”If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ~ 1 John 1:9
I will always remember an example in my own life that really explained this verse perfectly to me by example.
When I was a teen I lied to my dad about something, I knew I lied and he knew I lied, but I would not admit it to him: I stuck to my story! As the week went on my dad (who usually was very happy and upbeat with me, kidding around, etc.), just wasn’t the same, there was a sadness in his eyes when he looked at me.
Finally, I just was so convicted for having lied to him I went to him one night and said, “Dad I lied to you and I am sorry, will you forgive me?”
My dad, who had been sitting down at the time, flew up out of his chair and gave me a huge hug and said, “Of course I do honey, I love you, please don’t lie to me again.” Immediately, our relationship was back to normal and the fellowship was sweet!
During that week before I had confessed to my dad that I had indeed lied to him, he did not throw me out of his house; he didn’t disown me or write me out of his will! I was STILL his child, but our fellowship was broken.
It is exactly the same with our Heavenly Father: When there is a sin in our lives that needs to be dealt with, the Holy Spirit within us will convict us to bring that sin out in the open before God and confess it to Him, and purpose in our heart to not commit it again. This verse is NOT implying that we lose our salvation.
The Book of 1st John was written to people who already know Jesus as Savior. The “forgiveness” John is speaking of here is PARENTAL, not judicial. Judicial forgiveness is forgiveness from the penalty of sin, which the child of God receives when placing their faith in the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. It is called judicial because God is acting as JUDGE, the penalty for our sins—past, present and future—has been paid in full by Christ. JUDICIAL forgiveness happens only ONCE: at the time of our salvation; as Scripture tells us:
And I [Jesus] give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. ~ John 10:28-29
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. ~ Ephesians 1:13-14
However, when Christians sin, we are in need of His PARENTAL forgiveness, which we will need many times throughout our lives. When we confess our sins to our Father, fellowship with Him is restored.
Thank You Jesus for saving my soul and for Your constant abiding with me, I love You so!!
Contributed by Mary Heuss Nelson