“I now rejoice, not that you were made sorry,
but that you were made sorry to repentance”
2 Corinthians 7:9
Godly sorrow is the fruit of godly ministry. The truth of God connects our everyday walk with our future inheritance. The man who buried his talent in the ground determined his future inheritance in God. The one who built their house by hearing (without doing) the future collapse was the result of his present error. To give in to temptation today may determine bondage and sorrow in our future.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death or of obedience unto righteousness?”
The greatest gift of God to us is the gift of repentance. It frees the heart, destroys condemnation and its riches are filled with goodness, mercy, and peace in our Saviours’ love.
It is a good example for us to consider the construct of the Hebrew Language in order for us to understand the connection between our present doings and our future inheritance.
of Tense and Time
Unlike today, the very construct of the Hebrew language when all the tenses are simplified essentially consisted of two tenses; past and future where the future tense incorporates the present.
[“In the Bible there are only two tenses… yes, only two (ken, rak shnaim,) past and future. There is no (ein) present tense in the Bible!” Yaron-Lessons in Hebrew]
How we have lost this critical truth in God! The Ancient Hebrew language was the only language that evolved through God’s dealings with them. Their whole history was determined by their relationship with God. If they departed from His truths and His ways they experienced judgment, captivity, and futility and if they walked with Him blessings and prosperity graced their nation. Because of this vital concept, they understood that their present doings determined their future; they did not compartmentalize present things from future realities. It is this powerful concept which conveyed to them the healthy fear of the Lord causing them to weigh their present actions with tomorrow’s outcome. Without this linkage, there is no true ability to understand God Himself.
We live in a day and speak in a language where past, present, and future tenses have no connection. This ethos has invaded the Church, its gospel, and its understanding of God; for of a truth, our presentation of Him is the reflection of our understanding of Him. A gospel that separates my present walk from any future implications robs His people from “walking circumspectly” before the Lord. Forgiveness has become the panacea for unholy living. Not long ago in my personal time with God, He impressed upon me a powerful truth “An individual’s concept of sin reveals their estimation of God”. Where sin is treated lightly it is because God is lightly esteemed. Repentance and godly sorrow are the hallmarks of a life growing in the wonder and the dynamic of God. Wherever and whenever the ministry of God fails to present God as He is “godly sorrow” is lacking and men and women walk in a salvation filled with regrets and sub-standard living.
“I now rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that you were made sorry to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly way, that you might suffer loss by us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation, which brings no regret…”
2 Corinthians 7:9-10
Whenever God is lightly esteemed sin will abound. Paul in his presentation of grace in his Epistle to the Romans declares “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid” (Romans 6:1-2). When grace is taught in an unrighteous manner where the stain and the contagion of sin have been compromised the Light of God is dimmed and the rampant culture of decay and lawlessness will lay hold of His church and correspondingly a nation will fall in its own folly.
“Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool,
but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.”
Proverbs 10:23 (ESV)
Another translation says…
“It is as sport to a fool to do mischief:
but a man of understanding hath wisdom.”
Proverbs 10:23 (KJV)
Where sin and evil are treated lightly, wisdom and understanding are marginalized and the result will be chaos and lawlessness. This is true whether it be in our own personal life, the family unit, or the household of God.
The true ministration of Christ brings us to godly sorrow, repentance, and the joy of His salvation.
(Unedited excerpt from coming book, comments welcome)