Christian Confession 1 Jn. 1:9 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
So, what’s up with 1 John 1:9? It concerns Christian confession. Christians should confess their sins.
This question relates to whether or not a Christian should confess his sins, in order to be forgiven. In truth, the question has a twofold answer.
The fact is, when you get saved, you confess the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 10: 9-10) and not your sins. By getting saved, your soul is put into the body of the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 5: 30-32) and you are secured in him for eternity (Eph. 1: 12-13). No sin that you commit after your salvation can take away your eternal life or blemish your soul in any respect (Colossians 2: 11).
When Jesus Christ died on the cross, he paid for all the sins of all mankind (John 1: 29, Matthew 1: 21, Rom. 8: 3, 2 Cor. 5: 21). Any person who trusts the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ for his salvation is saved and will never be judged as a sinner who could be thrown into hell (John 5:24; 6:37; 3:18, 36). That’s because any sins that he committed before he was saved and any sins he commits after he is saved can never be imputed to his soul (Rom. 4:6-8). And so, the soul is completely clean and without blemish and is waiting for the marriage of the Lamb (Eph. 5: 27).
However, after you get saved, you still live in a fleshly body which can be defiled by sin. So, as a Christian, when you sin, you confess your sins because those sins have consequences to your body, which is the temple of the Holy Ghost. And worse, those sins have consequences at the judgment seat of Christ. Let’s look at this more carefully.
We know that after we get saved we still sin. Like Paul said in Rom. 7, “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” When I mess up, it is the result of, “sin that dwelleth in me,” (Rom. 7:17). And those sins have consequences, not to the soul, but to the body and spirit (according to 1 Thessalonians 5:23, you are body, soul and spirit). If we confess those sins, God will forgive us and cleanse us, so that our body and spirit will not be defiled. So, confession is the right thing.
Now just look at these verses to see what can happen to a Christian’s body and spirit as a result of sin.
- His flesh and spirit can become filthy, 2 Cor. 7:1.
- He can sin against his body by fornication, 1 Cor. 6:18.
- He can be chastened by the Lord, Hebrews 12:4-6.
- He can be denied fellowship with other believers, 1 Cor. 5:11-13.
- His conscience can be seared with a hot iron, 1 Tim. 4:2.
- He can be destroyed for defiling the body, 1 Cor. 3:16-17.
- He can be turned over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, 1 Cor. 5:5.
Now look what can happen to a Christian’s fellowship as result of sin.
- He can be treated as a heathen by the church, Matthew 18:15-17.
- He can be kicked out of the church, 1 Cor. 5:1-7.
- He can mess up his fellowship with Jesus Christ, 1 John 1:3-7.
Now look what can happen to a Christian’s rewards as a result of sin.
After this life, a Christian must be judged at the judgment seat of Christ for everything that he has done in the body, whether it be good or whether it be bad (Rom. 14:10-12; 2 Cor. 5:10-11). When a Christian does something bad in his body, that’s a sin according to James 4:17. Although he cannot be judged for that sin concerning his eternal destination because he has trusted Jesus Christ to save him, he can be judged for that sin at the judgment seat of Christ. And, “he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved,” (1 Cor. 3:11-15). So, there are eternal consequences to sin after salvation due to the fact that you can lose rewards and your inheritance at the judgment seat of Christ (2 John 8; Eph 5:5; Gal 5:19-21).
Now look what God has provided to take care of those sins.
You can see that sin has terrible consequences here and hereafter, even for the Christian. Consequently, God has given us the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ as the remedy, not only for sin’s effect on our souls, but also for sin’s effect on our bodies and spirits.
- “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin,” (1 John 1:7).
- The blood of Christ will “purge your conscience,” (Hebrews 9:14).
- The blood of Christ will restore your fellowship with Jesus (1 John 1:7).
- The blood of Christ is the basis for forgiveness between believers (Eph. 4:32).
- And confession is the means by which the blood is applied (1 John 1:9).
Like Solomon said in Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but who so confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” If I were you, I would keep a short account by confession between you and the Lord.