2 Cor 7:9-11 NLT
Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.
2 Cor 7:10-11 NASB
For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong!
The hyper grace false teacher taught that repentance is just a change of mind which is the meaning in Greek. But from the whole counsel of the Word of God, that is only half the truth. After we have acknowledged and confessed that we have sinned against God, we experienced a change of heart in which we mourned over having sinned and grieved God whom we love. When King David sinned against God, he experienced a broken or contrite spirit and he exclaimed in Psalms 51,” The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
A truly repentant believer will not go straight in front of the mirror and convince himself that he is righteous first and totally unmoved by his sin at all. He will move into contrition for having grieved God by his sinful action. It is that contrite heart that make one change course and seek God’s forgiveness and return to faithfulness again. That is godly sorrow which God wants.
There is another kind of sorrow over sin that does not lead to repentance and it results in death. Godly sorrow will make one own up his or her sin before God and not try to find excuse for the sin or simply agonizes over one’s mistake. (The hyper grace believer even ignore his or her sin altogether as taught by the false teachers.) Though Judas Iscariot felt sorrow for betraying Jesus, his sorrow concerned more of himself in the fact that he felt shame or humiliation for betraying Jesus but he did not come to Jesus for forgiveness. He chose suicide rather than forgiveness.
So there is godly sorrow that leads to repentance and worldly sorrow that leads to death. Genuine repentance will bear fruit mentioned in 2 Cor 7:10-11 :
- Earnestness. One will be earnest to change course concerning his or her sin. It will not be apathy towards sin and will seek to make amends or to restore relationship.
- Eager Vindication. One will yearn for righteousness again and seek to vindicate himself or herself that he or she has left that sin behind.
- Indignation and Fear. One will feel upset with himself or herself and fear for offending God for that particular sin. (The false hyper grace teacher taught not to be sin conscious which is precisely saying the opposite of such a fruit.)
- Longing. One will long for restoration with God and damaged relationship due to sin.
- Zeal and Punishment. One will zealously accept justice as sin is disciplined biblically.