1 John 1:9 New Living Translation
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Forgiveness isn’t a blanket that arbitrarily covers any and all people. It involves confession. Just like an alcoholic or drug addict must first admit they have a problem, man too must admit they have a sin problem that they cannot fix alone. We must come before God and admit our problem, trusting that He is quick to forgive and pronounce us righteous in His sight because of what Christ has done on the cross at Calvary.
I know some sects in Christendom* that feel if you commit a sin after salvation had been attained you were never truly saved to begin with. In response to that John writes in the very same letter (1 John 2:1-2) not if we sin, but rather when we sin we have an advocate. Nothing in scripture tells us that we must live perfect lives after forgiveness is given. That doesn’t mean we can go on sinning. Not at all. We are to strive to live holy righteous lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. God sees us as holy and righteous from the day of our conversion because He sees us thru the blood of Christ.
Acknowledging the existence of God is not enough. Making a 180 degree turn from your past life is. This is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit who comes to reside within you when first forgiven. Forgiveness has nothing to do with anything we could ever do. It has everything to do with who God is and what He has done.
They say confession is good for the soul. In this case, as I said above, confession is necessary. Forgiveness will not be attainable unless we are willing to admit we cannot make it on our own. In a macho, ‘me first’ society, this has become increasingly difficult; especially for men who see surrender as a dirty word. True forgiveness and a fulfilling life await those who surrender their life to God. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
NOTE: The Apostle John wrote this letter to several Gentile churches rather than one specific congregation. The main purpose of this letter was to reassure the believers in their faith and dispute the deceptive teachings that had come in their midst. The two major threats to the churches were, 1) they denied the reality of sin and 2) they denied that Jesus was the Messiah, God’s anointed One. To see how John combatted these two issues read 1 John 1:6, 8 & 10 and 1 John 2:22; 4:1-3.
* Christians as a whole; a group title.