“Remorse for Sin”
There is a scarlet thread of redemption that runs through the scriptures. From Genesis to Revelation we can see God’s plan unfold before us. This plan for mankind was necessary “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). However, the world wants to focus on the scheme of redemption without acknowledging why it is needed. They focus on the cross without recognizing what was accomplished in Christ’s sacrifice. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). In a way, sin killed the Son of God. The inspired apostle also wrote, “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin the flesh” (Romans 8:3). If there was no problem of sin, there would be no need to fix the problem by sending Jesus.
The failure to recognize the necessity of Jesus’ sacrifice leads to an improper response to sin. Instead of acknowledging the putrid nature of sin the world tends to call evil good, and good evil (cf. Isaiah 5:20). Seldom do people feel remorse for doing good. When sin is given a positive label, or perhaps a less severe label, the response to sin changes. Instead of being full of remorse, an individual in sin is unaffected. This should not be so.
In addition to failing to properly label sin some fail to recognize remorse for sin is proper. Society has influenced even some in the church by protecting wrong doers from the feeling of remorse, and regret. Instead of shaming those who practice sinful activities they praise them for doing what makes them happy. This is done in an effort to protect their feelings. Parents have ceased punishing their kids for disobedience because they do not want to make them feel bad about themselves. However, God revealed unto us, “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it”(Hebrews 12:11). Wrongdoing isn’t supposed to make us feel good! Discipline and punishment are not meant to produce joy in the present, but joy in the end when we are rewarded for our faithfulness. Repentance is necessary to please God, and it comes with remorse for sin!
David wrote, “For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me…Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:3, 5). He not only owned up to his transgression, but had the proper attitude toward it – sorrow! Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while” (2 Corinthians 7:8). Paul certainly wished he did not need to write the letter, but they had sinned and it was necessary. They needed to be filled with sorrow for what they had committed, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted” (7:10). The first gospel sermon is not recorded with Peter telling the Jews, “What you did was wrong, but I do not want you to feel bad about it.” On the contrary, He said, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). This caused remorse for their transgression, for “they were cut to the heart” (2:37).
There is a reason we feel bad when we do bad things. God designed us that way. We should not cover up our sorrow for sin. Rather, we should mend our severed tie with God by being filled with godly sorrow, repenting of our sin, and turning to Him!