The Promise of Forgiveness
Daily Reading: (1 John 1,7,9, 2:12):
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from allsin.”
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
“I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.”
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). This does not sound like good news to me at all because it sounds conditional. It sounds like there are some things we must do in order to receive forgiveness.
I don’t think confess means what you think it means.” If confession (meaning our ability to list off all of our sins) was needed for forgiveness this would mean that salvation is upheld by us and our sin confessing abilities, but confess means something entirely different (1 John 1:9).
“The problem with a confess your sins in order that you might be forgiven theology is it makes us sin-conscious. Did I confess enough? Life transformation happens as you change from being sin-conscious to focused on our righteousness that Christ gave us, that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 5:21). The way you relate to God because of the cross will change. God remembers my sins no more and that’s a fact, jack.
Confession is not a bringing to our mind and reciting to God our wrong doings. Why would we try to remind God of the very things God says He remembers no more?
“If we confess our sins,
“Confess”/Homologeō: to say the same thing as another, to agree with (God).
So we are to agree with God about our sins and if we do forgiveness is ours. So, what exactly are we to agree with God about our sins on? Did you know John already told us the answer two verses earlier- that is why you got to read it in it’s context. Context is king.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
In 1 John 1:9 the word confess (homologeō)- in the Greek remember it means agreeing with (what God has said). Confess does not mean review your sins. The condition for forgiveness is faith in Jesus’ death on a cross to atone for it. Forgiveness is based on Jesus’ work, not ours. If you agree that the blood of Jesus purifies you from all sin than the conclusion of 1 John 1:9 is yours, “He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
If you are struggling with how good God’s grace is to you, in the very same letter in the next chapter you’ve got to see this: John will write– 1 John 2:12 – “I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name” (1 John 2:12). Did you notice something is missing? There is no mention of confessing needed. For believers in Jesus, our sins have been, not might be or could be, but it is a done deal. We are forgiven because of one thing, on account of Jesus.
When you go back to 1 John 1:9 armed with the correct definition of the word confess means everything else makes sense. When we agree with what God says (that your sins have been forgiven on account of his name—[1 John 2:12] He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. The condition for forgiveness is satisfied with Jesus.
You might have noticed a footnote in your Bible inserted for 1 John 1:9 Which says Psalm 32:5 because John is referencing the Old Testament which says:
“I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” and you “forgave the guilt of my sins.” John quotes this Old Testament verse (Psalm 32:5) to show us that we will not receive the blessing of forgiveness except through faith in the Son of God.