Sinning vs. Sinner

1 John 1:9 (NKJV) says, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The word sins in 1 John 1:9 in Greek is hamartia, and it’s a noun.  When most of us think of confessing sins, we think of things we’ve done wrong, but that would be a verb.  Sins in this verse is referring to their status as sinners; something they were born into.  The word “confess” in 1 John 1:9 in Greek is homologeō, which means to say the same thing as another, i.e. to agree with.  To get saved, we just need to agree with what God says about us!

Psalm 103:10 (NKJV) says, “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.”  God is good to you, even when you sin.  Your mistakes and sins can hurt you, but God doesn’t relate to us based upon our behavior.  There are repercussions for sin, for sure.  Does God see my sins?  Yes, but they are forgiven.

1 John 2:12 (NKJV) says, “I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.”

Colossians 2:13–14 (NKJV) says, “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”



To Confess or not to Confess Sin…

1 John 1:9 (NKJV) says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John was written because of Gnosticism, which was a religious philosophy that was infiltrating the church.  Gnosticism was the most dangerous heresy that threatened the early church during the first 3 centuries.

Gnostics claimed to possess a higher knowledge, not from the Bible, but acquired on some mystical higher plain of existence and salvation was obtained through knowledge.

They believed that Jesus did not have a human body and also thought that the virgin birth was impossible.  This caused confusion and division because even though they claimed to follow Jesus, they were constantly contradicting Jesus’ teachings.

Knowing the belief system of the Gnostics helps us see how John is separating believers from unbelievers in the first chapter of 1 John.

1 John 1:1–4 (NKJV) says, [What Was Heard, Seen, and Touched] “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us – that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.”

Then John tells the gospel message in 1 John 1:5–8 (NKJV) saying, “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. “

He then tells them how to get born again in 1 John 1:9-10 (NKJV) explaining, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

John has addressed all of the major Gnostic beliefs.  He needed to tell them that they were in desperate need of a savior!  They had been lying to themselves in saying they could do this on their own.

If we read all of what John was saying, we see that confession for the forgiveness of sins is a one-time event.  All means all.  In verse 7, “all sin” includes the sins we haven’t committed yet. This is good news!

So what about confessing your sins to get saved?  Nowhere in scripture does it say, “You need to confess your sins to get saved.”  You just need to confess and believe in Jesus according to Romans 10:9-10.

Don’t miss the next blog for this continuation.



Do You Know that You ARE Forgiven?

If we understand that grace has been poured out on our lives and that we are forgiven by God, 24/7, then we will forgive everyone no matter what they have done to us.

Forgive means “to remit or send away our sins” – something the Bible says happened at the cross.  You are forgiven whether you believe it or not, but it won’t do you any good unless you believe it.

Hebrews 10:17–18 (NLT) says, Then he says, ‘I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.’  And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.”

Jesus didn’t die just for confessed and repented sins. He died for all sin.  Again, it won’t do you any good if you don’t believe that.  That is what happens at salvation.  We know and believe that Jesus has forgiven us, but do you know that even after your salvation, you have already been forgiven for any sin that you might commit?

2 Corinthians 5:18–19 (NLT) says, “And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.  For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.”  God is not counting or making a list of your sins.  You need to believe that though.

Catch the next blog to find out about “confessing sin”, mentioned in 1 John 1:9.