Understanding 1Jn 1:9

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Many believers in Jesus Christ do not understand 1 John 1:9. That is because it is not taught consistently in church any longer today. When I got saved back in 1975, it was one of the first things that I was taught. Let’s take a closer look.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we know that God has forgiven our sins, past, present, and future.
Ephesians 1:7 says:
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
Ephesians 4:32 says:
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
1 John 1:9 has nothing to do with the forgiveness that we received at our salvation, but rather it has to do with our fellowship and daily walk with God. Even though God has forgiven us of all our sins when we believed the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), whenever we sin, it breaks our fellowship (not our salvation) with God, and grieves the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).
1 John 1:5-8 says:
5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;
7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
Verse 5 tells us that God is light, there is no darkness or unrighteousness in God.
Verse 6 is stating that if we say that we are having fellowship with God and at the same time are walking in darkness (sinning), then we are lying about our walk with God, and we are not practicing righteousness or truth.
However, verse 7 contrasts with verse 6. Verse 7 states that if we are walking in the light, we are not only having fellowship with God, but we are also having fellowship with one another. Did you know that when you are out of fellowship with God, your also out of fellowship with other believers in Jesus Christ?
Verse 8 reiterates verse 6. If we say that we have no sin, who are we deceiving? We are deceiving ourselves. We are lying about our current relationship with God in regards to fellowship. Now we come to verse 9.
1 John 1:9 says:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The Greek word for confess is “ὁμολογέω ” (homologeo – Strongs# G3670) which means to “agree”. When we confess our sins to God, we are in agreement with God that we have been sinful. But look what else it says in verse 9. “He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ” God not only forgives us of our sins, but He also cleanses us from unrighteousness. What unrighteousness? I already confessed my sin, what else is there?
Let’s say you are driving down the freeway (or expressway or parkway depending on where you live), and the speed limit is 65 mph. You see the sign but you are in a hurry, and late for an important appointment, so you say “I will speed just this one time.”
What just happened? You broke the law, and you knowingly sinned by speeding and breaking a mandated state law. But let’s change the scenario, and say that you are driving down the freeway and you are enjoying a conversation with the passenger sitting next to you, and you drive to your destination doing 85 mph, without ever realizing it.
Did you sin? No. You see in order for a sin to be a sin you must know that you are committing one. So what occurred when you were driving 85 mph without realizing it? It was an unrighteous act. An unrighteous act is anything that you do that is not right but you don’t realize it at the time. Back to 1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So not only do you get forgiven for the sins that you confessed, but you also get cleansed of all the unrighteous acts which you committed that you were not aware of.
Who are we supposed to confess our sins to? We are to bring our unconfessed sins to God whenever we commit one. Nowhere in scripture are we told to confess our sins to men for forgiveness of sins. God provides to the believer in Jesus Christ complete access to His throne of grace 24 hours a day in order to facilitate this.
Hebrews 4:16 says:
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
We can go to God’s throne of Grace, and confess our sins to Him whenever they occur, along with all our other needs that concern us.
Therefore, confession of our daily sins to God is an essential element in regards to having daily and consistent fellowship with God through His inspired word.
PLEASE NOTE – 1 John 1:9 has NOTHING to do with the forgiveness that we received when we first believed the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). The forgiveness (past, present, and future) that we received when we believed the gospel is POSITIONAL forgiveness which applies to every believer in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 2:13; 1 John 2:12). 1 John 1:9 has ONLY to do with the daily forgiveness of our sins, and our daily walk and fellowship with God.
Also, 1 John 1:9 has nothing to do with our salvation. We are eternally secure in regards to our salvation, and nothing can ever separate us from it (Romans 8:38-39)
KEEP LOOKING UP (Titus 2:13)
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