ANSWER: Let’s begin by reading 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is a precious verse for believers on the Lord Yahushua Mashiach/Christ. This is not a verse that is telling us how to be saved. This verse is telling those who are saved how to maintain their relationship with the Lord. If we sin, the Lord wants us to come to Him and confess that sin. To confess means to acknowledge our sins before the Lord. This can be a very unpleasant experience. It is not enjoyable to come before our loving God and savior and tell Him our sins; to put into words before Him exactly what we have done. This act should cause us to consider our words and actions, so that we do not sin again and have to repeat this unpleasant confession.
The Lord’s desire for us is that we do not sin. I’m sure most of us remember the words of the Lord to the woman caught in adultery and brought to Him for judgment. He forgave her of her sins, but said to her in John 8:11, “…go, and sin no more.” He wants us to refrain from sinning, but He also promises us that if we sin, we should confess that sin to Him so that He might, in a practical sense, forgive that sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
So, what about those sins that we have committed and forgot to confess? As believers, let’s be assured of this truth found in 1 John 1:7, “…the blood of Yahushua Mashiach / Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” When we put our faith in the Lord Yahushua Mashiach, we were cleansed from ALL our sin…past, present, and future. Our standing before the Father does not change, we have been, “…made the righteousness of God” in Christ/Mashiah Yahushua as we read in 2 Corinthians 5:21. That doesn’t ever change. However, although our standing before God never changes, our state, or our relationship with Him, can change. If we continue in unconfessed sin, our walk with the Lord is greatly affected. Our desire to please Him will cease. His pleasure in us will diminish. It is so vital to the believer that we strive to “sin no more”, but if we sin, we need to confess our sins immediately to the Lord so that our relationship with Him is maintained. It is important that we keep ‘short accounts’ with the Lord. That means we should not hesitate to confess our sins to Him immediately so that we do not forget to confess them later. The Lord wants us to walk in fellowship with Him. Confession of our sins is one way to stay close to our Lord.
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