For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearingof yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge!2 Cor. 7:11.
Now Paul gives us seven evidences of true, sincere and genuine-godly repentance; that is the gift of God.
1). What carefulness (eagerness, diligence and haste) it wrought in you; to correct our behavior before God and to avoid future offences, diligence and carefulness; as opposed to our past negligence in the gospel and in spiritual matters. 1Thes. 1:4-9.
2). What clearing of yourself; not by denying our sin, (what we are before God) and our guilt (because of our transgressions against God), but rather by confessing and owning them and seeking forgiveness for them only thru Christ; 1John 1:7-9; Heb. 9:12-14.
3). What indignation, (righteous anger), not against God's holy law, nor against God's servant for declaring the truth, but rather against our own selves, because of our own sin and foolishness. For true repentance, is taking God's side against ourselves because of our own folly and sin. Job 42:5-6; Isa. 6:5; Rom. 7:24-25.
4). What fear; (alarm) not of eternal condemnation; Rom. 8:1; no condemnation to them that are in Christ, but rather of the Father's disapproval and chastisement, and the fear of bringing reproach on the gospel of Christ. Prov. 16:6; "By the fear of the LORD men depart from evil." What fear and reverence the Lord does give us when He grants unto us repentance; Psalm 111:9.
5). What a vehement desire; (longing for) to honor God and to live for His glory in the present evil world. When God gives repentance He changes our desires, of self glory, self-centeredness, self- righteousness to seeking His glory; Gal. 6:14; Phil. 3:7-14.
6). What zeal; to promote God's gospel; 1 Peter 2:9. To stand for the true gospel of grace in Christ, having nothing to do with those who promote salvation by deeds of the law; Gal. 1:7-10; 2:16.
7). What revenge; not against any person in a private way, for vengeance belongs unto God, but rather against anything contrary to the gospel of Christ; Psalm 119:104; "Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way."
These sweet and gracious effects wrought in us spring from the first great cause, God's sovereign grace in Christ. They come from God and always lead to Him. "The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance" (Rom. 2:4).
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