Continuing 2 Corinthians.
We are continuing to look at Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth. I pray that you are encouraged by these chapters.
Read: 2 Corinthians 7
As a pastor, my hope is for my people to have a strong understanding of godly repentance. That we would turn from our sins and turn to the Lord. The Christian life is a life of repentance. Let us look at Paul’s address to the Corinthians on the matter.
1. Cleanse yourself (1). For the Jewish reader, the idea of cleansing would have brought to mind ceremonial baths, sacrifices, etc. So what does it mean for us today? What does it mean to cleanse yourself? No, I am not talking about a juice cleanse. To cleanse, oneself is the idea of repentance. To turn from our sinful ways and sinful habits, and turn to the Lord. When you take communion, that is to be a time of cleansing. Reflection and repentance.
2. Paul’s love for them (2-4). When I read this section, I immediately thought of our church. I want to tell you that during all of this, I am filled with pride for Springfield Baptist. I am thankful for your response and your faithfulness. My family has been so blessed to call SBC our home. Sometimes when I’ve preached, messages can be hard, but your response shows your heart of love. Friends, that would make any pastor proud, and I am proud to call you my church.
3. Comfort to move on (5-7). Paul writes that his body has been broken, that he is exhausted from the work he’s doing. They find no rest in what they do, they continually work and work. Yet, when Titus came to him, he encouraged Paul with a report of the church. That they longed to see Paul, that they dearly loved him. Friends, it is encouraging to hear from people and know they think about you.
4. Godly Grief vs. Worldly Grief (8-12). There is a big difference between conviction and guilt. Godly grief or conviction, is something of the Lord. The point of this conviction is always redemptive. To turn you from your sin, to point you to Jesus, to conform you into His image. Worldly grief or guilt, is accusing. It makes you feel like you need to run from God. It says that God doesn’t love you, that you are too bad to love. The point of guilt is to point you away from the Lord.
5. Make us proud (13-16). Paul is really impressed with the following of his rebuke. They were people that took serious his words. They listened to him and turned to the Lord. The reports to him that this took place give him great hope in them. Friends, keep up the good work. Keep fighting the good fight during this pandemic. I am proud of you.