Every week for several months I walked into Pastor Don Moore’s office (Living Word Chapel) and confessed the sin of the week. Our dialogue went, “God can’t forgive me because I did _______”
Each and every time I said that, he would say, turn to First John Chapter 1 Verse 9 and tell me what it says. It says: ” If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”
There is NO sin, NO sin that God will not forgive. (Will there be repercussions for some sins? Yes. If you rob a bank, God will forgive you, but you may still do jail time.) Pastor Don would then find someone in the Bible who is guilty of a similar sin and let me see that God was still able to use them in spite of their sin.
This is a conditional verse though.
IF we confess our sins – this means we can confess or not. If we do we get forgiveness, if not, forgiveness doesn’t happen. Who do we confess to? God, Jesus. When I make a mistake now, I try to immediately ask God for forgiveness. Do I confess to others? Yes, but I carefully choose who I confess to. If I have sinned I have a few trusted people I can speak with. Two prominent ones I confess to are my husband and my pastor.
The reason I say be careful who you confess to is you don’t want to confess to a gossip. Your dirty laundry doesn’t need to be told to everyone. We also don’t want to confess to someone with a lower standard of morality than us – we want to be held to God’s standard, not a sliding scale of morality. And we don’t want to confess to someone about a sin when that confession would hurt the person we are confessing to (at least until you’ve talked with a trusted pastor or advisor to make sure that such a confession would be helpful, not hurtful).
Why do we want to confess? Any sin that is hidden is an opportunity for the enemy (satan) to use against us. Hidden sins are pathways to even worse sins. By bringing our sins out in the open we can have them cleansed by God and make ourselves accountable to a trusted person to help us change the negative behavior.
My favorite part of this verse is CLEANSE us from ALL unrighteousness. Not some, not a bit, not a spot, but ALL – and when we confess our sins we are free. A burden is removed.
God does not want us walking around in oppression. He wants us to be free – Jesus died to give us liberty. Unconfessed sins keep us bound. Know that God loves us. He knows our weakness. He knows our sins. We haven’t tricked Him. He loves us before we knew Him. And as believers, we are already cleaner than when He first loved us.