1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Unfortunately, a major motivator that’s taught in the Christian church in regards to doing what’s right is fear. Guilt is heaped upon the Christian until he or she feels terrible for not being perfect. The problem with this, of course, is that no one is capable of being perfect. Motivation by fear is ineffective because it misses the whole point.
God did not send His own Son into the world just so we could have an example to live by because He expects us to perfectly obey Him. He knew that we could never live up to the standard of perfection and He offered a way to forgiveness and reconciliation. He paid the price so that we were no longer bound by the law.
Jesus freed us from the kind of burden that legalism brings by fulfilling the law. We don’t need to fear that we’re going to disappoint God because He’s faithful and just and forgives our sins. We have access to Him. He wants us to approach Him with our confession, so we have no reason to be afraid of what He’ll do if we own up to our sins. The prevailing thought is that God wants to forgive us and that should keep us from fearing punishment.
1 John 1:8-9 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
With many things in this life, we can expect to get out of them exactly what we put into them. If we treat people rudely, we’ll often find ourselves being treated rudely. If we disrespect, we’ll be disrespected. Acting out of pride usually leads to resistence, and humility leads to better things. This is especially true with God (James 4:6).
When we pretend that we don’t sin, no one is fooled. We can’t even truly fool ourselves into thinking we’re sinless let alone God. But when we put our pride aside and admit to our wrongs, God is quick to forgive because of Christ Jesus. There’s nothing to fear in confession before God. He’s a loving and just Father who actually wants to forgive us. He’s waiting for us to turn to Him.
The bad news is that you have sinned and there’s no way out of it. The good news is Jesus paid your way to God’s forgiveness by taking all of your sins onto Himself. You’re free to confess everything, with no fear of condemnation. Our Lord is able and willing to wipe it all away.
1 John 1:5-10 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 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 cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
One of the things that can most negatively affect our relationship with God and with other people is unconfessed sin. If we hold onto the idea that we’ve done nothing wrong when in reality we’ve offended God with our thoughts and actions, we’re putting a barrier between Him and ourselves. The same is true when we act as though we’ve not wronged others. We can’t have true fellowship when we’re walking in a lie.
But if we confess our sins to the Lord, He’s not standing by waiting to strike us down with lightning; He’s ready to forgive us and to cleanse us. When we’ve been cleansed by God, we’re then enabled to walk in the light. If we have fellowship with God, we can’t be in the darkness, so it’s also fair to say that if we’re walking in darkness we’re not in fellowship with God.
Where are you right now? Are you walking in the light? Are your relationships reflective of God’s work in you? Or are you in broken relationships with other people and a broken fellowship with God? The good news is that at any time we can turn to Him and admit our sins. He’ll wash us clean with the blood of Christ, just like He took a big eraser and wiped out all of our wrongdoing to give us a fresh start. He wants to do that for us. The Good News is for believers too.