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The Pilgrims Progress discuss Morbid self-accusation or repentance? in the The Christian Walk forums; Could someone please define the distinction between morbid-accusation (relates to melancholy, or insanity), and loathing of self, in terms of repentance. *Is the one out ...

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    Morbid self-accusation or repentance?

    Could someone please define the distinction between morbid-accusation (relates to melancholy, or insanity), and loathing of self, in terms of repentance. *Is the one out of intellectual understanding and a fear of legal demands, and the other out of heart felt sincerity? Or can they both be heartfelt (by way of Christs love)? One is not of grace, the other is, I understand this much. Repentance is a sense of shame, and a longing to avoid sin, all wrought by a sense of divine love. I*need some clarification where you would draw the line between the two. In everything we do, we all have shortcomings, but I'm wondering if a true believers life can be tainted with a tad of this so called "morbid-accusation" which might also be called religious OCD. Is genuine repentance simply a disgust of sin without unhealthy repetition (which I assume is something different..)? What would you even define as healthy, and unhealthy?! I tend to take the things I read quite literally (Aspergers), and was hoping you guys could shed some light on the subject. Thanks,

    Nate *
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    2 Corinthians 7: 8 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. 9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
    True repentance leads to refreshment, joy and renewed determination to walk in obedience. False repentance, or remorse, leads to inward naval gazing and away from hope in Christ.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbcbob View Post
    2 Corinthians 7: 8 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. 9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
    True repentance leads to refreshment, joy and renewed determination to walk in obedience. False repentance, or remorse, leads to inward naval gazing and away from hope in Christ.
    Very well said! Exactly the passage I was thinking of, with insightful commentary.
    Jack K.
    PCA, worshiping with some fine Baptists in Colorado
    Gospel Teacher website
    Show Them Jesus: Teaching the Gospel to Kids
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    Joshua is offline. _
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    A profitable and comforting word from the venerable William Gurnall speaking just to this matter:

    II. SATAN EXAGGERATES THE SAINTS’ SINS
    His [the devil's] aim is to discredit not the sins but the saints. Here his chief tactic is to deliver his accusations as if they are an act of the Holy Spirit. He knows a charge from God’s cannon wounds deeply; therefore, when he accuses a conscientious Christian, he forges God’s name on the missile before he fires it. Suppose a child were conscious of gravely displeasing his father, and some spiteful person, to harass him, wrote and sent him a counterfeit letter full of harsh and threatening accusations, copying the father’s name at the bottom. The poor child, already painfully aware of his sins and not knowing the scheme, would be overcome with grief. Here is real heartache stemming from a false premise – just the kind of thing Satan relishes.

    Satan is a clever investigator. He closely observes the relationship between you and God. Sooner or later he will catch you tardy in some duty or faulty in a service. He knows you are conscious of your shortcomings and that the Spirit of God will also show distaste for them. So he draws up a lengthy indictment, raking up all the aggravations he can think of, then serves this warrant on you as though sent from God. This is how Job’s friends reacted to his trouble. They gathered up all the evidence of his infirmities to use against him, implying thy had been sent by God to declare him a hypocrite and denounce him for it.

    While Satan is a master inquisitor, we know that not all our rebukes come from him. God’s Word clearly states that ‘Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth’ (Heb 12:6). How, then, can we discern the spiteful accusations of Satan from the loving reprimands of God and His Spirit?

    Try this test: If such rebukes contradict any prior work of the Spirit in your soul, they are Satan’s and not the Spirit’s. Satan’s purpose in emphasizing your sin is to try to unsaint you and persuade you that you are only a hypocrite. ‘Oh,’ hisses Satan, ‘now you have shown your true colors! See that horrid stain on your jacket – what other saint ever commited such a sin! Your whole life is a sham! God wants nothing to do with such a desperately wicked person as you.’

    And with a single blow Satan dashes all in pieces. The whole mansion of grace which God has been building many years in our soul and all the special conmforts the Holy Spirit has brought are blown down by one gust from his malicious mouth. He leaves your life a shambles, and tells you it is your own fault.

    Do not despair. Pacify your fears with this precious truth: Once the Spirit of God has begun a sanctifying work, causing you to hope in His mercy, He never will nor can bring contrary news to your soul. His language is not ‘yea and nay’, but ‘yea and amen’ for ever. If you play the prodigal, God will frown and chide you roundly for your sin, as He did David through Nathan: ‘Thou are the man!’ (2 Samuel. 12:7). Yet not a word is heard from Nathan telling David to unsaint himself and call in question the work of God in his soul. That prophet had no such commission form the Lord. He was sent to make David mourn for his sin – not from his sin to question his state of grace, which God had so often put beyond doubt.

    Besides planting seeds of doubt about the sanctifying work of the Spirit, Satan often sends rebukes of the conscience that deny the riches of God’s grace. When you find your sins represented to you as exceeding either the mercy of God’s nature or the grace of His covenant, this comes from a jealous suitor, the devil. The Holy Spirit, as Christ’s intermediary, woos sinners to embrace the grace of the gospel. Would He say anything that would spoil the courtship or lower Christ’s esteem in the eyes of His beloved? Surely you must know where such lies orginate! When you hear someone compliment another person as wise or good, then at last come in with a but that dashes all, you know he is no friend but some sly enemy who, by seeming to commend the person, really desires to discredit him. And so, when you find God represented to you as merciful and gracious, but not to such a great sinner as you; strong and mighty, but not able to save someone like you, you can say, ‘Be gone, Satan, your speech betrays you. This is not a message sent to me by the Lover of my soul!’
    Josh
    CCRPC, RPCGA
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    [QUOTE=rbcbob;812246]
    2 Corinthians 7: 8 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. 9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
    hmmm, I did not know that was in there. God couldn't have said it better.

    ---------- Post added at 02:17 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:09 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua View Post
    A profitable and comforting word from the venerable William Gurnall speaking just to this matter:

    II. SATAN EXAGGERATES THE SAINTS’ SINS
    His [the devil's] aim is to discredit not the sins but the saints. Here his chief tactic is to deliver his accusations as if they are an act of the Holy Spirit. He knows a charge from God’s cannon wounds deeply; therefore, when he accuses a conscientious Christian, he forges God’s name on the missile before he fires it. Suppose a child were conscious of gravely displeasing his father, and some spiteful person, to harass him, wrote and sent him a counterfeit letter full of harsh and threatening accusations, copying the father’s name at the bottom. The poor child, already painfully aware of his sins and not knowing the scheme, would be overcome with grief. Here is real heartache stemming from a false premise – just the kind of thing Satan relishes.

    Satan is a clever investigator. He closely observes the relationship between you and God. Sooner or later he will catch you tardy in some duty or faulty in a service. He knows you are conscious of your shortcomings and that the Spirit of God will also show distaste for them. So he draws up a lengthy indictment, raking up all the aggravations he can think of, then serves this warrant on you as though sent from God. This is how Job’s friends reacted to his trouble. They gathered up all the evidence of his infirmities to use against him, implying thy had been sent by God to declare him a hypocrite and denounce him for it.

    While Satan is a master inquisitor, we know that not all our rebukes come from him. God’s Word clearly states that ‘Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth’ (Heb 12:6). How, then, can we discern the spiteful accusations of Satan from the loving reprimands of God and His Spirit?

    Try this test: If such rebukes contradict any prior work of the Spirit in your soul, they are Satan’s and not the Spirit’s. Satan’s purpose in emphasizing your sin is to try to unsaint you and persuade you that you are only a hypocrite. ‘Oh,’ hisses Satan, ‘now you have shown your true colors! See that horrid stain on your jacket – what other saint ever commited such a sin! Your whole life is a sham! God wants nothing to do with such a desperately wicked person as you.’

    And with a single blow Satan dashes all in pieces. The whole mansion of grace which God has been building many years in our soul and all the special conmforts the Holy Spirit has brought are blown down by one gust from his malicious mouth. He leaves your life a shambles, and tells you it is your own fault.

    Do not despair. Pacify your fears with this precious truth: Once the Spirit of God has begun a sanctifying work, causing you to hope in His mercy, He never will nor can bring contrary news to your soul. His language is not ‘yea and nay’, but ‘yea and amen’ for ever. If you play the prodigal, God will frown and chide you roundly for your sin, as He did David through Nathan: ‘Thou are the man!’ (2 Samuel. 12:7). Yet not a word is heard from Nathan telling David to unsaint himself and call in question the work of God in his soul. That prophet had no such commission form the Lord. He was sent to make David mourn for his sin – not from his sin to question his state of grace, which God had so often put beyond doubt.

    Besides planting seeds of doubt about the sanctifying work of the Spirit, Satan often sends rebukes of the conscience that deny the riches of God’s grace. When you find your sins represented to you as exceeding either the mercy of God’s nature or the grace of His covenant, this comes from a jealous suitor, the devil. The Holy Spirit, as Christ’s intermediary, woos sinners to embrace the grace of the gospel. Would He say anything that would spoil the courtship or lower Christ’s esteem in the eyes of His beloved? Surely you must know where such lies orginate! When you hear someone compliment another person as wise or good, then at last come in with a but that dashes all, you know he is no friend but some sly enemy who, by seeming to commend the person, really desires to discredit him. And so, when you find God represented to you as merciful and gracious, but not to such a great sinner as you; strong and mighty, but not able to save someone like you, you can say, ‘Be gone, Satan, your speech betrays you. This is not a message sent to me by the Lover of my soul!’
    That was very encouraging and helpful. Thank you brother!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cifrado View Post
    That [Excerpt from Gurnall's The Christian in Complete Armour] was very encouraging and helpful. Thank you brother!
    My pleasure, Friend.
    Josh
    CCRPC, RPCGA

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    To the extent that you still cling to the view of the law as a Covenant of Works rather than a Rule of Life, now that you are in Christ, your repentance for sin will be afflicted with morbid self-accusation, which Satan can make use of.

    If you are in Christ you are set free from the law as a Covenant of Works.

    See Romans 6 and the relevant sermons on it by Sinclair Ferguson:-

    Sinclair Ferguson's 80-part Audio Series on the Book of Romans

    But repentance and turning from sin can be a painful and difficult process at the best of times. See Psalm 51.

    But the one that is in Christ has moved from purely legal repentance - when he tried to get right with God before he had saving faith - to an imperfect but evangelical repentance, which is saving faith's attitude to sins committed before or after regeneration.

    Being imperfect but real faith and repentance it may have legal nuggets mixed in with it.
    Richard Tallach
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cifrado View Post
    Could someone please define the distinction between morbid-accusation (relates to melancholy, or insanity), and loathing of self, in terms of repentance. *Is the one out of intellectual understanding and a fear of legal demands, and the other out of heart felt sincerity? Or can they both be heartfelt (by way of Christs love)? One is not of grace, the other is, I understand this much. Repentance is a sense of shame, and a longing to avoid sin, all wrought by a sense of divine love. I*need some clarification where you would draw the line between the two. In everything we do, we all have shortcomings, but I'm wondering if a true believers life can be tainted with a tad of this so called "morbid-accusation" which might also be called religious OCD. Is genuine repentance simply a disgust of sin without unhealthy repetition (which I assume is something different..)? What would you even define as healthy, and unhealthy?! I tend to take the things I read quite literally (Aspergers), and was hoping you guys could shed some light on the subject. Thanks,

    Nate *
    Morbid self-accusation is a form of pride. You're preoccupied with yourself and not the gospel. You are basically trying to earn acceptance with God through beating yourself up like a monk. It's a form of self-righteousness. God says you are forgiven, but you say "no, not yet, let me beat myself up a little more." True sorrow for sin leads to hope because you know you have a Savior who was punished for you and a Father who loves you.
    Patrick
    MDiv, RTS Jackson
    Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church (OPC), Lisbon, NY

    "He does well, that discourses of Christ; but he does infinitely better, that by experimental knowledge, feeds and lives on Christ." Thomas Brooks.
    "Let us not please ourselves that we have deep understandings, but let us shew our understandings by our practice." Richard Sibbes
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    paculina is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Morbid self-accusation is a form of pride. You're preoccupied with yourself and not the gospel. You are basically trying to earn acceptance with God through beating yourself up like a monk. It's a form of self-righteousness. God says you are forgiven, but you say "no, not yet, let me beat myself up a little more." True sorrow for sin leads to hope because you know you have a Savior who was punished for you and a Father who loves you.
    Amen. Well said.
    Laurel
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    Los Angeles, CA

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    This may be seen as morbid self accusation but it is reality that is who we are, wretched sinners. This reality is what brings us into continual repentance where we soberly see ourselves as in and of ourselves sinful, and in need of God.

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    [QUOTE=Cifrado;812422][QUOTE=rbcbob;812246]
    2 Corinthians 7: 8 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. 9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
    hmmm, I did not know that was in there. God couldn't have said it better.
    I assume that was written 'tongue in cheek'.
    [FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=2][COLOR=black]Ivan Schoen ~ [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=2][COLOR=black]The Church in [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=2][COLOR=black]Poplar Grove, IL[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
    [SIZE=2][FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black]=================================[/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]
    [LEFT][SIZE=2][FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black][SIZE=2][FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black]"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives." ~ Henry David Thoreau[/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE][SIZE=2][FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black][/LEFT]
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    I think he just meant it like God couldn't have said it any better than He already had in that passage.
    Josh
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    I think that when it comes to distinguishing between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow, it's essential to consider what exactly motivates the mind of a repentant person to incline its will to utter subjection to the Lord. Here's what I've come up with:

    Wrong motivations:
    (1) I don't want to go to hell because the idea of eternal pain sounds horrifying!
    (2) I want to go to heaven because there I don't have to worry about consequences!

    Right motivations:
    (1) I don't want to go to hell because the idea of being separated from God's loving relationship sounds horrifying!
    (2) I want to go to heaven because I want to be with a holy, loving and righteous God and submit myself to His eternal praise!

    I sincerely believe that those people, who only desire God's gifts and not the Giver Himself, don't know God for who He is according to the Scriptures because God in definition is the greatest gift, since He's the source of all grace. In other words, the greatest gift God can give you is the full revelation of Himself. Sadly, many people, in their spiritual blindness, don't realize this glorious truth about God, and therefore embrace God's gifts over God Himself.
    Samuel
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    "To doubt God's mercy because our faith is feeble, is rather to rely upon our faith than upon the Lord. It is not the excellency and great measure of faith that makes us righteous before God, but Christ whom faith does receive and apprehend: which a weak faith can do as well as the strongest." ~John Ball (Puritan)

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