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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

2 Corinthians 7

Verses 1-16

Sorrow for Sin

2 Corinthians 7:10

All sorrow for sin is not godly sorrow, and does not always work repentance. Sorrow for sin may issue either in spiritual life or in spiritual death.

I. Now there may be many reasons why men sorrow for sin. (1) Some men sorrow for sin because they look upon sin not so much as a crime as a ruin. They think of what they have lost through their sin, and as they look upon their ruin they hate the sin. (52) In the second place, some men grieve over sin because of the loss of character. (3) Other men grieve over sin because of the loss of self-esteem; they are the hot tears which flow from pride. There is a great difference, for instance, between Saul's 'I have played the fool,' and the poor publican's 'God be merciful to me a sinner'. Now it is quite true that even these sorrows for sin may produce a certain reformation, but the reformation is only temporary; it will only last so long as the emotion lasts; when the emotion evaporates the reformation will be at an end. No, as St. Paul tells you, the true sorrow is a godly sorrow; or, as the Greek word literally means, a sorrow according to God, a sorrow according to God's measure, a sorrow which He is working out.

II. Well then, how are we to get this godly sorrow? (1) It is produced by God the Holy Ghost; it is only the spirit of grace and supplication that can produce it, it is only the omnipotent power of the Holy Ghost that can bring water out of this flinty rock. (2) It is accompanied with prayer. (3) It is caused by looking at the Crucified. (4) This sorrow for sin is very individualising. Each has to go apart. We ought to sorrow for sin, we ought to sorrow for sin far more than we do, but, after all, it is not the sorrow which is going to atone it is the blood of Jesus Christ God's Son.

E. A. Stuart, The One Mediator and other Sermons, vol. xi. p. 145.

References. VII. 10. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xlvi. No. 2691. D. L. Moody, The Fulness of the Gospel, p. 31. W. H. Evans, Short Sermons for the Seasons, p. 72. R. Allen, The Words of Christ, p. 28. Expositor (4th Series), vol. vi. p. 309; ibid. (5th Series), vol. vii. p. 276; ibid. vol. ix. p. 437. VII. 10, 11. J. J. Blunt, Plain Sermons, p. 142. VII. 11. J. S. Maver, Christian World Pulpit, vol. lix. p. 46. VII. 12. Expositor (6th Series), vol. i. p. 108. VIII. Ibid. (4th Series), vol. v. p. 343. VIII. 4. Ibid. (6th Series), vol. viii. p. 390. VIII. 6. Lyman Abbott, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xlviii. p. 119. W. Brock, Midsummer Morning Sermons, p. 12. A. Tucker, Preacher's Magazine, vol. x. p. 275. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxxvii. No. 2234. VIII. 8. W. H. Harwood, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xlv. p. 294. Expositor (6th Series), vol. iii. p. 277.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 7". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/2-corinthians-7.html. 1910.