Lesson 18 - 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.
The Result of Confessing Our Sins
Welcome back to the Hope Bible School verse-by-verse Bible study of 1 John. Get a new lesson every other week on Monday at 12:00 PM Eastern.
We are now on Lesson 18.
Let’s review what we learned in Lesson 17.
We learned that the Bible teaches that we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God and that there is a battle going on inside of us because we have a sin nature. If you say that you have no sin, you will wander from the truth, and the truth will not be in you. When you recognize that you are a sinner, you will not be deceived, and Jesus, who is the truth, will be living in you. Continue in God’s word, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
In lesson 18 we are going to learn about the result of confessing our sins.
Let’s read our verse.
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.
Let’s focus on the first part of the verse: If we confess our sins…
The word “if” is conditional.
Conditional means, provided you do this, then the following will happen.
The word “confess” means to speak the same thing as another, to voice the same conclusion, to profess that you are in full agreement with, and to align with another.
The word “sins” is the plural of the word “sin". A sin means to miss the target. The target is keeping God’s commands.
When you recognize a sin in your life, confess that sin to God right away. Let God know that you in agreement with Him that what you did is not in accordance with His commands.
By doing so, you are ”saying the same thing” as He is about that specific sin.
As you read the Bible and hear a commandment from God ask yourself if you are obeying what God is asking you to do.
For example, if you read “be slow to anger” in James 1:19, ask yourself if you are being quick to anger as opposed to being slow to anger.
If you are not being slow to anger, confess to God that you recognize you have sinned. By doing so, you are agreeing with God that this is a sin.
When you come across a sin that you struggle with, write down all the Bible verses related to this sin and meditate on them daily. Memorize these verses. Study them. Get clear on what God is commanding you to do. Pray that God gives you the strength to obey Him.
Confessing your sins to God will deepen your relationship with Him and will help you to mature spiritually. God doesn’t want sin to obstruct your relationship with Him.
Confessing your sins is the opposite of ignoring your sins, hiding your sins, or thinking that your sins are not that big of a deal.
Sin is a big deal to God. That’s because God is holy and in Him there is no darkness at all. We learned about this in Lesson 14.
Confessing your sins to God takes humility. You are telling God, by confessing your sins, that His way is the right way. You are acknowledging God’s sovereignty, power, and wisdom and that He is the ultimate authority.
God wants to set you free and give you an abundant life and this starts with confessing that you are a sinner and in need of His forgiveness. Then, as you have a deeper understanding of God’s commands, you will recognize where you are specifically falling short. This will lead you to continually confess the specific sins in your life.
In Leviticus 5:5 we read that God wanted the Israelites to confess their sins whenever they became aware that they were guilty of breaking any of the commands God gave to Moses. This shows us that God wants us to have an awareness of when we break His commands and to confess our sins at that time.
Leviticus 5:5 (NIV) when anyone becomes aware that they are guilty in any of these matters, they must confess in what way they have sinned.
In Psalm 32:3-5 We read that there can be physical consequences for not acknowledging sin and hiding iniquities. The author of this Psalm, who is attributed to David, said that his bones became brittle from groaning as a result of not confessing his sins.
Psalm 32:3-5 When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was drained as in the summer heat. Selah 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not hide my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You forgave the guilt of my sin.
In Proverbs 28:13 we read that if you conceal your sins, you will not prosper. God does not want you to conceal your sins. He wants you to acknowledge your sins and to confess them and renounce them. When you do so, you will find mercy.
Proverbs 28:13 (NIV) Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
These verses show us that it is important to confess your sins right away. If you don’t confess your sins, there could be physical consequences and a lack of prosperity.
We learned from the first part of 1 John 1:9 that we are to continually acknowledge the sins in our life and to confess those sins to God. To confess means that we agree with God regarding these sins and are “saying the same thing” that He is saying about these sins.
Now let’s focus on the next part of 1 John 1:9…He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins…
The word “faithful” means to be trustworthy or reliable.
In Hebrews 10:23 we read that God can be trusted to keep His promises. God is true to His word. If God promises He will do it, He will.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.
The word “just” means correct, righteous, faultless, and innocent.
In Psalm 89:14 we read that righteousness and justice are the foundation of God’s throne. This means that God possesses perfect justice and fairness in His character and actions. He always acts in accordance with what is right.
Psalm 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; loving devotion and faithfulness go before You.
The word “forgive” means to let go, to send away, or to release. God will forgive your sins, when you confess your sins to Him.
Now let’s break down this part of the verse.
He (God) who is faithful (which means that He keeps his promises, that He is trustworthy, and that He is true to his word) and just (which means that He is correct, righteous, and faultless) will forgive us our sins (which means that this faithful and just God will let go, send away, and release these sins).
When you first recognize that you are a sinner and in need of God’s forgiveness and put your faith in Jesus Christ, you will be justified in the eyes of God.
Justified means that you have been declared righteous or acquitted of the guilt of sin before God. Sin is breaking God’s commands. We have all broken God’s commands. In order to be acquitted of sin or declared righteous before God there has to be a payment for the penalty of sin.
This payment for sin is not based on your good deeds but is a result of God’s grace. It is a gift from God. He paid the penalty for you. The penalty for sin is eternal death.
Jesus paid the price for your sin on the cross.
When you put your faith in Jesus you will be saved from your sins.
This is known as salvation.
In Romans 10:9 we read that if you confess Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
In Romans 3:22-24 we read that we are justified freely by His grace.
Romans 3:22-24 And this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
When you read 1 John 1:9, you may think that you have to keep being re-saved every time you commit a sin.
That is not the case.
When you first confess that you are a sinner and believe that Jesus paid the price for your sins on the cross, you will be forgiven of all your sins past, present and future.
You will be justified before God.
You may ask, “then why do we need to keep confessing our sins.”
That’s because you have a sin nature and still sin, even though you have been justified.
The closer you get to God, the more you will realize how holy He is and you will recognize where you fall short.
God hates sin because when you conceal sin, not take sin seriously, or not repent from sin, you will harm your relationship with Him.
God loves you and He wants you to grow in holiness.
This is known as the process of sanctification.
Sanctification is a life long journey of being conformed into the image of Jesus and becoming more and more holy.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:3 we read that it is God’s will that you should be sanctified.
1 Thessalonians 4:3 (NIV) It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;
The key to sanctification is to recognize when you are sinning. This comes through studying the Bible and meditating on the word of God and the conviction of The Holy Spirit.
In John 16:8 we read that The Holy Spirit will reveal the sin in your life. He will convict you of your sin. Convict means that you will know that what you are doing is wrong.
John 16:8 And when He comes, He will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:
As The Holy Spirit is convicting you of your sins, confess your sins to God and turn from your sins. This is known as repentance. Repentance is a sincere and genuine change of heart in response to recognizing the sin in your life and turning away from your sins.
Now let’s look at the final part of 1 John 1:9…and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God promises that if you confess your sins, He will not only forgive you of your sins, He will cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
The word “cleanse” means to make clean, to make pure, or to remove filth.
The word “unrighteousness” means a violation of God’s commands.
In Titus 2:14 we read that Jesus gave himself for us so that we could be redeemed from wickedness and be purified.
Titus 2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
When you acknowledge the sins in your life and let God know that you agree with Him regarding these sins and confess your sins, he will forgive you and make you pure from all unrighteousness.
Purification is an ongoing process. This means that over time you will not commit those same sins as often and hopefully not at all.
As you grow in your conviction of your sins and confess you sins, you will also grow in the discipline to not commit those same sins. The more you confess your sins and turn from them, the more you will mature in Christ.
Sanctification is the process of purification. That is why the verse says that God will cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
What’s amazing about the cleansing of unrighteousness, is that this is something that God will do in your life. He is the one doing the cleansing.
In Lesson 16, we learned that the cleansing comes from the blood of Jesus.
Even the most devout Christians struggle with sin. This is because we have a sin nature.
Sanctification is a life long process for all people.
We read in the Lord’s prayer that we are to regularly ask God to forgive us our debts. This prayer is not about being justified, it’s about sanctification. This prayer is for someone that is already in the family of God. That is why it start with “Our Father.”
Matthew 6:9-13 ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
In conclusion, our faithful and just God will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness when we recognize how we are sinning and confess our sins to God. Since we all have a sin nature and are not perfect, there will be a lot of opportunities to confess our sins to Him. Confessing your sins to God will deepen your relationship with Him. Study God’s commands, meditate on them, and memorize them. Pray to God about His commands and ask Him to show you where you fall short and to give you the strength to obey His commands. When you do this, He will purify you and will help you grow spiritually. Over time, you will become more and more like Jesus.
If you’ve been blessed by Hope Bible School, please share it with others.
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Thank you and God bless you,
Jeff M Newman
VERSE BY VERSE BIBLE STUDY LESSONS (See all)
New Lesson every other Monday at 12:00 EDT
Lesson 17 - 1 John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (Don't Be Deceived)
Lesson 16 - 1 John 1:7 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.(Walking In The Light. Fellowship. The Cleansing Blood of Jesus.)
Lesson 15 - 1 John 1:6 If we say we have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. (Don't Walk In The Darkness. Practice the Truth.)
Lesson 13 - 1 John 1:4 We write these things so that our joy may be complete. (Experiencing Complete Joy)
Lesson 12 - 1 John 1:3..And this fellowship of ours is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. (Fellowshipping with God)
Lesson 11 - 1 John 1:3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us... (Fellowshipping with Other Believers)
Lesson 10 - 1 John 1:2...that was with the Father and was revealed to us. (The Relationship Between Jesus and The Father)
Lesson 9 - 1 John 1:2 ...and we proclaim to you the eternal life... (Proclaim The Eternal Life)
Lesson 8 - 1 John 1:2...we have seen it and testified to it... (Share Your Testimony)
Lesson 7 - 1 John 1:2 And this is the life that was revealed... (Eternal Life Revealed)
Lesson 6 - 1 John 1:1...this is the Word of life. (The Message of Eternal Life)
Lesson 5 - 1 John 1:1...and touched with our own hands...(Touching Jesus by Faith)
Lesson 4 - 1 John 1:1...which we have gazed upon... (Gaze Upon Jesus)
Lesson 3 - 1 John 1:1...which we have seen with our own eyes... (Eyes of Faith)
Lesson 2 - 1 John 1:1…which we have heard… (Hear and Obey God)
Lesson 1 - 1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning (Jesus is Eternal)
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