Please tell me the truth in your heart about this verse 1 John 1:9.
1. Is James talking to agnostics, believers or non-believers?
2. I know that that all my sins are forgiven. True?
3. If I commit a sin, then I don't have to ask forgiveness and all I have to do is confess and agree with God? Right?
1. The Apostle John is writing to the Church, this is what they call a General Epistle, not written to any particular church, but to all churches. Therefore, 1 John 1:9 is written to believers.
2. As a Christian, all sins (past, present, and future) are forgiven at the moment of salvation.
3. In one sense, yes, and if you never confessed the sin and died soon thereafter, as a Christian, you would go non-stop to heaven. However, God has designed a process of confession. When we actually commit the sins that he died for and forgave at Calvary, He stills requires that we confess and seek forgiveness for those same sins! If someone says, "We don't need to ask for forgiveness because they were all forgiven at the moment of salvation, then why confess our sins, since they were all given to Christ, so they really are not mine any more?" Well, this is all true, but the Bible says to confess and ask for
forgiveness, so we don't have an option. God would never ask us to do anything that wasn't good for us. Therefore, the process of confessing and seeking forgiveness is part of the process that helps us grow as Christians, sinning less and less each year (although always committing some sin).
The verses that support the requirement to confess our sins are:
"Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." [Matthew 6:12] (Jesus teaching the disciples how to pray).
"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." [Matthew 6:14]
"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." [Mark 11:25]
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." [Luke 6:37]
Often times when I confess my sins, after I ask for His forgiveness, I then thank Him for the forgiveness in Christ. Also, when we seek someone's forgiveness after confessing the offense, the fact that they forgive us is evidence that our confession was accepted as a sincere confession of the right offense. It could be that after we confess our sin to the Father, that then asking for forgiveness, we then should "feel" or "sense" the forgiveness from Him as evidence that indeed our confession was genuine and proper. We may casually confess a sin, but not really mean it from our hearts, and intend to do the same sin at the next opportunity, then asking for forgiveness should result in an awareness of God's displeasure with our heart attitude and the awareness too that the sin still needs to be dealt with.
Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Tony Capoccia's Questions and Answers" by:
Bible Bulletin Board
Columbus, New Jersey, USA, 08022
Websites: www.biblebb.com and www.gospelgems.com
Online since 1986