Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Shame, Grace, Repentance

 "Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world (shame) produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter."

Grace is the unconditional acceptance of God. It is unearned and undeserved; therefore it is freely given. You cannot earn grace or do anything by which it can be maintained.
Titus 3:4-8,  "But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Savior to man [as man] appeared, He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by [the] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit, Which He poured out [so] richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. [And He did it in order] that we might be justified by His grace (by His favor, wholly undeserved), [that we might be acknowledged and counted as conformed to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action], and that we might become heirs of eternal life according to [our] hope.This message is most trustworthy, and concerning these things I want you to insist steadfastly, so that those who have believed in (trusted in, relied on) God may be careful to apply themselves to honorable occupations and to doing good, for such things are [not only] excellent and right [in themselves], but [they are] good and profitable for the people."

We may in our conversations vacillate between the definitions of shame and sorrow, accepting on premise that they are related and as such confuse the conversation. There is a sorrow, a sense of grief and regret which is associated with the demands of a Holy God, fitted with truth to produce a heartfelt pain of mind with regard to the existence, the extent, the nature and the ill-deserts of sin. This pain of mind afflicts the soul, admonishing it for the offences which have occurred and recognizing the need for forgiveness and absolution. This is Godly sorrow leading to repentance.

Worldy sorrow is human sorrow. It is unsanctified remorse and has absolutely no redemptive value. It is nothing more than wounded pride at getting caught in sin and having one's lusts go unfulfilled. This kind of sorrow leads to guilt, shame, despair, depression, self-pity and hopelessness. This person who only feels grief for sin because it will lead to disgrace or shame, poverty or pain will not necessarily repent, reform or change behaviour.

Without the recognition that sins are committed against God and are seen as evil and wrong and without a desire to change being formed because of that thinking, then what the mind approves, it will always approve, there will be no reason for regret, no reason for sorrow and shame is reduced to a category of human hardship. 
Ezekiel 36:31 "Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations."
Ephesians 2:1-10,
"And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
It is by grace we have been saved through faith ... this is not of my own striving to obtain nor my own efforts to maintain ... it is a gift ... salvation ... not by works, not by penance ... solely a gift

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