“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” – Romans 10:9-11
LIGHT FOR NOW: Confession of sins is an anti-grace concept; receiving forgiveness is through faith in what Christ has done.
We have seen clearly that faith in Christ imparts forgiveness of sins. Hence, “forgiveness of sins” is a message. Remember, the word “confess” in verse 9 of the above text which is “homologeo” in Greek implies to consent to a message, to acknowledge it. That is, our confession is faith in the gospel of Christ (not faith in our individual misconducts). The epistles teach the confession of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins which is received once at the point of salvation and not when we confess our sins each time a sinful act is done. However, there exists only one verse in the epistles where it appears like confession of sins is implied. Many have adopted this verse as their reference point to teaching the confession of sins (individual misdeeds/misconduct) without understanding what this verse is about. This verse is 1John 1:9 which reads “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all righteousness”. In bible doctirine, a teaching is not established on the basis of single mention and thus it would be wrong to take the above text as a teaching on confessing sins because there is no corroboration or emphatic mention/teaching of it in the scriptures. However, what exactly was John communicating in this text? Is he admonishing us believers that for sins to be forgiven, we need to confess it daily before God? The answer is No. The believer is forgiven based on what Jesus did. And if you did not confess sin to be saved, after salvation you will not confess sins to stay saved because the Saviourwho saved you is able to save you to the uttermost. So a contextual analysis of 1John 1:9 is critical. 1John 1:3 gives us a lead to unbundling this text, it reads “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the father, and with his son Jesus Christ”.
So there are two groups he (John) was addressing in context; the first group did not have fellowship with the Father; the Son and other believers and moreover did not have eternal life in context. The second group (John inclusive) has eternal life and has fellowship with the Father, Son and other believers. The second group is the saved because they confessed Jesus as their Lord and Saviour since that’s where salvation is in. So, the first group which were not saved were the ones he was referring to in 1John 1:9. Recall that the word “confess” implies to acknowledge a message, that is, faith in the gospel of Christ. This means that the word “confess” is used for what Christ has done. So, obviously, the group John was referring to in 1John 1:9 were not to confess their individual sins because their individual sins is not what Christ has done. Forgiveness is what Christ has done. The message is not sin, the message is Christ; it is not faith in sin that will forgive their sins but faith in Christ. They are not confessing what they did but what Christ has done. In essence, they are confessing Christ their sin bearer and not their sins. 2Corinthians 5:21 letsus know that “Jesus was made sin for us…” Bringing 2Corinthians 5:21 back to 1John 1:9, it can thus be deduced that the sin they were to confess was Christ (who is our sin or sin bearer) and not their individual misdeeds. In fact, in the pretext, John clarified what they were to confess, “But if we walk in the light, as he is the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from all sin” (1John 1:7). So, it is clear they were to confess what the blood of Jesus has done and how it has cleansed a man from his sins. They were to confess Jesus the propitiation for their sins (1John 2:2). So, this was not a text for confessing individual sins to God but confessing Christ who is the propitiation for sins directed to the first group (the unsaved) so they could come into fellowship with God and fellowship with the second group who are the saved already. Glory!!!
INSTRUCTION: Know the word patiently.
PRAYER: I receive understanding, in Jesus Name. Amen.
QUOTE: Faith in Christ forgives sins.
DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING:1JOHN CHAPTER 1 EVENING: 1JOHN CHAPTER 2