If We Confess Our Sins
If We Confess Our Sins
Sunday, January 13, 2008
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
1. Last week we saw that the fall lied to us in the matter of sin. It lied about its cost, its power, its payment required and most of all it lied about its very own existence.
2. This is the second false teaching in which John denies - that sin has been eradicated in the true believers. It is the claim that we are “without sin” (v. 8).
3. In itself this statement can have more than one meaning. (1) It can mean that there is no such thing as sin and that, therefore, no one is a sinner. (2) It can mean that the particular individuals who make the claim have no sin and have never had it, that they are a unique and privileged people. (3) Or, finally, it can mean that they do not have sin now.
4. The first false teaching was that it is possible to have fellowship with God and still continue sinning. In this second claim there is the additional error that the individual through enlightenment or spiritual growth, has ceased to sin at all.
5. If a person believes himself not to sin, he therefore excuses his sinful deeds and does not bring them to God for confession and cleansing. But this is what is needed by every Christian. Instead of denying that we sin, we are to admit and confess the sin. Only then can God truly cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
6. If we confess (Ean Homologomen - Lit “If we keep on confessing.”) The “if” (Ean) here in the original is a third class conditional and probably means “If and we probably will because the Holy Spirit will convict us and demand repentance if we are a believer.”
7. Confess (Homologeo) - Two words in the original Lego means to say, to speak. Homou means the same. Thus Confess - to say the same thing. So, if we say the same thing back to God as He as said in His word about sin then we are truly confessing.
8. Cleanse (Kartharizo) - To make clean, to free from defilement of sin and from faults, to purify from wickedness, to free from guilt of sin. This word cleanse also denotes the cleansing - one at a time - of known sins.
9. John says that if we confess our sin, God is faithful and just in forgiving it. But why does John use these two particular words? In what sense is God faithful? In what sense is he just?
10. Here we must understand the doctrine of the atonement and its clear accomplishment. To understand the word “faithful” we must understand that God has promised to forgive sin when it is confessed to him.
11. Thus, Isaiah wrote of God’s promise: ““Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” (Isa. 1:18). Through Jeremiah God declared, “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Jer. 31:34). Clearly, if God had spoken such promises and then had refused to forgive sin, he would have been unfaithful. But he is not. He is faithful to forgive in that he has promised to do so and does do so.
12. The answer to the question of the justice of God in forgiving sins is found in Romans 3:20–28, where Paul explains how it is that God is both the “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (v. 26).
“For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it-the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.” (Romans 3:20-28)
13. It is possible, he says, through Christ, who, being God and therefore having no sin of his own, was able to and did die for us. God punished our sin in Christ. Jesus became the “propitiation” for our sins, meaning that by him God’s just wrath against our sin was satisfied.
14. The doctrine of sanctification is amplified here in this passage of 1 John 1:9. Sanctification is the New Testament term for the process where the very principle and activity of sin within us is being worked out of us and removed a little at a time as we grow in grace and truth. However, we will never be entirely “sin free” until we see our Lord Jesus face to face.
15. God has set His plan in motion and it will be accomplished. Part of His plan is for His children is to examine themselves daily and confess. God will not forgive anything that is not confessed and anything that is not confessed will rob the believer of the sweet fellowship with our Father.
16. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Will you confess your sins today and be cleansed?
GracePointe Baptist Church
2209 N Post Road
Oklahoma City, OK 73141
Phone: (405) 769-5050