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Repentance Leads to Salvation

John Collins02/20/2012Paul (2 Corinthians 7), was dealing with a people who's hearts were hardened -- not by God, but by themselves.  Evidently, they had been accusing him of spreading corruption and doing wrong in the name of Jesus Christ.  He told them to open up their hearts to him, because he had done nothing wrong.  He had not corrupted anyone or taken advantage of anyone.  

He said that he was not preaching "at" them to condemn them, he considered them close enough to live and die for.  They were the burden of his heart.  Instead, he was acting brave and bold to help them.  Even though he as being afflicted and persecuted, he was overflowing with joy because he knew that he was ultimately helping them.  This gave him great comfort within.

When he came into Macedonia, he was very weary from lack of rest and constant battle.  His mind was heavy from the fear he had within him.  But just when he needed comfort, God sent Titus to lift the spirits.  

Even though Paul had written something that hurt the people deeply, he did not regret it.  He could see that his letter had caused much grief, but only for a little while.  Now, he could rejoice because the people were grieved into repenting.  It was a Godly grief that suffered no man loss.

"Godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation," he said.  It was without regret.  Worldly grief produces death.  The people were burdened by the old law, but could accept Jesus Christ as their savior and be free, rejoicing!  He was amazed at their indignation, fear, longing, zeal, and punishment.  

He told them that the reason for his letter was not for the sake of those who had done wrong in staying in the old ways, but for the sake of the One that could give them comfort.  Paul did not speak poorly of those who were doing wrong.  Instead, he boasted about them before Titus.  He rejoiced because he had perfect confidence in them.

As Christians, we should ask ourselves: Do we open our hearts to the Truth?  Do we persecute those that stand for the Gospel?  Do we accept the Gift Jesus has given on the cross, or do we remain in indignation, fear, longing, and punishment?  If something in the Bible differs from our own beliefs, do we accept it, or do we harden our own hearts?  Would Paul speak with perfect confidence in us?