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.”
To think that after you get saved that you will never have to deal with sin again is not what God’s Word teaches. When you got saved, your sins were paid for, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t continue to sin. There are many who believe that we must be sinless after we get saved to prove our salvation is true, but that is impossible because all are still sinners. The difference between the saved sinner and the lost sinner is that the saved sinner’s sins are paid for at Calvary. However, once you sin, you need to get forgiveness from God so that your relationship with God can be what it is supposed to be. Let me point out several things the verse above teaches about the believer getting forgiveness.
First, ALL of your sins are bad. The verse above says, “…and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Notice, God did not say some sins are unrighteous, but all are unrighteous. Let me ask you, how dirty does your sin seem to you? Do you look at some of your sins as mistakes instead of sin? My friend, sin is not a mistake; it is a sin and is unrighteous in the sight of God. You will never overcome sin by looking at your sin as a mistake or a slip-up. When your sin becomes so bad that you feel filthy when you think about it is when you will have the desire for God to cleanse you from sin.
Second, you must realize that you need help. The fact that you are confessing your sin to God is an admission that you need help. You will never overcome sin in your life until you realize you need help. You will continue to struggle with your sin as long as you think you can control your sin and that you know how to care for it. You are lying to yourself to think that you can control and manage your sin. Only God has the power to help you overcome sin.
Third, you must have a desire to be cleansed from your sins. To be cleansed from something means that you don’t ever want to do it again. Let me ask you, when you ask God for forgiveness, are you asking for forgiveness to ease your conscience, or are you asking for forgiveness because you want nothing to do with your sin again? God is faithful and just to forgive your sin when you genuinely desire never to go back to that sin again.
Fourth, you must confess your sin to get God’s forgiveness. Confessing sin is not just asking God to “forgive you of all your sin,” but it is telling God what you have done. It is difficult to name your sin to God, but it is necessary if you want to be cleansed from it. Stop trying to camouflage your sin when you go to God and admit what you have done to Him. We don’t like to name our sin because it is hard to do this when you are talking to a holy God; however, God wants you to confess or name your sin to Him before He will forgive and cleanse you from your sin.
My friend, when you are willing to do these things is when God is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse you from your sin. The greatest thing that ought to bother you about your sin is that it has grieved God and hampered your fellowship with Him. The fact that your fellowship with God is not what it should be because of your sin is what should cause you to want to be cleansed from it. One thing you can be confident about is that when you are willing to come clean with God about your sin, He is faithful to forgive and just to keep His promise to forgive.