2 Cor.7:10, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
The apostle speaks of two kinds of sorrow: one which caused repentance unto salvation, the other unto death. What is true repentance?
First of all, it is a change in opinion respecting the nature of sin. This change of opinion must be followed by a change of feelings toward sin. Feelings are always the result of thought.
When our thoughts of sin are such that they produce a corresponding feeling; and if the opinion is right and the feeling corresponds, this is true repentance. Godly sorrow, such as God requires, must spring from such views of sin as God holds about sin.
First, there must be a change of opinion in regard to sin. To that person who truly, honestly repents, sin looks very different than it does to one who has not repented. When that opinion changes, and you regard sin differently from God, then you are dead or you are dying. To the repentant heart, sin is a very odious and distasteful thing. But if there is still desire to sin, and if it could end in happiness, you would never think of forsaking it. These people have not repented.
There is a difference between being convicted of sin and repenting of sin. There is a world of difference; and the difference is being saved and being lost.
I was born again in 1949 in a little Pentecostal church in Alice, Texas. That night the man of God preached. I had never heard the Gospel before, but I believed it.
Only two of us were saved that night; myself—I was twenty-seven years old—and a lad who was seven. We knelt together at that altar. That lad did not know what sin was; I knew nothing but sin. But when we arose, I was as clean as the lad because the blood of Jesus Christ cleansed me from twenty-seven years of sin. I was justified, which means it was as if I had never sinned.