Can You Explain 1 John 1:9?


5 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Once we accept Christ as savior, we must strive to not sin. But at some point we will sin, however hard we try. If we say we do not sin after salvation, the Bible calls us liars.  1 John 1:9 is telling us that we simply name our sins to God, and He forgives us. The verse does not tell us we need to go to a priest, or anything like that. We can simply pray to God. Once we do that, God "cleanses" us and restores us to fellowship. If we forget any sins, they are forgiven as well, since "all" sins are forgiven at confession. This verse is perhaps the most widely ignored verse for practicing Christians, but it is also the most important after the salvation verses. If we walk around "unclean", it does not mean we have lost salvation, just that our spiritual life is halted. We cannot be filled with the Spirit and be unclean. The answer to regaining our spiritual lives is to realize the state of sin we are in, or the sins that we have committed, and confess as quickly as possible, in silent prayer. God forgiving us does not mean we may not still receive discipline for what we have done. But it does mean we are cleansed and can now freely operate under God's power and get back in step with our spiritual lives. The Prodigal Son is a great parable of what it means to be a Christian and after falling on our faces, to come back to our Father in confession, and His attitude toward us when we do.    Many misconstrue this verse as being something we do at salvation (i.e.for unbelievers), however, the concept of realizing we are sinners is already inherent in the idea of believing Christ died for your sins, and accepting His saving work on the cross. Also, just 1 John 1:9 alone would not save anybody, since the object of salvation, Jesus Christ, must be believed in to be saved. Confessing we are sinners in and of itself will not save anybody. Also, the context of most of 1 John is directed at people who are already Christians. These are not doctrines for unbelievers.
greg c Profile
greg c answered
I am using Kenneth Wuest's expanded translation of the New Testament. He is a prominent Greek expositor of the New Testament. Verse 9: "If we continue to confess our sins, faithful is He and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from every unrighteousness." but let's keep it in context. Verse 7: "But if within the sphere of the light we are habitually ordering our behavior as He Himself is in the light, things in common and thus fellowship we [the believer and God] are having with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son keeps continually cleansing us from every sin." if we understand that Christ was THEE sacrificial Lamb, then we know that we are covered by His blood and that is how God the Father sees the believer. We will continue to sin because we aren't perfect. But as Paul said, that is not a green light for us to intentionally sin. God's righteous justice will be served. He gave us His Son as mediator. His action on the cross - His shedding of blood - does not stop working if we fail to confess a sin. If it did, in John's epistles as well as every other book in the New Testament would surely have warned us. It's a matter of practice and application that confession of sin becomes habit.
Selie Visa Profile
Selie Visa answered
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Walking in the light is demonstrated not by the denial of sin but by confessing it and abandoning it. This action links us to God's mercy. Those who confess their sins and condemn them are linked to God. And we can confess our "sins" to God and before other people fearlessly and in confidence because God is both faithful and just.

The plural "sins" makes clear that we affirm our sinfulness by confessing our sins. The forgiveness that comes is related to God's faithfulness and justice. Everywhere he promises forgiveness to his children. And in keeping this promise, God reveals his faithfulness and justice.

The verb used for "forgive" has at its roots the idea of the "cancellation of debts" or the "dismissal of charges." The verb used for "purifies" pictures an act of cleansing from the pollution of sin so that a new life of holiness may begin. Sinners are perceived as cleansed from moral imperfections and from the injustices that separate them from God.
AnnNettie Paradise Profile

Forgiveness follows confession. Guilt then vanishes: Forgiveness from God comes through Christ, and such forgiveness will “cleanse our consciences from dead works.” (Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:14) Then our consciences need no longer feel guilt. So, we should face our sin, acknowledge it, confess it to God, seek forgiveness of it. Confession is followed by forgiveness and that ends the matter.

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