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Greek Word Study on μετανοέω, metanoeo, 'to repent'
Greek Word Study on μετάνοια, metanoia, 'repentance'

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Introduction 4.14

This is a bible study showing that righteousness comes after chastisement, after baptism, and after we forgive others. This section is for those people who believe that past sins are automatically forgiven when we become believers in Jesus Christ, or those others who believe that sins are removed from our heart when we are water baptized. If the devil can deceive us into believing either of these errors, then he will be able to prevent us from seeking for the cleansing that is so necessary to enable us to overcome sin in our own lives. He will also be able to keep us from being healed sometimes, deceive us in other areas, and keep us living without the manifestation of the real spiritual power of God in our lives. The fact that forgiveness of all sins is a PROMISE has already been shown (See #2), and all promises can be asked for and received by faith when we believe in Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20; Matthew 7:7-11; Mark 11:23-24). This does not mean that they are immediately manifested.

#4.14 Righteousness Comes After Chastisement, Not Before

HEBREWS 12:6-8 (Paul)
6 For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives.
7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father does not chasten?
8 But if you are without chastisement, of which all are partakers, then are you illegitimate, and not sons.

HEBREWS 12:11 (Paul)
11 Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who are exercised by it.

Note: These verses make it clear that every Christian endures chastisement, "of which all are partakers" (Hebrews 12:8), and there are no exceptions. If we do not endure chastisement then we cannot claim to be saved, because the rod of God does not come on the wicked (Job 21:7-9), and Paul said, "you are illegitimate, and not sons" (Hebrews 12:8). So why are we chastised then? One reason is that, "afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who are exercised by it" (Hebrews 12:11). This shows that we are not righteous when we first believe, but rather God is judging our sinful state, and "we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world" (1 Corinthians 11:32). After we first believe, our righteousness needs to be manifested, and chastisement is necessary to do this, because "A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer" (Proverbs 29:19). Chastisement causes us to learn God's word (Psalm 94:12; 119:71), and when the word enters our heart, and we obey it from the heart, our righteousness is manifested (Psalm 37:30-31; Isaiah 51:7; Deuteronomy 6:25; Isaiah 48:18; Ezekiel 18:5-9; Romans 2:8; 6:16-18). Salvation by faith may be a short experience for those who die soon after they believe (Luke 23:40-43), but others have to work it out: "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12). Repentance is not only a work, "For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation" (2 Corinthians 7:10), but also a painful process, and chastisement is one method that God uses to ensure that we do it properly. Those who do not conform their lives to become obedient to God's word don't have a living faith anyway, because "faith without works is dead" (James 2:17; 2:20; 2:26), and faith and obedience are inseparable.

#4.16 Baptism Is Required To Fulfil All Righteousness

MATTHEW 3:13-15
13 Then comes Jesus from Galilee to Jordan to John, to be baptized of him.
14 And John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of you, and do you come to me?
15 And Jesus answering said to him, Permit it to be so now: for thus it is necessary for us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he permitted him.

Note: Jesus said, "I am the way" (John 14:6), "follow me" (Matthew 4:19; 8:22; 9:9; 19:21), showing us the way to eternal life. He didn't need the baptism of repentance for himself, because he never sinned (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15;  1 Peter 2:22), but rather showed us that baptism is required for us to become totally righteous. Clearly none of us get baptized before we believe, and many professing Christians delay water baptism, or never get baptized at all. If Therefore, baptism is required to "fulfill all righteousness." (Matthew 3:15), how is it possible for righteousness to be fully manifested when we first believe?

#4.18 We Must Forgive Before We Are Forgiven

MATTHEW 6:14-15 (Jesus)
14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

MARK 11:25-26 (Jesus)
25 And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any; that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Note: Forgiving others is a condition to obtain forgiveness ourselves, and if we do not forgive, then we will not be forgiven. How impossible is it then for sins to be all automatically forgiven when we first believe? Did every one of us immediately start to remember all things that people had done against us in the past, and forgive them? Can we even now remember all the people that have been offended by us? Only one case of a Christian holding unforgiveness in their heart past the point of believing, proves that sins cannot be automatically forgiven when we first believe. Only one case of a Christian holding unforgiveness in their heart past the point of water baptism, proves that sins cannot be automatically forgiven when we are baptized in water.

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