THE 1 JOHN 1:9 CONTROVERSY 2: WHY CONFESS SINS ALREADY FORGIVEN?

victoryJesus has dealt with our sins and removed them.  God says, “I will forgive their wickedness and I will no longer hold their sins against them.” (Heb. 8:12).

We have God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness forever because of Christ. So why confess them? It is simple really. 

1. Christ died not only to forgive our sins but to give his victory over sin to us. “We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”  (Rom. 6:6NIV).

John says, “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”  (1 John 3:7-8).  Jesus appeared to destroy the works of the devil which are defined as sins power! This is part of our confession as Christians!

2. God is light and in him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).  We were once darkness, but now we are light in the Lord and are to walk as children of light (see Eph. 5:8). Christians are not to make a practice of sin but seek by the power of the Holy Spirit to put it out of their life. The reality is this-Christian men and women do not have to live defeated lives (being harassed but habitual sin) for the presence of Christ’s overcoming life (his seed and nature) is in them. We confess that, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” (1 John 3:9).

3. They are never to nurture guilt and condemnation (Rom 8:1). We must believe and have faith in Jesus that he has forgiven all our sins for all time (Rom 10:9-10; Heb. 11:6). The Apostle John is not asking Christians to participate in protestant penance in order to satisfy God and obtain forgiveness. Repentance is NOT some board on which we float to heaven. IT IS a change of mind and direction at the START of our Christian walk.  We are already on a direction toward Christ as our goal (Phil 3:10-14).  We walk by faith not by sight or feelings for that matter (2 Cor 5:7).

God desires us to know that sin does not have to be the rule, nor rule in our lives by guilt or by control. He says, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2). The Christian is already forgiven by the presence of his Advocate, Jesus the Righteous who lives in our hearts (Col. 1:27).

©2014 Rev. Stephen S. Gibney

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