If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
A Fuller Perspective
Have you ever read a passage in the Bible, recited it, and then studied it, only to begin to really understand its meaning? As you ponder the verse, you begin to see the meaning of it start to change and evolve into some deeper truth in your mind.
One interpretation of today’s Scripture is a call to repentance for Christians–to continually confess their sins and ask for forgiveness. Another interpretation is that John is writing to the unsaved, explaining to them how they can become Christians. It is a call to the unsaved to accept salvation through Christ.
A New Way
When Jesus was crucified on the cross, we were not born yet. We had not committed any sins. When He died to reconcile us to the Father, He looked ahead in time and bore those sins–past, present, and future–in His own body in order to redeem us and reestablish our relationship with the Creator.
We cannot possibly remember all the sins we have committed. What if we forget to confess one—will we lose our salvation? In verse 8, the verse just before this one, the Bible says “If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.” Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth…” When we accept Jesus into our hearts, He lives in us. If He lives in us, then the truth lives in us. We are cleansed from all unrighteousness. God no longer sees our sins. He has forgotten them. We have been redeemed!
This is Life
As long as we inhabit these fleshly bodies, we have an innate nature to sin we inherited from Adam and Eve. We cannot experience the fullness of our salvation until our bodies die and our souls are released to join Jesus in paradise. We know, however, that we grieve the Holy Spirit when we have sin in our lives. We need to pray constantly to be in God’s will, to walk in His truth, and to spread the good news!
When studying the Bible, do you sometimes realize a deeper truth in the message? Has the Holy Spirit every changed your mind or expanded your perspective about the meaning of Scripture? Take some time now to repent and accept the forgiveness Christ offers to those who believe in His name.