Early Church Fathers Quotes on Metanoia (Repentence) and New Creation
Since, therefore, having renewed us by the remission of our sins, He has made us after another pattern, [it is His purpose] that we should possess the souls of children, inasmuch as He has created us anew by His Spirit.
Having received the forgiveness of sins, and placed our trust in the name of the Lord, we have become new creatures, formed again from the beginning. Wherefore in our habitation God truly dwells in us. How? His word of faith; His calling of promise; the wisdom of the statutes; the commands of the doctrine; He himself prophesying in us; He himself dwelling in us; opening to us who were enslaved by death the doors of the temple, that is, the mouth; and by giving us repentance introduced us into the incorruptible temple. He then, who wishes to be saved, looks not to man, but to Him who dwells in him, and speaks in him, amazed at never having either heard him utter such words with his mouth, nor himself having ever desired to hear them. -ibid
Clement of Rome
Noah, being found faithful, preached a second birth to the world through his ministry; and the Lord saved by him the animals which, with one accord, entered into the ark.
(Written By Ignatius Facing Martyrdom) Him I seek, who died on our behalf; Him I desire, who rose again [for our sake]. The pangs of a new birth are upon me.
Letter to Diognetus
Come then, clear your mind of all its preconceived notions and cast aside the custom that deceives you, and become a new man, as it were, from the beginning, as if you were about to hear a new message.
As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Savior Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, Except you be born again, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Now, that it is impossible for those who have once been born to enter into their mothers’ wombs, is manifest to all. And how those who have sinned and repent shall escape their sins, is declared by Isaiah the prophet, as I wrote above; he thus speaks: “Wash you, make you clean…”
Since at our birth we were born without our own knowledge or choice, by our parents coming together, and were brought up in bad habits and wicked training; in order that we may not remain the children of necessity and of ignorance, but may become the children of choice and knowledge, and may obtain in the water the remission of sins formerly committed, there is pronounced over him who chooses to be born again, and has repented of his sins, the name of God the Father and Lord of the universe; he who leads to the laver the person that is to be washed calling him by this name alone. -ibid
And this washing is called illumination, because they who learn these things are illuminated in their understandings. -ibid
“And dipped himself,” says [the Scripture], “seven times in Jordan.” It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [it served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions; being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: “Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
Every soul, then, by reason of its birth, has its nature in Adam until it is born again in Christ; moreover, it is unclean all the while that it remains without this regeneration; and because unclean, it is actively sinful, and suffuses even the flesh (by reason of their conjunction) with its own shame.
“And the multitude of them that believed acted with one heart and one soul; neither was there any distinction among them, nor did they esteem anything their own of the goods which belonged to them, but they had all things common.” This is truly to become sons of God by spiritual birth; this is to imitate by the heavenly law the equity of God the Father.
“Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” He said that the children of God would thus become perfect. He showed that they were thus completed, and taught that they were restored by a heavenly birth, if the patience of God our Father dwell in us – if the divine likeness, which Adam had lost by sin, be manifested and shine in our actions. -ibid