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But if we freely admit our sins when his light uncovers them,[a] he will be faithful to forgive us every time. God is just to forgive us our sins because of Christ, and he will continue to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.[b]

10 If we claim that we’re not guilty of sin when God uncovers it with his light,[c] we make him a liar and his word is not in us.

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  1. 1 John 1:9 Confession of sin is the way to find restoration and unbroken fellowship with God. It cleanses the conscience and removes every obstacle from communion with Christ. Confession does not gain God’s acceptance, for that was won for us forever by the sacrifice of Christ. It is on the basis of being his dearly loved children that we restore intimacy with God through our tenderhearted confession before him. God will always be faithful to restore our first-love passion for him. There is no need to confess the same sins over and over, for that is ignoring the blood of Jesus that cleanses us. All of our sins were paid for on the cross and we can do nothing to remove them, but confession acknowledges God’s faithfulness to restore our intimacy with him. Our Father and our forgiving Redeemer fill the heavens with grace toward every believer, even when we sin.
  2. 1 John 1:9 “Unrighteousness,” in this context, means the sins we’re not aware of. Confession cleanses known sin and restores fellowship with God, but God’s faithfulness, in seeing Christ as our Sin-Bearer, cleanses us from all unknown sin as well. If we do but one thing (confess our sin), God will do four things: (1) demonstrate his faithful love, (2) demonstrate justice by counting our sins paid for by Christ, (3) forgive us every sin, and (4) continue a deeper work of cleansing from all aspects of sin’s defilement.
  3. 1 John 1:10 We can only confess what God has revealed to us in his light. But when he shows that a thought or life pattern is sinful, we must agree with him in order to be restored. We cannot hide or conceal our sin, but confess our failure to him and move forward in faith. This is like a “rebound” for a missed shot.