Let’s read that wonderful verse.  1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  It is important to realize that John the apostle is speaking to believers.  This is not a teaching on the way of salvation, but he is addressing the importance and necessity for believers to constantly confess their sins to the Lord.  You might think that once you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior that all your sins have been forgiven…and that is true, for we read in 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN.”  However, it is important to confess our sins to the Lord to maintain a close relationship with Him.  It has been said that “Communion with the Lord, with unconfessed sin, is a moral impossibility.” 

How do we confess our sins to the Lord?  It is more than just asking for forgiveness.  The Lord requires that we “confess” our sins to Him.  That means the Lord wants us to tell Him what we have done that is sinful.  In other words, put into words before Him the evil thing we have done.  That is certainly distasteful to speak specifically of our sins to the Lord.  Yet, when we, in true repentance, confess our sins to the Lord, He is FAITHFUL AND JUST towards us.  We might think the Lord would be GRACIOUS and MERCIFUL TO US (which He is), but here the Lord’s faithfulness and righteousness is spoken of. 

FAITHFUL – This simply means that the Lord is true to His word.  What He says, He will do.  We read the words of David in Psalm 32:5, “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and THOU FORGAVEST THE INIQUITY OF MY SIN. Selah.”  Hebrews 8:12 tells us, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”  The Lord will ALWAYS forgive and cleanse the repentant believer who confesses his sins to the Lord.

JUST – God is just, or righteous, towards His people.  That simply means that the Lord will do that which is right in His dealings with us.  Our righteous God ALWAYS does that which is just and righteous. He is just in forgiving the repentant believer of his/her sins because of the basis of the blood of Jesus Christ that satisfied the justice of God.  This reassures us that we can depend on God in his righteousness to forgive us when we confess our sins.

Not only does the Lord forgive us when we confess our sins to Him, but He also cleanses us from all unrighteousness.  He purges our conscience from all guilt of sin which allows us to “…lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”  (Hebrews 12:1).  We can absolutely depend upon the Lord’s faithfulness and righteousness to forgive and cleanse us when we confess our sins to Him. 

Proverbs 28:13 tells us, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”  It should be the continuing habit of the believer to recognize when we have sinned and to confess that sin right away.  We need to abide in the constant fellowship of the Lord, and we cannot do that with unconfessed sin in our lives.  Then we need to forsake that sin by walking in the truth of God’s Word, being led by His Spirit.  Galatians 5:16 tells us, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”  (CC)  (579.6)