On Sunday mornings we’ve been studying 1 John. We came across a familiar passage of scripture. It’s a great promise in 1 John 1:9, but we saw how John preceded and followed up that promise:
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
I have heard the promise of verse 9 many times, but didn’t notice John’s emphasis in verses 8 & 10. He basically says the same thing twice — if we claim to be without sin…. Feel like he is trying to get through to some people who perhaps don’t see the seriousness of sin (of course, we would never do that, right?)
John lays it out on the table pretty clearly; when it comes to sin, you have two choices: admit or deny it. Either you own up to the sin or you live in denial.
What came out of our study was this understanding of confession. One person defined confession as “agreeing with God.” Perhaps when we think of confession, we think of opening ourselves up and revealing a deep, dark, hidden secret. In reality, God already knows. He sees the heart and He knows what is hidden there. So, when we deny it, we are not fooling anyone…especially God. He already knows, so when I do confess it, God is shaking His head in agreement. I think that kind of frees us up to confess to Him what sins may be in our lives. He already knows about, He sees the sin, so we confess and just agree with what He already is aware of in our lives.
If you need a little more encouragement to come clean, look at 1 John 2:1:
1My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
Not only does God know our sin, Jesus speaks to the Father in our defense. He paid the price for our sin and wants to forgive. We just need to agree with Him that we need Him. Great encouragement to confess to the Father who already knows and the Son who stands in our defense.