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Good Sorrow, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
June 21, 2024 10:00 am

Good Sorrow, Part 3

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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June 21, 2024 10:00 am

In Matthew 5:4 Jesus said, Blessed are those who mourn. Yet when we feel sadness, regret, or guilt, most would rarely describe that pain with the word “blessing”. The Bible teaches us that there is a good sorrow, a sorrow that teaches us, heals us, and draws us near to the Savior. What does that good sorrow look like? Is there a right way to sorrow over sin? What is the difference between worldly sorrow that binds and godly sorrow that frees us? Today Pastor Rich answers these questions from our passage in 2 Corinthians 7:1-12.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. In Matthew 5 for Jesus said, blessed are those who mourn. Yet when we feel sadness, regret or guilt, most would rarely describe that pain with the word blessing. The Bible teaches us that there is a good sorrow, a sorrow that teaches us, heals us and draws us near to the Savior. What does that good sorrow look like?

Is there a right way to sorrow over sin? What's the difference between worldly sorrow that binds and godly sorrow that frees us? Today, Pastor Rich answers these questions from our passage in 2 Corinthians 7, 1 through 12.

Let's listen in. This is the third part of a message first preached on June 1 at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear the whole sermon at www.delightingrace.com. Repentance means a change of mind which leads to a changed direction of life. Godly sorrow produces in me a recognition of the destructive nature of sin and its impediment to my movement toward God, toward His perfect character and purpose. And when I recognize sin in my life for what it is, that it only sabotages my success and a brother who loves me enough to point it out to me, to help me cut it away, is a faithful friend because he's working together with me for my joy. And so, godly sorrow produces repentance. Not only does it produce repentance, but it also produces desire. What do I mean by that?

Look with me at verse 11. For observe this very thing that you sorrowed in a godly manner. What diligence it produced in you.

What clearing of yourselves. What indignation. What fear. What vehement desire. What zeal.

What vindication in all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. You took care of it. You cut it out. That which was holding you back. It was sabotaging your success.

You got rid of it because your godly sorrow produced repentance. You had a change of mind and then it produced in you a consuming desire. A desire for what? To succeed. To be satisfied in God and God alone and to glorify Him. That's what godly sorrow produced.

That's a good sorrow. And the words that he uses, vehement desire. That is a longing, a burning longing and the zeal he mentions in verse 11.

All of those things. So, their godly sorrow produced repentance and it produced a desire in them. A passionate desire to pursue God.

To succeed in His purpose for them. Amber Layman is the CEO of First Choice Pregnancy Solutions in Wake Forest, North Carolina. And this is an abbreviation of her testimony. Just after my 16th birthday, my mother drops me off at the abortion clinic. My boyfriend's mother picked me up and dropped me off at home. And I sat there and I thought, wow, this feels pretty yucky. And so, I consciously hardened my heart to those feelings until about eight years later when Christ got a hold of me. And my eyes were opened to the fact, the truth, that I had not just had an abortion procedure, but that I had taken the life of my baby, who had a heart beat. And so, that began my journey with Christ in becoming healed through Him. And then, through the years, He grew my compassion and passion for both the mothers and the unborn.

You see that? As she was confronted with the truth, that it was more than just an abortion procedure, it was the taking of a life. She was confronted with that. Clearly, it produced a godly sorrow in her and that brought about repentance and it brought about desire. A passionate desire to rescue others from the same experience. A passionate desire to glorify God, to be satisfied in God.

To be satisfied in God. That's good sorrow. Good sorrow, godly sorrow, is the opposite of worldly sorrow. Good sorrow, or godly sorrow, as the apostle calls it here, is when we mourn wickedness. When I mourn the wickedness that I find in myself, it is a wickedness that impedes my success, that sabotages me from my God-ward movement.

In me, it's an impediment. And I mourn that wickedness. The Lord said, blessed are those who mourn.

Why? For they shall be comforted. They are mourning because they are mourning the wickedness that we find in ourselves. And when I have that kind of mourning, that kind of sorrow, that leads to life. Philip Yancey said, the same tears that break our hearts may also nourish us in ways that matter most to God. That's good sorrow. That's godly sorrow. And the opposite of that is worldly sorrow. Worldly sorrow moans the consequences. Godly sorrow mourns wickedness. Worldly sorrow simply moans about the consequences. There's no change of heart.

It only leads to further despair. Probably most of us know, remember who Bernie Madoff is, sentenced to 150 years in prison. His statement early in an interview was, I wish they had caught me eight years ago.

He wouldn't have to endure 150 years in prison. What is the conclusion of the matter from the text this morning from the apostle? Look what he says in verse four.

Go back to verse four with me. Great is my boldness of speech towards you. Great is my boasting of the word of God.

Great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation. There's the outcome.

That's the conclusion. That's what godly sorrow produces. Comfort exceeding joy in tribulation.

Why? Because there were godly outcomes. He had to inflict the faithful wounds of a friend. Cutting truth, working together with them for their joy. Wanting to help them in their success, in their godward movement.

And sometimes that requires the faithful wounds of a friend. But Paul rejoiced in the godly outcomes. Their movement towards success as a church, as a people. Bringing the example from the first century here to the 21st century. Let me read about Bob Alberg, who is pastor of Roscoe Evangelical Free Church in Illinois.

Roscoe, Illinois. He says this, we had the sad experience of disciplining a man for repeated and unrepentant adultery. We followed Matthew 18 and his response was, as is so often, do what you do. As is so often, do what you must because I don't care. I plan to never darken the doors of this church again anyway.

So why should I care? He proceeded to divorce his wife. His wife continued to attend the church and there were many tearful times with her. We prayed god would do whatever necessary to open this man's eyes and bring him back into right relationship with himself. Are you willing to pray that prayer? That's not a prayer of judgment. It's Lord, do whatever necessary in my brother, my sister's life to draw them back to you, to open their eyes, to break down the walls of pride.

Do whatever is necessary. Over two years later, this man called me and asked if we could meet. At my office, he threw himself on my shoulder and wept and he said he wanted to confess his sin.

He said the hound of heaven has been on his trail for nearly two years and he couldn't take it much more. He set aside his divorce and sought to renew his marriage. Even his wife, who had said she probably could never trust him again, was amazed at the change in his life.

This man was active in the army reserves in Iraq. God was working in his life and as he was confronted on a daily basis with the brevity of life and the permanence of eternity, upon returning home, he confessed his sin, asked to be forgiven for his arrogance and the impact his life had on the church. What a joy to announce at the congregational meeting that he was restored to the fellowship. With praise, the whole church got to see God at work restoring both the man and his marriage. Those are the outcomes of godly sorrow.

Godly sorrow that is produced by the faithful wounds of a friend. As it was for the apostle Paul to the Corinthian church, because they were workers together for their joy. He loved the Corinthian believers.

He did not want to see them sabotage their success, their godly movement. So he spoke cutting words out of love. Those cutting words produced sorrow, but it was a godly sorrow that produced repentance and a burning longing to move Godward.

And the outcomes were godly. That's what happens in a community of grace that has a culture of discipleship. These are the inspired words of scripture that are for the teachings of God's people. Consider this encapsulated in Psalm 119. Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I keep your word. You are good and do good. It is good for me that I have been afflicted. That I may learn your statutes. Every child of God needs to learn and pray this prayer. Sometimes the pain that God causes is good pain, because it produces godly outcomes. You've been listening to Rich Powell, the lead pastor at Grace for the beard College campus, wanting to make the commitment replace the Infinity.

In all the years that you've come. I now Letsend that you're vocals are mightesthe vision. In your only voice, you seem to be Pressing on. You don't sing the leaders song. You're the spiritual spirit. Thanks for listening to Rich Powell, the lead pastor at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The Delight in Grace mission is to help you know that God designed you to realize your highest good and your deepest satisfaction in Him, the One who is infinitely good. We hope you'll join us again on weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-21 12:07:05 / 2024-06-21 12:12:34 / 5

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