8 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

Numbers 31
Psalms 75-76
Isaiah 23
1 John 1

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9 (CSB)

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

The verse I have chosen for today is one that is very positive and very familiar. But, it’s possible that it is not completely understood. So, let’s spend a few moments exploring its beauty.

For the purposes of this study, I will consult the Greek New Testament, the language that the Bible was originally written in. While we rightly place incredible confidence in many of our current translations as being the Word of God, being able to look at the original languages that the Bible was written in provides an even richer experience.

(I would teach a Biblical (koine) Greek class at First Baptist Church if there were a handful of people who wanted to learn to read and study the New Testament in its original language.)

“If we confess our sins”

The word “confess” in the Greek is a combination of two words. It literally means “to say the same thing.” It was a word that was used to speak of admitting one’s error (often in the presence of others).

For the Christian, we understand that God knows of our sins. We can’t hide no matter how we try to run from God’s presence and conceal our guilt from Him like Adam and Eve did.

Also note that the word “sins” is written in the plural. The Apostle John, as the Holy Spirit moved him to write this, wanted to emphasize that we shouldn’t confess our sin in general. We are to be specific with each and every offense that we have committed (sins). Every sin we ever commit is specific so our confession should be just as specific.

The healing process begins when we openly confess to our Heavenly Father exactly what we did. He knows what we did and we need to “confess” it to Him by “saying the same thing” as Him and admitting that we did something that He has forbidden.

“He is faithful”

The word “faith” in the Greek clearly implies that something is trustworthy. We can put our faith in it because it is absolutely certain.

So, John used this word to speak of the fact that we can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when we agree with God about our sins (confess), He is going to predictably act a certain way … every single time.

How will He predictably respond? We need to keep reading.

“He is … righteous”

In some translations, this word is translated “just.” That is a good translation, too. Essentially, the Greek word means to put someone into a right standing with someone else or with a standard.

So, regarding God, this word means that when we confess our sins, He will maintain His right standing with Himself. He is holy and will maintain His holiness even though He is responding to our desire to be forgiven of our sins, something that He despises and must punish.

“to forgive us our sins”

The word, “forgive,” in the original language is interesting. It literally means “to send away” and is clearly understood to mean “forgive” or “pardon.”

The emphasis is not on the sins. The word “forgive” in no way diminishes the offense that God takes at our sins. Instead, the word focuses solely upon God’s action of “sending it away.” He releases us from its guilt. No longer will He hold that sin against us.

And, when we look at the two previous words used to describe God, we realize that when we confess our sins, He will predictably (every single time!) forgive us and He is righteous (maintains His complete holiness) by justly dealing with our sins. He doesn’t whimsically forgive them. He maintains His holiness by having those sins paid for … by Jesus on the cross.

“and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The word for “cleanse” in the Greek doesn’t simply speak of taking a bath. It is the word that is used for a “ritual, ceremonial cleansing” by which the worshiper is made legally clean.

When we confess our sins, it’s not like we just get cleaned up. Instead, God ceremonially cleans us so that we are completely forgiven and declared fit to resume enjoying being in His presence as an object of His full pleasure.

1 John 1:9 (CSB): “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, praise Your holy name that You have gone to such great lengths to forgive and cleanse me every single time I agree with You about the offensiveness of my sins. But, the knowledge of what You have done makes me want to live for You even more fully. I want to be fully consecrated to You. Amen.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash