What is Godly Sorrow, and why do we need it?
Are we becoming a stumbling block to Jesus because we have things of men, and this world on our mind above Him?
Matthew 17:23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.
Today many are proclaiming the “God of love”, and rightly so, He is love. His love is much higher than ours, it changes us, it judges us, and it separates us from the world we live in to be used by Him and through Him for building up His Kingdom. The world cries out no division, no Godly sorrow, and all are loved by God no matter how we respond to Him and the Cross.
God cries out throughout His word and through His Spirit in His First Son, Jesus Christ, “Repent or parish. Jesus tells us through the words His Father gave Him “I have come to bring division” between natural man / and spiritual man, between Satan, the god of this world / and the God of My Kingdom. There are only two kingdoms and two gods we can choose to worship, and there is only ONE of those gods that divides the whole human race. Either you worship Satan and humankind, or God and His Kingdom.
Matthew 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.
Luke 12:49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
This word of God reveals to us through Matthew from the beginning of our Lord’s ministry he never stopped preaching repentance to all because His Father’s Kingdom was near.
He never stopped preaching this until God’s work in and through Him was finished at the Cross. When His presence is fully in us due to our total surrender in faith through His Spirit working as He worked through His Son we too will preach this for ourselves and others until His work in and through us is finished. Some will repent and others will not, this will cause a division among the world, and among families.
The world tells us there is no need for Godly sorrow, judgement, or conviction of our sins. All the world tells us we can change on our own, and there is no Godly sorrow we need to keep us going in the right direction.
I lived most of my life not knowing what repentance meant, or what Godly sorrow meant. I was ignorant of this teaching so I walked through life unaware of his presence wanting to work in and through me. I do not want you to be ignorant because our Father does not want you to be ignorant of this experience that He gives all His children that He chooses, if you have not experienced within yourself the Godly sorrow His presence lays upon you then you have not been convicted by His Spirit of truth.
I lived most of my life being sorry for my sins, but my sorrow came from me disappointing myself, and disappointing others, but not from disappointing my Heavenly Father. There was no conviction from His Spirit that gave me “Godly sorrow” which is quite different than our own feelings of sorrow, guilt or shame we receive from ourselves, or others. Godly sorrow is much different than our own convictions of doing something wrong, or not living up to our own expectations of ourselves or the expectation of others.
If we live by our own guilt or the guilt of displeasing others it will quickly go away, or be covered up by our own deeds of righteousness, or self-piety. We will repeat the same sin, or other sins repeatedly because we have no power in us to change us from our evil natures, or our own righteousness that we all are overcome by. The Holy Spirit convicts us all the time of our sins, and our own righteousness. He never stops or gets weary, and in, and through Him we will not either.Our Father tells us this through Luke records of what Jesus said.
John 16:8 When he (Holy Spirit) comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness because I am going to the father, where you can see me no longer, and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
The Holy Spirit will always convict us of our sins because we cannot believe in Him on our own, this is a good conviction because without Him we cannot believe in Him and be delivered from sin.
The Holy Spirit will always convict us of our good or our own righteousness. He has gone to the Father so we can receive His. Without Him going to the Father we will not receive His Spirit that convicts us of our own righteousness, and our own righteousness will always lead us in the wrong direction.
The Holy Spirit will always convict us in regard to judgement because we cannot judge ourselves due to the sin within ourselves and Satan’s power over us. Through His given Spirit He judges us, and judges through us keeping us rightly related to God our Father which is the Son’s and Father’s same Spirit of truth. He is making us One with them, and He is the only one that has the power to condemn Satan and his work in and through us for his kingdom of darkness.
Many today are teaching there is no longer any conviction, or Godly sorrow from the Spirit of God through His children, and this is a wrong teaching. Many are teaching he does not convict us all the time, or He does some times, but not other times. He will always convict us because He is trying to make a people of His very own for His Kingdom. He will never ignore our sin, it is us that ignore Him.
The word repentance means a change of mind of past sins, past wisdom, past ways of following other human beings and their wisdom, past following of our own righteousness and self-piety. This means one wants to change their life, and quit sinning for their Heavenly Father’s sake and will, because they know through His Given Spirit they have sinned and are sinning against Him, not themselves, not others, but Him and Him alone. They have received a conviction through His Spirit.
Jeremiah 40:3 Now the Lord hath brought it, and done according as He hath said: because ye have sinned against the Lord and have not obeyed His voice, therefore this thing has come upon you.
When a child of God sins against the Holy Spirit of God they are given repentance in order for them to change for God by His power He gives them to change with. It is different sorrow one receives from sinning against oneself, or the “feeling” one receives from themselves or others high expectations of themselves they will never be able to live up too through their natural human goodness or evil desires, and both will result in wrong motives.
When a child of God is sinning against the Lord through His Spirit it is different than only sinning against themselves, disappointing their parents, friends, wife, children, boss, coach or teacher. When a child of God sins against His Spirit than His repentance given to them creates Godly sorrow, and Godly sorrow gives them an opportunity to bow down as a child wanting to be taught by his or her Heavenly Father. When a child of God through Christ bows down, humbles themselves as a child, His grace and forgiveness is given that takes them way past themselves in repeating the same sin over again, and they have the power to live for God and not for themselves, this world, or Satan any longer.
God has offered everyone repentance through His Son on the Cross, but not all will repent, or want to change their ways as they all did not the day Jesus offered repentance, and he denounced them publicly without fear.
Matthew 11:20 Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent.
The problem many "Christians" are facing today is much like what Jesus faced before His Spirit was given. Many "Christians" us are like Peter before He received the Spirit of truth, seeing Jesus as something for their own purpose in the world, and they are living through their own natural mind seeing their own purpose for him, through their own “feelings,” as Peter did.
Without His Spirit given to Peter, Peter would have never saw Jesus as He truly was. Peter loved Jesus very much, as much as he could naturally, but it was only by what he knew naturally through Peter’s own mind being a natural man, and seeing the world through his natural mind, and not seeing the plans of God through the mind of Christ, because he couldn’t. Jesus rebuked Peter for His own good because Jesus loved Him, and He would rebuke him again and again. Peter had not received His Holy Spirit when he denied him three times. Jesus in turn asked Peter three times if He loved Him. This was not for Peter to prove to Jesus he did, but for Peter to prove to himself that He did, and if he did, he would feed his sheep. Which He did feed his sheep without hesitation, because the feeding of His sheep came through His Spirit. He was heart broken when he denied Jesus, but not truly changed by Godly sorrow that leads to salvation until He received His Spirit of truth.
Many today form Jesus the way they want to perceive Him as Peter did, a loving friend to save them from the rulers of this world, a loving brother to conquer their enemies by his miracles and power, or neighbor willing to change the world without His word, judgment, or truth they can only receive through His teaching, loving Spirit of truth.
Many "Christians" today are living by their “natural feelings” as Peter was, and not His Holy Spirit of truth that revealed God's will and purpose that truly changed Peter to do His will and not his own. We are all emotional natural human beings with strong emotions, and desires. We are loaded down with natural feelings disguising His true presence as Peter’s feelings disguised his as being something real from God.
Peter received the Spirit of God and knew it was given to convict him, and divided his natural righteousness and evil desires from the nature of God correctly.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samara, and the ends of the earth."
We all must receive His Spirit that goes much deeper than our feelings and emotions to hearing His voice as if He was sitting right beside us. He gives us all we need to control our feelings and emotions as we hear His voice molding us and shaping us to be His children everyday through His given word of truth that is dwelling in us that opens up his written word.
Godly sorrow is not our natural “feelings” of sorrow from our sins, it is a given gift of God to bring us to where He wants us to be as a loving Father. Jesus tells His disciples
Matthew 11:27 All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.
Jesus chose Peter, and knew Peter would respond to His given repentance the right way, bowing down to Him, wanting to change his ways, for the sake of Jesus, because he knew he sinned against Him, not himself or others, but against Him and Him alone.
That is why He was chosen and that is why we are chosen today, because God knows who will repent and change because they have sinned against Him through His Given Spirit, they have been convicted by His Spirit of truth.
The same way His Spirit worked in and changed Peter from his natural feelings to God’s nature that surpassed his feelings of conviction into hearing God’s voice of truth that changed Him through the Spirit's convicting work.
God gives us a great description of His gift of repentance through Paul, and what it is given to us for. His repentance is given each time we do sin, and it changes us from continuing to live in sin. Today many do not live by His given, loving and gracious repentance. Many think it is a bad thing to live by God’s gift of repentance, and many today are nullifying this truth of what it means to live with God’s gift of repentance, because they do not want to feel guilty of sinning against God. They have created another teaching and another gospel to live by, and it is deceiving many with no Godly sorrow that brings repentance and leads them to salvation.
(NIV) 2 Corinthians 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that lead to salvation and leave no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what his 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.
(KJV)7:11 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.
Godly sorrow through His Spirit produces or manifest many things within ourselves. It is a perfect work God works in us and through us for others.
1) Godly sorrow brings repentance or a change of heart for His purpose of His Spirit working in us, and through us.
2) Godly sorrow through His Spirit leads to our salvation with NO regret, only mercy and forgiveness.
This is so true, only forgiveness and grace is given to His children through Christ, that teaches us to say no to ungodliness, there is no regret that keeps us down. There is only grace that lifts us up.
3) Worldly sorrow, which is our own sorrow and guilt, or others guilt and shame Satan uses, it brings death, no change within ourselves only regret, worry, anxiety, doubt, confusion, despair and hopelessness.
Worldly sorrow is what I lived through during my youth, teens, and twenty-nine years of my adult life. I know what worldly sorrow is and how it can deceive many into self-piety or their own righteousness that can never save them.
4) Godly sorrow through His Spirit produces in us the earnestness or carefulness of the Spirit of Jesus. We are careful to make sure we are following His word through His teachings and not the teachings of man or of this world. This is produced, or wrought (accomplished) in us through His Spirit.
5) Godly sorrow through His Spirit produces in us a eagerness to clear ourselves if we have offended God, we are not to prideful in speaking His truth if we have offended Him, or if we have not we are eager to prove we are His children and no longer are conformed to this world.
6) Both KJV and NIV say indignation is produced by the Godly sorrow through His Spirit. This is a righteous anger that arouses within the child of God because of something unjustly has been committed against them or against someone else. This is not an uncontrollable anger, but one that speaks passion and truth for the benefit of all. Jesus experienced this type of anger from the Spirit of God many times when rebuking His disciples, the Pharisee's, the Roman government, and with the people of his home town.
7) Godly sorrow through His Spirit also produces fear, or alarm within a child of God. This is a fear of displeasing God, and it is like an alarm going off in one’s heart they need to answer quickly. Jesus experienced this briefly in Gethsemane in a way none of us can understand, fearful of taking on all the sins of the world, and he was refreshed quickly by angles of God through his prayer, and was able to continue as God's Holy Son taking on all the sins of man upon himself. We also will be refreshed by unseen angels of God through His given Spirit when we face any fear through our prayers.
8) Godly sorrow also produces a longing, or vehement which is a great force of energy to be right with your Father above all others and things in this world. This is the consuming force of his love that takes a person past themselves, others and things this earth is consumed by.
9) Godly sorrow also produces through His Spirit a passion for God's judgement to be carried out above all things and people in this world so they can be ready to complete God’s work in them and through them. They are deeply passionate about seeing His judgment carried out any way God has arranged for the building up of His kingdom that takes them beyond themselves and this world.
Those who have fully surrendered to God, as God says through Paul, all of these behaviors, longings, and desires will be manifested in them through His Spirit given them Godly sorrow as they were mainfestied in these church members in Corinth Paul wrote too.
Many “Christians” are teaching that God no longer produces this in a person, they claim He is kind and ignores our sins as if there were no Godly sorrow needed within us anymore because God is “loving and kind” and does not produce any Godly sorrow in them. This is not true, without Godly sorrow there would be no conviction of sin against God that leads to repentance and is needed for our daily walk of salvation.We will never change without Godly sorrow, and without the Cross we cannot receive Jesus through the Godly sorrow and repentance Jesus gives us that keeps us denying ourselves and carrying the cross He gives us daily through His Spirit of truth.
Many people do not receive God's truth about His sorrow being a part of His love for us that grants us repentance, and a changed life to live for Him and His New Kingdom.
If you are living through your own feelings of sorrow, and you want to receive His repentance that truly gives you Godly sorrow so you can change by His power and grace, ask Him today, speak to Him as a humble child. If you are not hearing God’s voice daily, and only living by your feelings ask Him to help you receive Godly sorrow so you can truly repent and change through His convictions that work in and through you daily as He speaks personally to you everyday as your relationship with Him develops.
Tell Him you want to hear His voice speaking to you, and not only go by your natural "feelings" but hear His voice of convictions, and you may hear Him like you never have before!