Paul reveals what the Corinthian Believers Godly Sorrow produced in their lives
2 Corinthians 7:10-12 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you. KJV
Paul just declared to them in the previous verse what sorrow as God’s sees sorrow produces in the heart and life of any believer and that is repentance or a change of mind that he now declares leads to salvation or soteria which means saved from the penalty, power, presence and most importantly the pleasure of sin; it is the sum of benefits and blessings which the Christians, redeemed from all earthly ills, will enjoy after the visible return of Christ from heaven in the consummated and eternal kingdom of God. In stark contrast worldly sorrow produces death both physical death and eternal death. Two examples of this type of sorrow are Esau and Judas. First the writer of Hebrews warns his readers of the plight of Esau in order to lead them to avoid his fatal flaw, this is the discourse, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears” (Hebrews 12:15-17).
Secondly, Judas (who was one of the original twelve apostles) also sorrowed with only worldly sorrow as we discover from this discourse, “Now when morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus to put Him to death; and they bound Him, and led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate the governor. Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ But they said, ‘What is that to us? See to that yourself!’ And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:1-5). The weight of the guilt of sin is enormous upon the soul in this life and crushing in the life to come, as it is written, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Paul now commends them for their godly sorrow and the fruit it produced in their individual and collective lives and first it produced in them carefulness or spoude meaning earnestness and diligence in striving after God and having their intimate fellowship with Him restored.
Paul declared that there occurred in them a “clearing of themselves” or apologia which is where we get the English word apologize from and it means a plea or apology or an answering for self, and next Paul declares it caused these believers collective and individual indignation or aganaktesis which means irritation or vexation. Paul’s letter to these Corinthian believers produced hearts of repentance and pleas of apology as Paul’s admonitions made the Corinthian believers angry and annoyed at themselves over how they originally handled the sin of the man who committed adultery with his father’s wife. The fear produced in them by Paul’s letter was due to the way they failed to confront the man’s sin to the point of even approving it in their midst and this is what produced their anger with themselves over not doing the appropriate and godly thing from the beginning. Therefore, from a positive point it produced in them a longing and fervent desire to make amends first off to God the Father for sinning against Him. They were moved to vindicate themselves and to be cleared of accusation, blame, suspicion, or doubt with the Apostle Paul with supporting proof of the genuiness of their repentance before God the Father. It was for this very result that Paul penned his first letter to them.
“He felt also that their sorrow was of the true and genuine sort, which does not consist of mere mortification at being found out or of the dread of punishment, but which implies a profound hatred of sin as grieving the Holy Savior and unworthy of His precious blood. This sorrow does not need to be repented of; these tears do not require to be cleansed. Godly sorrow accepts rebuke meekly, puts away the wrong, and with chastened steps comes again into the way of the sacred Cross.” F. B. Meyer
“The correct text reverses the pronouns and reads your care for us. This difficult passage means that while Paul did desire the punishment and reformation of the offender, and the vindication of the wronged party, his main object was that the fidelity and zeal of the Church toward God should be manifested, as it was (2 Corinthians 7:11). This would appear in the manifestation of their zealous interest for him as God's minister. He states this as if it were his only object. Manifest unto you is rather among you, as in 2 Corinthians 1:12; 1Corinthians 16:7.” Marvin R. Vincent
“Paul’s first letter laced with a multitude of rebuke for sinful unbecoming behavior was very hard for Paul to pen but it was completely necessary and written from his heart of love for these believers and it was exactly what they needed to hear and it produced such a 180 degree turnaround in the Corinthian believers that it brought a smile to the heart of God and made Paul joyful.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…