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 (NKJV)
Thank God it doesn’t say that God is faithful and just to make sure we are thoroughly punished and pay for our sins. He’s faithful and just to forgive; not some, not the ones we did unintentionally, ignorantly, or in a tight situation, not some little ones, not the ones we can remember, not the ones we sorrow for… But ALL sins. Psalms 103:3 (NKJV) who forgives all your sins….
He’s faithful to cleanse us from not some but all unrighteousness.
Someone might jump up and say that there’s a condition here to God forgiving and cleansing us which is – if we confess our sins.
First of all there’s no person who is able to know and recall and therefore correctly and accurately confess each and every sin they’ve ever committed. Besides even if that was possible then all we would be doing all day and all night long is confess sin!
Only God has complete knowledge of all sin, we don’t. Because whatever is not of faith is sin- Romans 14:23.
Of course some claim that they ask God to reveal every sin in them but God doesn’t answer such prayers since He’s not in the sin revealing business but rather in the righteousness revealing business. Romans 1:17 (NIV) For in the Gospel the Righteousness of God is revealed—a Righteousness that is by Faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The Righteous will live by Faith.”
The confession of sin in the New Testament is not about telling all of the sins you’ve committed. It’s acknowledging or saying the same thing God says about your sins. The Greek word used for confession here is homologia and it’s a compound word homo + logia. Homo means same and logia from logos meaning speech or word.
So John is telling us that if we acknowledge or say the same thing about our sins that God says, if we agree with God concerning our sins then we experience His forgiveness and cleansing of all our sins.
What does God say about our sins?
Romans 3:10 (NIV) As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;
Romans 3:23 (NIV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
But it doesn’t end there though some people have stopped and parked there.
Romans 3:24 (NIV) and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
This is God’s complete knowledge and therefore confession of our sins – we were all unrighteous, sinners, but by His Grace (not our own works) God freely justified or made us righteous through the Redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
True New Testament confession is believing and declaring what the Blood of Jesus has accomplished in cleansing and freeing us from all sin. This is the only God way by which we live free and triumphant over sin and it’s effects.