Why do we need to confess our sins if they have already been forgiven?


1 John 1:9

ESV - 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The apostle Paul wrote, "To the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance w...

July 01 2013 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Q jcryle001 JD Abshire
I believe The Lord gave a beautiful example of the daily cleansing all believers need.

John 13: 4. He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. 8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. 

Even if an individual had recently bathed, sandaled feet would soon become dirty from going about in the dusty, arid environment. I understand it was middle eastern custom for the householder have his servant wash the guests feet.

In this passage we see the very Lord of glory humbling himself to the lowly chore of a servant, a slave by washing the disciples feet. Peter's initial rejection wasn't one of arrogance but crushing humility. I believe he expressed the same sentiment as John Baptist expressed in John 1:27 "He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose." Peter felt he wasn't worthy and couldn't allow the Messiah, the very Son of God wash his feet! Who of us is worthy?

After Peter's refusal The Lord stated: "if I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me." Peter responded, wash me all over! The Lords next statement in my opinion has tremendous doctrinal significance. V.10 "Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all."

Oh, those precious words! "He that is washed" does not need to be re-bathed all over. After I wash your feet you will be completely, totally clean! 

"What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter."
Those who are truly born again, born of God, washed in the blood of the lamb only need a regular cleansing to wash off the dirt and contamination of sin we accumulate. We need a regular washing of water by the Word, confessing and repenting of our sins to maintain a right relationship with the Lord. 

"The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." (Psalms 34:18)
"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)
"If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." (1 John 1:10)

March 09 2015 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini James Kraft 74 year old retired pipeline worker
I do believe that at salvation, (putting our faith and trust in Jesus) completes our forgiveness of all sin. If this is not true then Jesus died in vain. Once we are saved the Holy Spirit joins his spirit with our spirit, and we have a new nature. (Born again). We also still have our old sinful nature and we have a war going on within us as to which we will obey. Paul said he still had sin in his members. We will never get to the place in this life where we have no sin. Even when we do good sin is still present.

We can give money even out of the goodness of our heart because of what the Lord has done for us, and at the same time pat ourselves on the back just a little for the good we have done. If we have done good, it is because of Christ in us. When we do evil, that is our own.

Still, everything we do should be out our love for the Lord and what He has already done for us. Otherwise, we are just obeying the law inorder to make ourselves more righteous which is nothing more than selfrighteousness. 

If Jesus death and resurrection did not pay for every sin, then we have to somehow earn our salvation through good works. 

Knowing that we cannot earn salvation and that we cannot outsin grace we love Him all the more and want to please Him. 

This does not mean that the Lord will not chasten us when we go to far, and we do reap what we sow, but our salvation cannot be in question. Jesus paid it all. It is finished. I don't know about you but I have never been able to live a perfect life. But as a believer we will have a desire to walk with Him. How can we neglect such a great salvation.

Even though I strive to live a Holy life and find I cannot, I love Him so much for His grace, (Love toward me) 

Having said all of this we still all struggle with our faith sometimes. It is just really hard to believe that God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for every sin. But, that is the joy of our salvation.

I wish I could love Him like He loves me. All I can hope for is that on that day He will say to me, "Well done faithfull servant." That is my desire but I still fall so short. Gods love for us is so far above what we can even imagine that we will not know or understand it until we reach heavens shores. 

Yes, we need to confess our sins daily to keep in fellowship with our Father.

March 08 2015 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Agnes Stuart
Are they all forgiven? I have not found anything in the Bible which says all our future sins are forgiven at the moment we become a child of God. Yes our past sins are forgiven and we are justified in God's sight at that moment but, if I understand correctly, we then need to 'walk in the light, as he is in the light' (continuous tense in the original Greek) so that the blood of Jesus can cleanse us 'from all sin'. (again continuous). 1 John 1:7. Jesus said that if we don't forgive others God will not forgive us. Matt 6:15

June 29 2014 9 responses Vote Up Share Report

Gandalf Gandalf Buddy
being forgiven doesn't mean being 'already' perfect, sinful nature persists but no longer overcomes. And this is where confession comes in, that we admit we still make mistakes (sin) but give thanks for what christ has done for us for his assured forgiveness.

Mat 6:11 Give us our food for today, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. 

1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

and God delights for his children to come to him in humility.

March 09 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Steve Schneider Deacon in The Lord's Church
Psalms 103:12, appears to mean that the great distance between East and West is referencing the largeness or mass of transgressions that God has removed from the Israelites to that point in time. 

Psalms 103:17 starts a series of stipulations for the Israelites, "fear Him, keep His covenant, and remember his precepts." This requires action by the sinner to continue in the removal of sins. I don't see that this teaches or implies that a Christian's sins are forgiven from past to future... unconditionally. In fact I struggle to make the connection to Christian's at all. I would like to see N.T. scriptures that supports Mr. Houdmann's comment, "All our past, present, and future sins are forgiven on a judicial basis, meaning that we will not suffer eternal judgment for our sins." 

Just an observation, I would say that the majority of our sins are against someone specifically. Although I agree that God hates all sin however, we are to seek the forgiveness of those we have sinned against as well as the forgiveness of God. Being Christians our sins against our own brothers and sisters as well as those outside the Church can result in severe consequences on the Church.

May 27 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

1541433406 Pearl Ekong Fortified member of the body of Christ
I believe the sin here refers to not believing or having faith in Jesus Christ as the saviour or the Son of God. That if anyone confesses this sin, God will forgive and cleanse you of all unrighteousness. 

Every other sin was taken away from us by Jesus hanging on the cross. And when Jesus said “It is finished” he didn’t add, "Now all you need to do is confess your sins." 

Once you become born again all sin is taken care of, past, present and future. God knows all from the end to the beginning and he sure doesn't need you reminding him or pointing out the sin which he has already forgiven for God said....”and their sins I shall remember no more.” 

In conclusion I believe the sin being referred to in 1 John 1:9-10 is that sin of not acknowledging Jesus as the fulfillment of the law. The only sin that will lead any soul to destruction.

November 13 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini John Kennedy standing in God's grace and glory, shouting my praise!
We don't NEED to confess our sins. We GET to!

When we were born-again we became “holy and faultless and irreproachable in the Father's presence” (Col. 1:22 AMP). This is beyond all we dare ask or think (Eph. 3:20 AMP), and so we need it to be revealed to us continually by the Holy Spirit. Walking in the Spirit, Who is the Spirit of Truth, certainly includes walking in this Truth – “the Truth that the Gospel presents” (I John 1:6,8,10 AMP). 

We cannot walk in error and Truth at the same time, though. If we're going to walk in the Spirit, and worship the Father in spirit and Truth, we can't fall for a lie. If we're going to walk in the Light, we can't walk in darkness (I John 1:5-6). 

That's the context of I John 1:9. It was written to help us walk in the Truth that we who are in Christ are without spot or wrinkle or any such thing (Eph. 5:27). This is our constant state of being, according to the Truth that Jesus' blood – shed “once-for-all” (Heb. 10:10) – keeps US separated from our sins “continuously” (I John 1:9 AMP).

Therefore, when we sin, it is not US doing it; it's sin in us (Rom. 7:17). Knowing this, we can freely admit it whenever we sin – against God or anyone else (James 5:16). Confessing our sins under the New Covenant is designed to be a means of completely disassociating ourselves with the sin in our own bodies, so that we can continually maintain our awareness that we are holy and faultless and blameless – according to God's good and acceptable and perfect will for us (Rom. 12:2)!

Even those who lived under the Old Covenant could catch a glimpse of this, although they could not fully operate in it. Proverbs 28:13 equates confessing sin with forsaking it. To forsake something is to abandon it, distancing yourself from it. When we confess our sins, we get to distance ourselves from them as far as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12)!

Paul learned that confessing sin is not something we NEED to do in order to get God to do something for us. “What we've learned is this: God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does.” (Rom. 3:27 MSG) What God does for us is forever wipe clean the slate of our sins (Heb. 8:6, II Pet. 1:9). In response, we can freely admit that we've sinned and still see ourselves as being perfectly holy.

I realize that the wording in some translations of I John 1:9 (“If we... He will”) makes it sound like it's contradicting what Paul wrote, but this is not the case. If we go outside on a sunny day, the sun will shine on us. The sun doesn't do so in response to our going outside; it was already shining. Similarly, confessing our sins is one way to experience the Truth that we are already eternally forgiven!

This, John then says, is how we sin less in the future: “These things I write to you, so that you may not sin.” (I John 2:1 NKJV) Paul put it this way: “Awake to righteousness, and sin not.” (I Cor. 15:34 KJV) The more we see ourselves as being holy and faultless, which includes confessing – distancing and separating ourselves from, disassociating with, forsaking and abandoning – our sins, the less we sin. 

Some in John's day who had not learned this had chosen rather to follow a teaching that said sin didn't exist in their lives, not even in their bodies (I John 1:8,10). By doing so they were only robbing themselves of the joy of going to God whenever they – that is, the sin in them – sinned and saying, in response to His continuously cleansing them with Jesus' blood, “Thank You, Father, that I've been separated from that sin!” They only saw confessing sin as a form of condemning themselves – which is something none of us is inclined to do, nor should we (Rom. 8:1).

Confessing our sins according to the Truth of the Gospel is meant to both reinforce our awareness and increase our gratitude that we have been separated from all of our sins by the precious blood of Jesus! It is a means of continually seeing ourselves the way that God our Father continuously sees us!

December 27 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Profile pic Mark Vestal Proud of nothing of myself. Freed by Christ who did it all!
It is important to understand the difference between forgiveness and salvation. These occur at two different points in time and have different meanings.

All of our sins were forgiven when Jesus Christ died on the cross (Col 2:13, 2 Cor 5:19) for those of us living during God's dispensation of grace (Eph 3:2). This event happened whether someone believes it or not. Salvation occurs after hearing the gospel and at the moment of belief in it (Eph 1:13), the finished cross work of Jesus Christ (Rom 4:24-25), and nothing of ourselves (Eph 2:8). Salvation is a gift from God made possible by His grace (Rom 5:18), and our belief is acceptance of His free gift (Eph 2:8). Asking for forgiveness of sins would indicate that someone lacks faith and understanding in what Jesus Christ has already done on their behalf (1 Cor 15:3, Gal 2:20).

The death of Christ was sufficient to God for the forgiveness of our sins (2 Cor 5:21, Rom 6:22). If there's something we're doing ourselves (in the flesh) with the belief that it is to obtain or to maintain our salvation, then boasting becomes an issue (Eph 2:8-2:9). Look at it this way, if you're asking for forgiveness, who's doing the asking? That's right, you are, and you can't save yourself. Therefore faith in what Christ did is the only thing that saves today. Asking for forgiveness and confession was a requirement under Mosaic law for biblical Israel, but we are no longer under the law, we're under God's grace (Rom 6:14). Praise God! You'll find doctrine for how we are to live today in the 13 epistles of Paul, Romans through Philemon (Rom 3:21). 

The sin barrier between God and man was removed by the death of Jesus Christ (Rom 6:22, 2 Cor 5:21). God can now work through us once we've removed ourselves from His path (Col 2:14, Philippians 1:6). We can now focus on what we can do for Him once we stop focusing on ourselves and our iniquities (Rom 7:22-25).

Our apostle Paul received the revelation of the mystery from Christ resurrected, which was kept secret until revealed to Paul (Rom 16:25). Had the mystery been known prior to Paul, the princes of this world would not have crucified Christ (1 Cor 2:8). This message differs from that of the 12 apostles to biblical Israel (James 1:1), who did have to do works to prove their faith in 'times past' (Rom 11:6, James 2:24). We who are living in the current dispensation of the grace of God (Eph 3:2) are to simply have faith in Christ (Rom 3:28). Works for salvation actually put us in debt with God as this shows lack of faith (Rom 4:4). Basically, we don't work in order to be saved, we work because we are saved (Eph 2:10, Eph 4:12).

It is of utmost importance to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15), the gospel of our salvation (Eph 1:13) that was given to Paul, from the gospel given to biblical Israel, when studying the bible. Jesus and the 12 apostles were for the lost sheep of the house of Israel, which was not you or I (Mat 10:5-6, Mat 15:24).

During this dispensation of grace that we live in today there is no difference in Jew nor Greek (Gal 3:28). Believers today are members of the church the body of Christ (Col 1:24). God now sees Christ in us and not who we see when we look in the mirror!

When you’re a passenger in the back seat of a vehicle, you have faith that the driver will safely get you to your destination. Jesus Christ is our ‘spiritual vehicle’ (Rom 5:10, Rom 8:32), and our spiritual 'seat belt' is the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30), that secures our souls from damnation until the day of redemption (Eph 1:13)! Praise God for the fact that we can't drive ourselves there, and we can't unfasten our seal, even though our sinful carnal bodies may attempt both during our walk in faith.

We ourselves are simply not righteous enough for God on our own merits (Titus 3:5), but the good news is that our belief in what Jesus Christ did on our behalf makes us the righteousness of God (1 Cor 1:30, 2 Cor 5:21). Amen!

January 18 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
This has already been mentioned by 2 people but I want to add something personal. The reason we need to confess our sins even though they are already forgiven is because of relationship. Relationship as ‘a child to a father.’ 

Suppose my daughter did something to offend me. I would forgive her, but our relationship would be strained until she confessed it. Same with God our Father.

September 15 2022 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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