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to live in your midst. Otherwise you also share in his sin. 10 This is why you have been ordered to remain by yourselves, whether a hus­ band or wife; for repentance is possible in such cases. 11 And so,” he said, “I am not giving an occasion for matters to turn out this way; I am saying that the sinner should sin no more. But with respect to his for­ mer sin, there is one who can provide healing. For he has the authority over all things.” (IV, 2) I asked him again, “Since the Lord has considered me worthy to have you live with me always, bear with me for a few more words, since I understand nothing and my heart has been hardened because of my former ac­ tions. Give me insight, for I am extremely senseless and comprehend nothing at all.” 2 He answered me, “I am in charge of repentance,” he said, “and I give under­ standing to all those who repent. Or do you not realize,” he said, “that repentance is itself a form of understanding? Repen­ tance,” he said, “is indeed a great under­ standing. For the one who sins under­ stands that he has done something evil before the Lord, and what he has done rises up in his heart; then he repents and no longer does what is evil, but lavishly does what is good; and he humbles and torments himself, because he has sinned. So you see that repentance is a great understanding.” 3 I replied, “This is why, Lord, I am carefully inquiring about everything from you—chiefly because I am a sinner, and I need to know what sorts of things I must do to live; for my sins are many and various.” 4 “You will live,” he said, “if you guard my commandments and proceed in them. And whoever guards these command­



ments, once he has heard them, will live to God.” (IV, 3) “I still have some things to ask, Lord,” I said. “Go ahead,” he replied. “I have heard from some teach­ ers, Lord,” I said, “that there is no repen­ tance apart from the one that came when we descended into the water and received forgiveness for the sins we formerly committed.” 2 He said to me, “You have heard well, for that is so. For the one who has re­ ceived forgiveness of sins must sin no more, but live in holiness. 3 And since you are carefully inquir­ ing about all things, I will show this to you as well—not, however, to give an occasion for those who are about to be­ lieve in the Lord or who have already come to believe. For those who now be­ lieve or who are about to believe have no further repentance for their sins, but have received forgiveness for the sins they pre­ viously committed. 4 And so the Lord has given those who were called before these days an oppor­ tunity to repent. For the Lord knows the heart, and knowing all things in advance he recognized the weakness of humans and the intricate plots of the devil—that he will do some harm to the slaves of God and will reek havoc among them. 5 And so, since the Lord is full of compassion, he had mercy on his creation and provided this opportunity to repent; and the authority for this repentance was given to me. 6 But this also I say to you,” he said: “whoever is tempted by the devil and sins after that great and reverend calling has one repentance. But if he should sin and repent repeatedly it is of no benefit to him. For he will find it difficult to live.” 7 I said to him, “I have been made alive by hearing these things from you so ac­


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