I.e., toward the SIN which required the repentance
a. Lest the sin should be repeated
b. Lest the sin should not be entirely removed
5. "vehement desire"
a. I.e., a fervent wish
b. Especially to be right in God’s eyes
a. This involves an "eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit
b. In this case, to turn from sin and turn to God
7. "vindication" (KJV, revenge)
a. As the NIV puts it, "what readiness to see justice done"
b. I.e., to do the right thing!
B. SUCH ARE THE "SIGNS" OF TRUE REPENTANCE…
1. Not apathy, not half-hearted service
2. But a desire to do "works befitting repentance" – Ac 26:20
1. Is this indicative of OUR repentance?
a. Can we look at our lives and see signs that we have really had "a
change of mind"?
b. That we have truly made "a decision to turn from sin and to turn
1) If we have not yet obeyed the gospel …we have not repented!
2) If we have become slack in our service…we are in need of
2. If so, then we are in need of a healthy dose of "godly sorrow",
brought about by realizing…
a. God’s love for us
b. The fact we have all sinned
c. And the consequences if we do not repent!
May the love of God and the reality of the coming judgment move us all
to "True Repentance"! The blessings for those who do repent are
wonderful… – cf. Acts 3:19