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Repentance

There has been much talk lately about the absence of contrition in the President's speech. Democrats and Republicans alike have stated that his speech lacked a good apology. There were calls for his Church to practice church discipline. Then finally, on his trip to Russia, he said, "I'm sorry."

The Bible makes it plain that there is a difference between being sorry and being repentant. Of course what has been missing all along from our President is true Bible repentance.

Please notice 2 Cor. 7:9-10, "Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death."

If President Clinton's sorrow was of a godly manner, he would go the next step and truly repent.

Repentance means: "A change of mind toward God that results in a change of action." You could be sorry about something and yet not truly repent. Please note that true repentance is always accompanied by a contrite or broken heart. We have not seen that in our President. In Ezek. 14:6, God commanded Israel to "Repent and turn yourselves from your idols." In Matt. 3:8, John the Baptist demanded "fruits meet for repentance" meaning "show the evidence of your repentance." In Matt. 21:29, a son rebelled at his father's command to go work in his vineyard, but "afterward, he repented and went." He could have been sorry and never gone, but after repentance, he went.

Look back at 2 Cor. 7:11 to see the results of godly sorrow that works repentance:

  • Carefulness = eager to do right, diligence.
  • Clearing = a plea, apology.
  • Indignation = greatly displeased, grief.
  • Fear = alarm, to be put in fright, afraid. (Gk. phobos).
  • Vehement desire = a longing for, intensely crave, to yearn.
  • Zeal = hear, ardor.
  • Revenge = vindication, retribution, (self) punishment.

President Clinton may be "sorry", but he has not truly repented as is evidenced by his stalling and personal attacks on others seeking the whole truth in this and other matters. Repentance is always preceded by acceptance of blame and willingness to get it right with others. True repentance will include getting right with others he has wronged over the years in similar situations. This he will never do. He is sorry (maybe), but there are no "fruits meet for repentance."

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