“if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I have made many, many mentions of this text from the pulpit and feel that some detail is warranted.
- “if” = Notice the choice. We are not REQUIRED to maintain fellowship with the Lord… but it is offered to us.
- “confess” = The Greek word that is translated “confess” here means to say the same thing [as]. This is more than saying, “sorry”. This is coming to grips with the fact that we have fallen short of God’s righteousness.
- “sins” = These are not our faults… our shortcomings. These are sins, willfully or unwittingly defying God’s Holy standard.
- “he” = God
- “we” and “us” = Christians… those who have already trusted the sacrifice of Christ for eternal life.
- “faithful” = God has promised that those who have trusted Christ as Savior will not be condemned, but have passed from death into life.
- “just” = Because the payment has been made for our sin, God can forgive us of the sin we confess.
- “forgive” = it is on the basis of God’s faithfulness toward us and His justice in accepting the sacrifice of Christ that He can forgive us.
* * * Notice that the sins are forgiven and we are cleansed from our unrighteousness. * * *
Here is the bottom line: God the Father is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins. We are the ones that need to act on that promise. We are the ones that need to live in light of that promise.