1 John 1:9 – If we confess (acknowledge) our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Children (spiritual babes) sin all the time and if you read the context of 1 John, John actually talked to them in our theme verse, not to all Christians. He gave different messages to the “young men” and “the fathers”. To the Fathers (spiritually mature), he said, “WHOSOEVER is born of God DOTH NOT commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and HE CANNOT SIN, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9).
This is awesome, the reason you cannot and do not sin is because of His incorruptible seed (Word – Luke 8:11) that gave birth to you (1 Peter 1:23; John 1:12-13); not because of your good deeds. In other words, you have become His very Word; no amount of sin can pollute you anymore. No wonder Paul said, “Ye are OUR EPISTLES written in our hearts, known and READ of all men” (2 Corinthians 3:2). Truth is, we are living in a world of sin, we breathe, see…sin every day.
Now, our theme verse doesn’t say, ask for forgiveness; rather, acknowledge your sins. The word “confess” derives from the Greek, “ὁμολογέω (homologeō)” which means acknowledge. In other words, he’s saying, if you do acknowledge your sins; that you did something wrong then your sins are automatically forgiven because God is faithful to His promises. God has provided us forgiveness, what we need to do is to obtain that forgiveness, not asking for it. That’s why in 1 John 2:1 He said, “If you sin…”; “IF”, meaning, he doesn’t expect you to sin and Hebrews 4:15-16 says, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us THEREFORE come BOLDLY unto the throne of grace, THAT WE MAY OBTAIN MERCY, and find grace to help in time of need”. Obtain, not ask for it.
If Satan can make you ask for forgiveness all the times and you aren’t sure whether you are forgiven or not, you will be ineffective in your Christian life, your faith will be weak because you’ll always be conscious of whatever sin you committed and not sure whether or not God granted you your request. That’s why many don’t get answers to their prayers, not that God punishes them but they are wavering and James 1:6-7 tells us that, “…ask in faith, NOTHING WAVERING. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For LET NOT THAT MAN THINK THAT HE SHALL RECEIVE ANYTHING OF THE LORD” because without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
God gave us his righteousness as a gift (Romans 5:17); we are His righteousness in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21), meaning our righteousness isn’t based on what we do or not do anymore. Romans 3:24-26 says, “BEING JUSTIFIED FREELY BY HIS GRACE through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, TO DECLARE HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS that are past, through the forbearance of God; TO DECLARE, I say, at this time HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS: that he might be just, and the justifier OF HIM WHO BELIEVETH IN JESUS.”
We declare, trust in His righteousness. We cannot please God with our own righteousness (Isaiah 64:6). When God looks at us, all He sees is His righteousness because He does not look at sin (Habakkuk 1:13). 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, NOT IMPUTING (counting) THEIR TRESPASSES (sins) UNTO THEM; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” and Psalm103:10 says, “HE HATH NOT DEALT WITH US AFTER OUR SINS; NOR REWARDED US ACCORDING TO OUR INIQUITIES”.
Forgiveness derives from the Greek, ἄφεσις (Aphesis); which primarily means freedom (I want you to remember this throughout the article). The Father is not so much after ‘we getting forgiveness’ as He is after the real reason for forgiveness. His focus is freedom from sin that’s why He made us His righteousness in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21). We are the expression of His righteousness.
I’m going to show you what God’s Word says about forgiveness. Let’s take this one by one:
Acts 13:38 – Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness (freedom) of sins: 39 And by him (Jesus) ALL THAT BELIEVE ARE JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS, FROM WHICH YE COULD NOT BE JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW OF MOSES.
This is mind-blowing! ‘Justified’ means no guilty, completely acquitted from all sins. How is this possible? Because He (Jesus) died for our sins, meaning all our sins punishments (past, present and future) have been paid for by Jesus once and for all. Hebrews 7:27; 9:12, 26-28 say,
“7:27 Who (Jesus) needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for THIS HE DID ONCE, WHEN HE OFFERED UP HIMSELF… 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but BY HIS OWN BLOOD he entered in ONCE into the holy place, HAVING OBTAINED ETERNAL REDEMPTION FOR US…26 … but now ONCE in the end of the world hath he appeared TO PUT AWAY SIN BY THE SACRIFICE OF HIMSELF. 27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was ONCE offered TO BEAR THE SINS OF MANY; and UNTO THEM that look for him shall he appear the second time WITHOUT SIN UNTO SALVATION.”
“He put away sin”; meaning sin is no longer a factor, it’s defeated and should no longer enslave anyone. No wonder Paul said, “For sin shall not have dominion over you…” (Romans 6:14)
Acts 5:31 – Him (Jesus) hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for TO GIVE REPENTANCE to Israel, and FORGIVENESS (freedom) OF SINS.
Notice, “God GAVE us repentance and forgiveness of sins”. In other words, repentance and forgiveness are gifts God gave us; they are not things that we need to do or ask for. He already gave them to us; so what? Obtain, receive them!
Acts 26:17-18 – Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God THAT THEY MAY RECEIVE FORGIVENESS (freedom) OF SINS, and INHERITANCE among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Again, notice what he’s saying: “they may RECEIVE forgiveness of sins…” He is not telling us to ask for it, but receive it. The word ‘receive’ here is the Greek, ‘λαμβάνω (lambanō)’; meaning, to seize, to take something and make it your own, to obtain…So you receive, obtain forgiveness the same way you receive the inheritance! God has already given the, to you as gifts.
Does this mean, it’s ok for people to continue sinning? No, the idea is freedom from sins. Freedom from sin doesn’t mean freedom from the bondage of sins but freedom from sinning; in other words, it’s possible for us to live sin free. This is what Jesus came to do, to give us the freedom to live sin free; otherwise His purpose isn’t accomplished. 1John 3:8, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. FOR THIS PURPOSE the Son of God was manifested, that he might DESTROY the works of the devil”.
Colossians 1:13 – Who HATH DELIVERED us from the power of darkness, and HATH TRANSLATED us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom WE HAVE redemption through his blood, (even) THE FORGIVENESS (freedom) OF SIN.
God HAS DELIVERED us from the power of darkness (sin included) and HAS TRANSLATED US in the kingdom of His dear Son, meaning; we are there NOW and sin has no place there! The next verse says, “WE HAVE…the forgiveness (freedom) of sin”. We have! Why should we ask for something we already have?
Romans 5:17 – For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; MUCH MORE THEY WHICH RECEIVE ABUNDANCE OF GRACE and of THE GIFT of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Again, He tells us to RECEIVE (obtain, take and make it our own), not ask, abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. Then He said, by the transgression of Adam, we all were made sinners, but by the obedience of Christ, we are made righteous. This is not about what we did or do but of what Jesus did. Praise God. Before we were born again, we were under sin; hence sinners. But Jesus came and took, put away sin and its nature (Hebrews 9:26) and gave us His righteousness as our new nature (Romans 5:17; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
۞ Eternal Life and Judgment
Eternal is not something God promises us when we get to heaven; rather we have it the moment we were born again. Ask yourself, can sin pollute eternal life? Eternal life is the very life that makes God, God. Is God vulnerable to sin?
1 John 5:11 – And this is the record, that God HATH GIVEN TO US ETERNAL LIFE, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son HATH LIFE; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
This is not a promise. It’s a statement of fact! We now have eternal life; there’s no sin in this life. Be conscious to this fact rather than your own ability. If you could have done it on your own, Jesus wouldn’t have come.
1 John 4:17 – Herein is our love made perfect, that WE MAY HAVE BOLDNESS in the Day of Judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
This sums it all up. There’s no fear of going to hell; if ever we’ll go to hell, we’ll light it up with the light of God and make the devil run for his life in his own kingdom because as He is, so are we. We are the light of God (Matthew 5:14; Philippians 2:15). Hallelujah.
Let me leave you with this passage from 1 Corinthians 3:13-15,
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 IF ANY MAN’S WORK ABIDE which he hath built thereupon, HE SHALL RECEIVE A REWARD. 15 IF ANY MAN’S WORK SHALL BE BURNED, he shall SUFFER LOSS: but he himself SHALL BE SAVED; yet so AS BY FIRE.
Your work will give you reward or it will be burned in hell. You are safe from hell if you have accepted and confessed the Lordship of Jesus Christ over your spirit and life.
P.S: This article isn’t intended to encourage anyone to continue sinning, but to help you realise and know who and what God has made you upon receiving your salvation. Let that be crystal clear.
People sin for two things, fear and selfishness. But God, through Jesus Christ, has brought the cure in faith and love (Romans 12:3 and 2 Timothy 1:7 respectively). If you can walk by faith, you’ll have no fear; if you walk in love, you can’t be selfish. Therefore, if you can function in faith and love, it’s impossible for you to sin. Nothing that is done by faith and love can ever be sin:
James 4:17 – Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Romans 14:23 – … for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
So what to do when you know you did something wrong?
Receive, obtain your forgiveness. Just say, “Father, I acknowledge my sins and by the blood of Jesus that you have made available to wash away all sins, I receive forgiveness. Thank you”. That’s it! And stop worrying about it again because if you do, that’s proof that you didn’t walk in faith and still haven’t received your forgiveness. We are called to live a life of faith (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38) and Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, WHATSOEVER thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and WHATSOEVER thou shalt LOOSE ON EARTH shall be LOOSED IN HEAVEN” (Matthew 18:18). This is the Gospel! He gave us authority over everything (Whatsoever – Sin included).
Remember, forgiveness is only available for those who have received their salvation (born again). Sinners aren’t aware that they sin when they sin because that’s their nature and they’ll never ask for forgiveness because it’s a normal thing for them to sin. That’s how you know if you are saved or not. If you never felt sorry for the wrong things you did, it’s time to receive your salvation because you are yet to receive the nature of righteousness – the light to illuminate your spirit and causes you to acknowledge your wrong-doings. Please click on the links above or here if you aren’t yet born again. God bless you.
Father, I thank you for the blood of Jesus that speaks my salvation and total deliverance from sin. I rejoice because I know sin shall not have dominion over me, because Christ Jesus died for me, and was raised back to life for my justification, thereby absolving me of every guilt and judgment of sin both now and forever, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
For more, please read and study:
Psalm 103:10 – He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
Isaiah 1:18 – Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Romans 4:6 – Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.