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

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Introduction 4.20

This bible study shows that believers in Jesus need to cleanse themselves, purify themselves, and be doers of god's word to become righteous. 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.

#4.20 Believers Need To Cleanse Themselves

2 CORINTHIANS 7:1 (Paul)
1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Note: Were the Corinthians righteous? No! He told them, "Awake to righteousness, and do not sin" (1 Corinthians 15:34), and yet they were water baptized (1 Corinthians 1:12-17), filled with the spirit (1 Corinthians 1:5-7), and Paul instructed them how to operate in the spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14). How then can sin be gone from our heart when we first believe, or get baptized? After all his instruction in his first epistle, many of the Corinthians repented (2 Corinthians 7:8-11). They need not have done this if they were righteous, because a righteous man does not need to repent:

(Luke 5:32) "I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
(Luke 15:7) "I say to you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner who repents, more than over ninety and nine just (righteous) persons, who need no repentance."

Even after this some of them still needed to repent:

(2 Corinthians 12:21) "I shall bewail many who have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed."

The fact that "cleanse" refers to the removal of sin (2 Corinthians 7:1) is made clear by other scriptures;

(Psalm 51:2) "cleanse me from my sin."
(James 4:8) "Cleanse your hands, you sinners;"
(1 John 1:7) "the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin."
(1 John 1:9) "he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

The last part of this last scripture is equivalent to: "cleanse us from all sin" (1 John 1:9), because "All unrighteousness is sin" (1 John 5:17). If the word "flesh" (2 Corinthians 7:1) refers to the physical flesh, then it refers to the cleansing from some disease, such as leprosy:

(Matthew 10:8) "cleanse the lepers,"
(Matthew 8:3) "And immediately his leprosy was cleansed."

but if it refers to the spiritual flesh (Romans 7:18; Galatians 5:24; Colossians 2:11), then it refers to the cleansing from sin also:

(Galatians 5:19-21) "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness.
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envying, murders, drunkenness, reveling, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

These scriptures show that many in the Corinthian church were not righteous, and needed to repent of sin.

#4.22 Believers Need To Purify Themselves

1 JOHN 3:2-3
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.

Note: This 'hope' (v3), is that of being like Jesus when he returns, and if we did not believe in Jesus, then we could not believe that he is coming again, and we would not have "This hope". As only believers can have this hope, what does "every man who has this hope" purify himself from? The word of God declares that we are purified from sin (Psalm 51:9-10; Proverbs 20:9), but as John said "every man that has this hope in him purifies himself" (v3), how can our sins be forgiven when we first believe? Those who profess that water baptism washes away sins cannot have this hope until they have been water baptized, so the same reasoning applies to them. As John said, "every man who has this hope in him purifies himself" (v3), how can our sins be forgiven when we are baptized in water?

#4.24 Doers Of God's Word Are Justified, Not Hearers

EZEKIEL 18:5-9
5 But if a man is just (righteous), and does that which is lawful and right,
6 And has not eaten on the mountains, nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, nor defiled his neighbor's wife, nor come near to a menstrous woman,
7 And has not oppressed any, but has restored to the debtor his pledge, has spoiled none by violence, has given his bread to the hungry, has covered the naked with a garment:
8 He who has not given out for interest, neither has taken any increase, who has withdrawn his hand from iniquity, has executed true judgment between man and man,
9 Has walked in my statutes, and has kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is righteous, he shall surely live, says the Lord God.

ROMANS 2:13 (Paul)
13 For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

JAMES 1:22-25
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any is a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like a man seeing his natural face in a mirror:
24 For he sees himself, and goes his way, and immediately forgets what manner of man he was.
25 But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues in it, not being a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

1 JOHN 3:7
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he who does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

Note: Under the law of Moses, as the Jews were, a man had to be a doer of the law to be counted as justified (Deuteronomy 6:25; Ezekiel 18:5-9), but under the new covenant, under grace, we are still "under the law to Christ" (1 Corinthians 9:21), and we still need to be doers of the word of God, and fulfill the law to be justified (Romans 2:13; 8:4). When we first believe, we are not doers, but hearers, so how can we be justified when we first believe? In order to be a doer, we first have to get the word in our heart. Then we need to obey it from the heart, to set us free from sin and make us righteous (Romans 6:17-18), and purify our soul (1 Peter 1:22). Some people who become believers also get baptized on the same day (Acts 10:47; 16:33), so by the same reasoning they cannot be justified when they get baptized in water either. If we hear the word, but don't do it, and think that we are justified, then we are deceiving ourselves (James 1:22).

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