Sunday, October 18, 2015

Paul's Epistles - 2 Corinthians Part 11 – Joy Over Repentance

Paul's Epistles - 2 Corinthians
Part 11 – Joy Over Repentance
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

Paul's second letter to the church in Corinth began with letting the church know that Paul was happy to hear that the church had received and responded correctly to his first letter.

Remembering James 5:19, 20 " My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins."  

Paul explained why he didn't visit them and that he was pleased they had responded well to his first letter, even though not all had repented.

Last week we looked at Paul encouraging the church to allow the offender of incest return to the congregation, because he had truly repented and turned away from his sin, therefore he had been forgiven. Paul said that his punishment by the church forcing him to leave the congregation was enough, and that since he had repented and was forgiven, they must allow him back.

Paul reminded them that it was not that long ago, they too were not living as God wanted them, and they repented, and were forgiven by Paul.

Paul reminds the church in Corinth, and us as well, that forgiveness to those who have repented is essential, not only because we are commanded to do so by Christ, but because when we forgive, we keep Satan from having a way to outwit us.

Satan will use our unforgiveness as a weapon against us in his schemes.

As long as we have unforgiveness against someone who has repented, we are being disobedient to the Lord, which in turn allows a foothold for Satan to work against us.

Satan is always looking for an area of our lives where we are being disobedient, which allows him room to work his schemes against us.

This week Paul speaks of Joy over Corinthian church repenting.

Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one. I do not say this to condemn you; I have said before that you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you. I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.

For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.

Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 12 So even though I wrote to you, it was neither on account of the one who did the wrong nor on account of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are. 13 By all this we are encouraged.

In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you. 14 I had boasted to him about you, and you have not embarrassed me. But just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting about you to Titus has proved to be true as well. 15 And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling.16 I am glad I can have complete confidence in you.

a. We have these promises
                                                     i. That we draw all nourishment from God

                                                  ii. All things are possible through Him

                                               iii. THEREFORE, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates our body and spirit

b. Make room for us in your hearts
                                                     i. Love us now a we love you

                                                  ii. We have wronged no one, corrupted no one, exploited no one

                                               iii. I spoke with boldness to you (I Corinthians) because you are in our hearts!

c. We had no rest after I sent the first letter to you
                                                     i. Stressed because they were sinning

                                                  ii. Not sure they would receive the letter and repent

                                               iii. Paul says they were “Troubled on every side. Fighting outwardly, fearing inwardly.”

                                                iv. But then, Titus came to us and gave report of your repentance, and we rejoiced!

a. Even if my letter did cause you sorrow, I do not regret it
                                                     i. Although I did for a little while

                                                  ii. However, your sorrow was only for a season

b. Now we can all rejoice
                                                     i. Not because you were hurt, but because it was that sorrow that led you to repentance
c. Godly sorrow brings repentance, and repentance leads to Salvation!
                                                     i. Christ died so that all may receive forgiveness and salvation

                                                  ii. To receive Salvation, you MUST have forgiveness

                                               iii. To receive forgiveness, you must repent

                                                iv. Godly sorrow for your sin will bring you to repenting!

a. I did not write you because someone sinned, or someone was hurt by sin
                                                     i. But rather, before God you could see yourselves
1. Paul’s letter (I Corinthians) revealed their wrongs

                                                  ii. and how devoted you are
1. Giving them the opportunity to repent and show their allegiance to God and His Holy Word

                                               iii. Sin not only separates us from God, but gives us a false narrative of who we are.
1. We become our sin

2. Our sin defines us in our minds

3. We see ourselves as unworthy of God and we run, as Adam and Eve did, from God’s presence

4. This is how sin enslaves us

                                                iv. Paul’s letter revealed their sin, and caused sorrow which led them to repentance, which brings them back to Salvation.

                                                   v. Paul reminded them who they were in Christ

b. Titus’s spirit was uplifted by your repentance as well
                                                     i. Paul boasted about how wonderful the Corinthian Church was to Titus

                                                  ii. Then Paul hears the news of their sin, and wrote I Corinthians

                                               iii. Titus left for Corinth on Paul’s behalf, not expecting to see a repentant church

                                                iv. However, he was pleased and uplifted to see they repented

c. Titus’ love for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were obedient
                                                     i. Not remembering they fell away

                                                  ii. Not recalling their sins

                                               iii. But how they repented, and returned to the Lord!

CONCLUSION - Titus was received with fear and trembling

This means the church received him with respect.

When we are given God’s word, and it corrects us, our sin revealed by the light, we must respond accordingly.

Like the Corinthian church, when our sin is exposed, we must be sorrowful, and repent.

This act is what brings about forgiveness.

And when we obtain forgiveness, that is the moment we have Salvation.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

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