Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #242 of the Bible 2021 podcast.  We are reading 2nd Corinthians 7 today and our focus is on The God Who Comforts the Downcast + Godly Sorrow Vs.Worldly Sorrow.  We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new in listeners in   Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

There’s this illusion that Christians have sometimes that mature Christian should be rock-steady in their emotions, and never let ’em see you sweat, to borrow a line from an 80s antiperspirant commercial. The reality, however, is that in a world full of trials, troubles and tribulations, only an actor with a mask on, or a stoic with a mask on, is unaffected. Listen to Paul describe his emotions in our chapter today:

In fact, when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest. Instead, we were troubled in every way: conflicts on the outside, fears within. 2nd Corinthians 7:5

This should probably not be the steady state of life for a mature follower of Jesus, but if Paul and his team had seasons where sleep was difficult, and they were troubled in EVERY way – by outside troubles AND INSIDE turmoil and fears, then you can bet we will have similar seasons. Don’t be surprised, says 1 Peter 4:12, when fiery trials come. Don’t be surprised either, when those fiery trials burn and hurt on the inside and out. You are not alone. But our passage today has wonderful news, if you happen to be going through one of those “troubled in every way” seasons right now:

But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us  (2nd Corinthians 7:6) 

And HOW did God comfort Paul and his team? Probably in some sort of super-spiritual way, right – something internal that only a real saint could sense, perhaps? Actually, no. God, who comforts the downcast, comforted Paul in a most PRACTICAL way:

by the arrival of Titus, and not only by his arrival but also by the comfort he received from you. 2nd Corinthians 7:6-7

So, God’s comfort came through the arrival of Paul’s good friend Titus, who himself had been comforted and encouraged by the Corinthian church, and Titus comforted Paul by his presence AND by the encouragement of the Corinthians. Along those lines, Paul says in vs. 13:

In addition to our own comfort, we rejoiced even more over the joy Titus had, because his spirit was refreshed by all of you. 2nd Corinthians 7:13

So – God is a comforter of the downcast – isn’t that wonderful? He doesn’t ignore us, or push us away when we are downcast- He comforts us – and the way He comforts us is often by practical means like using His people! So, if you are downcast now, or when you become downcast again, because it will happen, be open to God’s comfort coming through His people! Let’s read our passage and then discuss Godly sorrow vs. worldly sorrow.

Let’s talk about vs. 10, “10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

This is pretty stark, Paul – high stakes! One way of dealing with our sin leads to salvation, and the other way leads to death. We’d better go the right way! So, what is the difference between Godly sorrow when we do wrong, vs. worldly sorrow? Here’s pastor Tim Keller to help us differentiate between the two:

Here’s Peter, and here’s Judas. On the same fateful weekend, they both betrayed and denied their Master. Six weeks later, Peter is free. Peter is confident. He is roaring like a lion, preaching in the streets, and leading a movement that’s going to change the world, and Judas has killed himself. They both experience sorrow for what they’d done. One had a sorrow that led to life, and the other one had a sorrow that led to self-destruction.
Godly sorrow leads to repentance and no regret. Worldly sorrow leads to death. What’s the difference? You know what this is saying. This is saying there’s a kind of sorrow over your flaws, there’s a kind of awareness of your weaknesses and your nakedness, that can actually destroy you. There’s a kind of awareness of it that will lift you up and liberate you….Logos, Tim Keller Sermon Archive, 2013. 

and here is pastor David Platt explaining the difference between worldly sorrow, which involves remorse but not repentance, and Godly sorrow that is focused on repentance:

Just to realize your sin—to admit your sin—that alone is useless. You look at Exodus 9:27 and Pharaoh is acknowledging his sin before the Lord. Joshua 7:20, Achan is admitting his sin before the Lord. First Samuel 15:24, an insincere Saul is admitting his sin before the Lord. But there’s not repentance going on in any one of those situations, so clearly there is more than admission of sin involved here. So repentance involves confession, admission of sin, and contrition (sorrow over sin). A deep realization in your heart that you have sinned. Psalm 51 when David in agony of his sin cries out “against You only Lord, against You I have sinned.”

This is different than worldly sorrow over getting caught, which Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians 7:10. He talks about worldly sorrow that basically is a selfish sorrow; when you know you’ve done something wrong and you feel bad for yourself and you’re sorry that you got caught doing something wrong. That’s not the kind of sorrow that we’re talking about here. Biblically repentance involves a sorrow that you have sinned against God. This is godly sorrow that leads to godly repentance. Confession, contrition, all of that leading to conversion, a turning from sin. And that’s literally what this word “repent” means.David Platt, “Repentance and Resolutions,” in David Platt Sermon Archive (Birmingham, AL: David Platt, 2012), 3296.

Godly sorrow leads to repentance and leads to us turning back to the Father, just like the prodigal son did. He recognized his sin,and returned to his father in humility – that is the essence of Godly sorrow that leads to life.

Bible Memory verses for the month of August: Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 

The Bible 2021 Podcast Is a ministry of Valley Baptist Church A Salinas Church in Northern California.

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