5 Characteristics of Insincere Repentance

5 Characteristics of Insincere Repentance
The Bible describes insincere repentance and gives us the examples of Cain, Joseph's brothers, and King Saul (Genesis 4:1-16; Genesis 50:15-17; 1 Samuel 15). 

People who insincerely repent: 

1. Are sorry for getting caught and suffering consequences, not sorry for their sin (Genesis 50:15-17). See I Doubt They Genuinely Repented and  Three Motives.

2. Believe they should get off easy (Genesis 4:13).(1) See Anatomy of An Insincere Repentance. 

3. Blame-shift, excuse or minimize their sin (Genesis 4:9; 1 Samuel 15:24). See Good Sins.

4. Demand forgiveness and/or preferential treatment despite their sin (1 Samuel 15:30). See: He Apologized for His Affair, But Didn’t Repent.

5. Think it's wrong for people to judge them even though Scripture commands it for their own good (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5:9-12).

(1) An article called Consequences of Forgiven Sin explains that God may give penalties for forgiven sin “(1) to demonstrate the exceeding evil of sin, (2) to show that God does not take sin lightly even when he lays aside his punishment [eternal consequences], (3) to humble and sanctify the forgiven sinner.”

Bible Study

5 Characteristics of Insincere Repentance
1. What truths can you list from this passage from 1 John? What do we lose when we fail to confess our sins?
1 John 1:5-10: This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

2. Note what motivated Joseph's brothers' apology.

Genesis 50:14-18: After burying Jacob, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to his father’s burial. 15 But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. “Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,” they said. 16 So they sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he instructed us 17 to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you—for their sin in treating you so cruelly.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.” When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept. 18 Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. “Look, we are your slaves!” they said.

If this message was actually from Jacob, why didn't Jacob mention it to Joseph before he died? It is highly unlikely that Jacob knew what the brothers had done to Joseph or he would have mentioned it when he gave his final blessing. He mentioned other sins his sons had committed (Genesis 49:4-7). 

In addition, if Jacob knew of his sons' guilt, he also knew how fairly Joseph had already treated them. He would have no reason to question Joseph's future handling of them. 

I believe the brothers were judging Joseph based on their own character and how they might handle such a situation.

Joseph's response in Genesis 50:19-21 is all the more incredible knowing his brothers were probably lying about their father's message.
copyright 2017, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

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