Four Verses To Foster Godly Sorrow For True Repentance

Many people realize that repentance is required for a right standing with God. The Holy Scriptures give ample reasons for us to be lovingly sincere in a godly manner as we express sorrow to God for our sins with a determination to turn away from them.
Four Verses To Foster Godly Sorrow For True Repentance
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2016 by author, Peter P. Macinta (Brother Pete)

Those that are really serious with God know that they need to repent of their sins not just the first time they come to Him through Christ, but often until they leave this world to be with Him. Sorrow for sinning plays a role in such repentance. However, there are levels of sorrow ranging from a simple sorry with not much sorrow (if any) to the point of groaning and crying before God in all humility.

I am of the opinion that if one is truly in Christ, the former level could be covered by His grace for a while, but

if anyone desires to remain in Christ they need to mature to a deeper realm of sorrow, one that is pleasing to God. If not, they will develop a hard heart toward the work of Christ (especially upon the cross) that secured our salvation, and as a result eventually fall from grace.

2 Corinthians 7:10 classifies sorrow in two ways: “For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death.” The sorrow Judas Iscariot had after betraying Christ is an example of ungodly sorrow, while Peter’s deep remorse over denying Christ is one of godly sorrow. There are a number of other examples throughout the Holy Bible. But given what we read in 2 Corinthians 7:10, we should endeavor to develop godly sorrow and here are four Holy Scriptures to do that.

I. Think Of His Physical Suffering - 1 Peter 3:18

“For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”

Everyone knows to some some degree what it means to to physically suffer. So an initial step of developing godly sorrow for repentance is for us to know that when the Holy Bible states Christ was crucified, He was in definitely physical agony. Most of the pictures we see of Christ upon the cross do not even come near to the reality of what happened. Nor can we hear His groaning and labored breathing.

For one thing, Christ was all bloodied. You would not recognize Him (Isaiah 52:14 {1}). Picture a completely naked human body covered with blood, nailed and roped to a cross, whose torso was twisted to one side making it difficult for the victim to breathe, and blood dripping from every wound. With just about every part of His body in pain there was added pain in His feet and hands (wrist area - considered part of the hand) as He would push up from the wooden base in order to breathe better. This would go on for hours.

So, you and I sinned and we know we should confess it to God. We know we should be sorry for our sins, and thinking that Christ physically suffered for our sins helps to have sorrow. And, it is a godly sorrow because our spiritual eyes are upon Him Who, with love, took the penalty for our sin. This is a good first step and helps to prevent us from falling into the aspect of “cheap grace” that flippantly carries the idea, “Well, if I sin God will forgive me so I will go ahead and sin.”

II. Consider His Shame - Philippians 2:5-8

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

We have slightly touched upon this already by stating Christ was naked upon the cross. But even more shame is added because vile malefactors were condemned to die by the Roman government in this manner. And at this point it is good to go a little backward in time to when Christ first began His public ministry. We see Him, the sinless One, numbering Himself with the sinners who lined the banks of the Jordan so John the Baptist could baptize them. Not many knew who He was so it would be natural for them to assume He too was ladened with sin.

The same holds true for when He was on the cross. To some, Jesus would be like any other criminal. There were some people present that took delight in mocking any malefactor hanging from the cross.  Grave insults would be hurled at Him during His agony. The treatment of Christ by some of the Roman soldiers gave the unknowing no reason to think that Jesus of Nazareth was innocent of His fatal fate.

Permit me to digress for a moment for the sake of those who personally know Christ, or claim they do. Just as He despised the shame (Hebrews 12:1-2) and went to the cross, so must we bear any shame that is associated with Him. The world does their best to try to shame the true Christian by deeming us homophobic, islamaphobic, and whatever else a childish mind might concoct to avoid confrontation with inconvenient truths. He died bearing shame that we may have abundant life now and eternal life once we leave this earth. In bearing shame associated with Him let us die to self and live for Him. Our soul might not enjoy bearing shame for Him, but let us remember Jesus said (Mark 8:36), “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

III. Realize He Became A Curse - Galatians 3:13

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: “for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree:””

With this verse where Paul by the Spirit references Deuteronomy 21:22-23 we move even deeper into the spiritual realm. When Christ went to the cross He was without spiritual spot. Regarding the Jewish Law he was blameless. However, everyone else stands condemned regarding the Jewish Law. Even the most devout Jew has missed living truly up to the Law if not in letter, then in principle. We are the ones that are cursed, and cursed from the moment we have sinned.

Before I came to Christ I knew instinctively I was under the wrath of God, though I doubted His existence. And, in my particular case, the bright future I had envisioned for myself became extremely dark with no hope at all. I was not blessed. I was cursed. Albeit, like He does in various ways to everyone, God still extended His love toward me, especially in the fact that Christ took my place. A transaction was waiting for me to respond, which I did before I turned eighteen, all because Christ paid my penalty, which

included being accursed of God.

When Christ took our sin and became accursed the sweet fellowship of love within the Godhead was broken. At this point the question might be asked, “If there is only one God and God is One how then can fellowship be broken within Himself?” First I will give you an earthly example, then I will bring out a Holy Scripture that shows fellowship within a being does exist. Again, going back to the time when I did not have Christ as my King there were many days I hated myself and desired to kill myself. Many people hate themselves.

One of a number of Holy Scriptures that point to internal fellowship of individuals is 2 Timothy 3:2, “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.” Christ Himself stated that in order to be His disciple one must deny Himself and take up His cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). Therefore it should not be hard for us to understand that there was an interruption of fellowship within the Godhead.

The main point for this message, though, is the very fact the Son was cursed by the Father for our sake. Though Christ perfectly kept the written and moral Law of God, our transgression was actually given to Him and He was cursed by the Father. This is why before He died He cried out (Mark 15:34), “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?” {2} This, in itself, should bring tears of sorrow to our eyes and move us to true repentance.

IV. Realize He Became Sin - 2 Corinthians 5:21

“For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

This is the most crushing Scripture for me. The spotless lamb of God became sin for my sake. Many feel that Christ was in agony in Gethsemane because He was about to face physical torture. However, given the fact that numerous passages state our sin was actually given to Him, I feel that it was the imputation of sin that made Him want to draw back. Think of what you or I might consider to be the worse sin. Killing babies? Satan worship? Torturing others? All those and every sin was given to Him. No wonder He recoiled at that cup. “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”-- Luke 22:44

I make it personal for repentance. Whatever sin I commit He took it. He, Who loved me enough to redeem me, it is He Whom I have smitten with my sin. If I was not truly sorry before then I should really be sorry now. And I should be sorry enough to be careful not to be a repeat offender. And such godly remorse should fashion my mind in such a way that I would stop sinfully thinking, “Well, He will forgive me so I will do it anyway.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 is not figurative language. It states a spiritual reality, one that we should engrave upon our heart that we might not sin against Him. And it is also a great Holy Scripture to beckon the lost with. Christ lovingly took our sin! The drug pusher, baby killer, homosexual, thief and everyone else have a way out through The Way (John 14:6) out, Jesus Christ. There is that sure promise of a worthwhile life that brings blessing now and life eternal, because if we enter into this exchange we will become “the righteous of God in Him.”

And please do not think you cannot choose {3}. Do not think you are trapped forever. Satan would really love to convince you of that. God loves you and I so much that through Christ we can be redeemed from this world and inherit Eternal Life. If you have not committed to Christ, surrendered to Him, please take a moment now to do so with loving sorrow unto true repentance. If you had been in Christ, but left Him, He awaits your return.


{1} “As many were astonished at You; His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:”

{2} Please listen to “Make The Connection” at .

{3} Please read “You CAN Choose--Choose Wisely” at .

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by April 4, 2016 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the 1769 Authorized Version with spelling of some words updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. An * next to the abbreviation for another translation or version indicates the same for the text presented.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.

Copyright 2016, Peter P. Macinta, you may copy but not sell. Keywords:

Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2016 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

An outline of this message with brief comments may be viewed by selecting the correct link at . There might be other related items listed there. Hear more messages including Seven Roots For Growth In Christ at .

Peter Macinta



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit

Last updated on 19-07-2016 129 1

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  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    When our hope does not come from God trials discourage us; but when our hope is rooted in God, we are strengthened and remain steadfast.
    reply 0
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