God doesn't save a man because man's sorry for his wrongdoing. God saves men because they trust in the work of Christ "alone" for the forgiveness of sins. The sorrow of a natural man's heart worketh death. The sorrow in a man's heart that's prompted by the Spirit of God will lead man to Salvation. What does death mean? Death is separation from God. Death is separation from God's power to change the moral makeup of man. A natural man repeats the same act of sin over and over and over again. Why? He's controlled by a sinful nature. Each time the natural man says he's sorry...he's not truly sorry from the heart because it's not prompted by God because of Christ?
Man's fallen nature proves that man is a rebel against God. His will is controlled by the sinful nature. In relation to Godly sorrow...Godly sorrow is the work of the Spirit of God that sways the will of man. Godly sorrow leads man to Salvation of the human soul. Why? It's the work of God that "breaks" the will of a natural man and shows this individual what he really is. The Spirit of God "convicts" the conscience of a natural man. The Spirit of God "breaks" the will of a fallen man. How? The Holy Spirit shows man what he really is in light of a Savior on the Cross...in light of a resurrected Christ...in light of the holiness and purity of the God of our Salvation.
When man is truly and godly sorrowful for the acts of sin he committed against God...he will turn to Christ and never go back. Why? His mind is changed! He realizes his helplessness. He realizes his hopelessness. He realizes he has no strength without Christ...and by the way...the Grace of God also delivers the penitent from "the guilt of sin". Only the Grace of God can remove guilt from the human conscience.
Worldly sorrow does not break the will of man...Godly sorrow does! Godly sorrow is the affect of the power of the Holy Spirit that "sways" the will of a rebel against God...just enough...to cause this person to believe! Godly sorrow causes rebels to turn away from sin and turn to Christ! Godly sorrow leads men to repentance! Godly sorrow is the affect of the work of God upon the human soul...worldly sorrow that bringeth forth death is a vicious cycle that repeats the same sinful action over, over, and over again.
2 Cor 7:9-11... Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
Notice the attitude of the penitent ( a man of Godly sorrow) in the following part of the verse...
For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, (this man cared about his actions) yea, what clearing of yourselves (this man cleared himself from sinful conduct), yea, what indignation (this man hated the old life), yea, what fear (this man had great reverence toward God), yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge (this man had revenge against the old life of sin)! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
The work of the Holy Spirit can never be limited. The work of the Holy Spirit reproves the world of sin. The work of the Holy Spirit leads men to repentance and godly sorrow. The work of the Holy Spirit gives the believer in Christ...a desire to "stop" practicing sin.
Grieve not the Holy Spirit!
Quench not the Holy Spirit!
God put this on my heart last night at a Bible study at the Upper Room! I went to bed thinking about it! I woke this morning thinking about it! Thought I'd share it on the Blog.
I like what Paul says in the Corinthian letter about Christ...1 Cor 15:1-4...Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Note how he says..."Keep Christ in memory ". Why? When Christ is kept in memory...you will never grieve or quench the Spirit! Lose memory of Christ and the world will consume you!
Special thanks to Mike and Chuck who prompted this study...and most of all special thanks to Christ who compels this writer to publish this Blog while keeping the legacy of Brother Hubert Lindsey alive... in 2009! I'll close with the following Bible verse...
1 Cor 6:20...For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.