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

Confession or Christ? Confessions at 5 p.m.Confession is important to all Christians, since all we all sin. Confession (Greek word homologeō) is actually an agreement or acknowledgement with God that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). However some Christians believe that absolute confession is necessary for forgiveness by God to take place. We then have to keep confessing and keep checking to ensure that we are not stained by sin. And should Jesus come at that very instant, we must not “caught with our pants down”, forgetting to confess any particular sin or we will be deemed to swim in the river of fire. Is this a correct interpretation of 1 John 1:9?

The idea that we must confess our sins before forgiveness is accomplished comes from a statement made in the first epistle of John. In reading the verse out of context, it seems to indicate that forgiveness and cleansing from sin results from confession of those sins. However, the verse does not say what will happen if we don’t confess our sins. It is important to read the verse in the context of the passage. Here is the verse in the context of the two preceding verses:

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. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:7-9

So, in context, we see that the blood of Jesus Christ is responsible for cleansing us from sin. So, the means by which we are cleansed is not dependent upon our actions (e.g., confession), but based upon what Jesus Christ has already done for us. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe… ,through faith in his blood. Romans 3:22, 25

Confession or Christ? I Confess

So, if we are forgiven by the blood of Jesus, then why should we bother to confess our sin? James tells us that confession is not done for forgiveness, but for our own good – for our healing from the effects of sin:  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16      So, confession heals us from our rebellion and back into a close relationship with God.

Forgiveness and cleansing from sin is not dependent upon what we have done or whether or not we deserve it, but upon the completed work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. However, this forgiveness is not automatic, but requires belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior. Confession is important for the Christian, since it helps to heal us from the effects of sin and restores our relationship with God. In Christ, there is no condemnation, period.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

Confession or Christ? Confession

There is nothing that can separate us from the love of Father God, not even unconfessed sins. While unconfessed sins will hinder and hamper our relationship with God, it will not default our sonship and standing, for us who already accepted His grace.

This is because Jesus with His finished work on the cross has done it all! Totally and completely; past-present-future. Our relationship with the Father is based solely on the work of His Son, not dependable on our ability to confession of our sins.

Confession or Christ? Confession on Good Friday

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:14-16

We cannot live our lives checking repeatingly for any sin we may commit, knowingly or unknowingly. To do that, we will be living in defeat and slavery to the fear that we may unwittingly default our salvation should we forgot to confess any sins. Our best abilities are like shifting sands and can never be enough; our spiritual life will be like a yo-yo going up and down, in and out of grace should it be used as a qualification.

Instead we should live in victory knowing that the work of Christ on the cross has done it all and our standing with Father God is not dependable on ourselves but rather on the perfection of our lovely Savior, the solid unmovable Rock, Jesus Christ.


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