If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
We have no idea how deeply damaging the unconfessed sin in our life is. But we also cannot imagine how powerful and wise God’s forgiveness and cleansing will be.
Stop Hiding From God
The biblical solution to sin is never to hide, or to run away from God.
The answer is always rather to run to God, confess our sins, and ask for his help. And when we do confess, God promises forgiveness, cleansing, and renewal — whether with small issues, or huge and catastrophic mistakes.
We cannot imagine how powerful and wise God’s forgiveness and cleansing will be.
We must confess our sin to God. And we must confess not just sin in the abstract but specific, ugly, named sins. Notice that John writes, “We confess our sins” (plural). John is not speaking of some vague admission that “I’m not perfect” or that “I am a sinner,” but of dealing ruthlessly and specifically with sins we have committed or are committing.
We must be willing to talk to God about our sins honestly, openly, and completely.
Start Talking To God
You must bring to God all your sins. Even the ones you still blush to talk about out loud. Those sins that you don’t feel comfortable admitting to anyone, maybe even yourself. Those character weaknesses that run so deep they seem to form a basic part of your identity. And also those sins that maybe seem so small that the world would laugh at the idea of even confessing them and asking for forgiveness: “Forgive me, Lord, for worrying about that;” or, “Forgive me for feeling envy when I saw that.”
Nothing less than full confession is assured of full forgiveness and cleansing.
Confession of sins is more than just a vague acknowledgement that I have sinned today; it is frank repentance before God for my every failure. And confession is not just asking for forgiveness but for God’s help with my pathetic shortcomings, my heart-deep rebellion, my fundamental insecurities.
Don’t miss the fact that in 1 John 1:9 the “all” unrighteousness that God is able and willing to cleanse is in direct relation to the sins we confess.
The sins that God promises to forgive are the sins we confess to him and seek forgiveness and cleansing from!
Nothing less than full confession is assured of full forgiveness and cleansing. Seeing this is the case, are there sins in your life right now that you do not have victory over precisely because you are still resisting bringing it to God, openly confessing it, and seeking God’s help with it?
There is every encouragement to confess our sins. And only misery and defeat when we do not.