“8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.”
9 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.
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” ( 2 corinthians 7 KJV)
In verse 8, it should be noted that the word ‘Repent’ in this verse is a different word from the Greek ‘metanoeo’ which is usually found,
which means ‘a change of mind’. This word is though is actually ‘metamelomai’, which means REGRET.
Then in verse 9 the word REPENT is the Greek word ‘metanoeo’ and it does mean a ‘change of mind’. We also see that sorrow and repentance are not the same.
Now here is what causes confusion over the meaning in verse 10. This verse uses 2 different Greek words for repentance, yet only translates them with the same English word.
The first word in Greek for REPENT it was penned is ‘metanoia’, meaning a ‘change of mind’. The second word for REPENT in the Greek it was written is ‘ametamelētos’, meaning ‘irrevocable.’ This is defined as ‘not able to be change.’
Verse 10 can equally be read as…
“10 For godly sorrow worketh a CHANGE OF MIND to salvation NOT TO BE ABLE TO BE CHANGED OF: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
Now we can see the true meaning of verse 10.
Many teach verse 10 is about going to Heaven by salvation, but that is not the context. It is Paul dealing with the saints at Corinth, a very bad example of a church; yet, they are addressed by Paul as already believers.
Believers in Christ do need to ‘change our minds’ (repent), not just unsaved people. We many times need to change how we think by the Word of God which leads to right living as God intends for us.
As Jesus prayed for us in John 17:
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17 KJV)