2 Corinthians 7:8-11, “Repentance”
Passage: 2 Corinthians 7:8–7:11
Text: 2 Corinthians 7:8-11
Introduction: The first words of Jesus' first recorded sermon are "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17). The Christian life begins with repentance-a changing of one's mind and purpose. But, repentance is more than just the starting point. Martin Luther, the great reformer, put it this way: "When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, 'Repent,' he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance." In this second sermon of the Grow series, we unpack what it means to walk in repentance as a Christian.
1. The question is: How do we grow?
We started the Grow series last week by asking this question “How do we grow?” We looked at John 15 where Jesus doesn’t just suggest we grow, but in fact commands that we grow. And, He gives us two overarching purposes for our growth—1) for God’s glory, and 2) for our great joy. And then he gives us this word that we’re going to chew for the next few weeks when he tells us that he only way we can do this is to “abide” in Him.
2. Definition of repentance
Metanoeo—meaning to change one’s mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge. This verb, with (3.) the cognate noun metanoia, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.
Evangelical repentance consists of (1) a true sense of one’s own guilt and sinfulness; (2) an apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ; (3) an actual hatred of sin (Ps. 119:128; Job 42:5, 6; 2 Cor. 7:10) and turning from it to God; and (4) a persistent endeavor after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments. 
3. Background of 2 Corinthians 7:8-11
I. THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF GRIEF—GODLY, AND WORLDLY.
1.1 The difference—who have we really sinned against?
- Psalm 51
- In worldly grief—we are still on the throne. In godly grief, God is on the throne.
1.2. Prototype of worldly grief
- Deep down inside, we are only sad because we’ve been caught or denied what we want.
- Or we use defense mechanisms to avoid the whole grief process.
1). The jokester
2). The unconnected
3). The super-spiritual
4). The selfish
II. REPENTANCE FIRST LEADS TO SALVATION, THEN LIFE WITHOUT REGRET, WHICH IS GREAT JOY.
2.1 Misperception of repentance as religious duty and drudgery
- Nothing should be further from the truth!
- Piper quote: “Repenting means experiencing a change of mind so that we can see God as true and beautiful and worthy of all our praise and all our obedience.”
2.2 Repentance brings refreshing
- Acts 3:19-21—“times of refreshing”
III. REPENTANCE ISN’T A ONE-TIME EVENT, BUT A WAY OF LIVING THAT PRODUCES CHANGE
3.1 Luther’s 1 & 3 of his 95 Theses
1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent” (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.
3. Yet it does not mean solely inner repentance; such inner repentance is worthless unless it produces various outward mortifications of the flesh.
v.11 in the NIV
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.
IV. FOUR QUESTIONS TO HELP US STRIVE FOR REPENTANCE THAT BRINGS JOYFUL GROWTH
1. Am I humble? 1 Peter 5:5-11; James 4:6-10
2. Am I connected? 1 Corinthians 12
3. Am I listening? John 10:27; James 1:21
4. Am I asking? Psalm 139:23-24
Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney.
This short and easy to read book is very helpful and practical. It dissects the sin of pride and redirects us towards humility that leads us toward a repentant posture in life. It also gives great advice on how to live it out practically in daily life within the context of church community.
Easton, M. (1996, c1897). Easton's Bible dictionary. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.