Confession and Forgiveness

Confessing sin is important—not to keep our salvation but to maintain intimacy with our heavenly Father.

1 John 1:5-10

Many Christians find it troubling that they repeatedly deal with certain sins. And they rightly turn to 1 John 1:9 for assurance: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.They’re relieved to know God forgives our sins, and they promise to do better. But some people have misunderstood this verse—they believe our salvation is tied to continual confession.

There’s a big difference between relationship (the unbreakable Father-child bond) and fellowship (our line of communication). Certainly confession plays a vital role in maintaining intimate communication with the Father, but the believer’s standing as His child cannot change. Fellowship with God is interrupted by sin (Ps. 66:18) but restored when we confess and repent. Then we are freed from the emotional bondage of guilt and shame.

As we mature in our faith, the inclination to sin will decrease. But as long as our earthly life continues, we won’t be fully free of fleshly tendencies. Romans 8:1 offers this additional reassurance: Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus.So, while our sin may have temporal consequences, we can be certain God has fully pardoned us.


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