By Jarrod Belcher
“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. This passage of Scripture is one that brings us great comfort in life because it seems no matter how hard we try some kind of sin besets us. One of the things about growing up in Christ is that as we do so we find out all the more just how sinful we are. We uncover iniquity in ourselves that before we never thought of as being displeasing to God. As we know more about Christ and about the character of God our self-righteousness is struck down because we find out just how much in our bodies that we are displeasing to God. Only the self-righteous person claims to be fully sanctified and free from sin. Such thoughts betray a low view of God’s righteousness if we think we have or can stop sinning in full.
And so there is comfort knowing that in confession our sins are forgiven and our unrighteousness is cleansed. Thomas Watson said, “There is no rowing to paradise except upon the stream of repenting tears.” But upon what confidence do we have that our sins our forgiven? Simply because we ask? There is certainly more to it. God is not arbitrarily forgiving us our sins. He has done so through Jesus Christ. The verse says God is faithful and just to forgive us. We may know that God forgives us not just because we’ve asked but also because he is just in doing so due to the fact that the death of Jesus satisfied God’s wrath against our sins. When we have believed upon Jesus and trusted only in his righteousness for our forgiveness, we have been given access to the forgiveness that he acquired for us. Our sins aren’t simply forgotten. They were bore upon the body of Christ at Calvary. Now when you confess your sins and read this passage, you can rejoice at the mercy and grace of God found in Christ Jesus.