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1 John 1:9

    1 John 1:9 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    If we say openly that we have done wrong, he is upright and true to his word, giving us forgiveness of sins and making us clean from all evil.

    Webster's Revision

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    World English Bible

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 John 1:9

    If we confess our sins - If, from a deep sense of our guilt, impurity, and helplessness, we humble ourselves before God, acknowledging our iniquity, his holiness, and our own utter helplessness, and implore mercy for his sake who has died for us; he is faithful, because to such he has promised mercy, Psalm 32:5; Proverbs 28:13; and just, for Christ has died for us, and thus made an atonement to the Divine justice; so that God can now be just, and yet the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus.

    And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness - Not only to forgive the sin, but to purify the heart.

    Observe here,

    1. Sin exists in the soul after two modes or forms:

    (1.) In guilt, which requires forgiveness or pardon.

    (2.) In pollution, which requires cleansing.

    2. Guilt, to be forgiven, must be confessed; and pollution, to be cleansed, must be also confessed. In order to find mercy, a man must know and feel himself to be a sinner, that he may fervently apply to God for pardon; in order to get a clean heart, a man must know and feel its depravity, acknowledge and deplore it before God, in order to be fully sanctified.

    3. Few are pardoned, because they do not feel and confess their sins; and few are sanctified or cleansed from all sin, because they do not feel and confess their own sore, and the plague of their hearts.

    4. As the blood of Jesus Christ, the merit of his passion and death, applied by faith, purges the conscience from all dead works, so the same cleanses the heart from all unrighteousness.

    5. As all unrighteousness is sin, so he that is cleansed from all unrighteousness is cleansed from all sin. To attempt to evade this, and plead for the continuance of sin in the heart through life, is ungrateful, wicked, and even blasphemous; for as he who says he has not sinned, 1 John 1:10, makes God a liar, who has declared the contrary through every part of his revelation; so he that says the blood of Christ either cannot or will not cleanse us from all sin in this life, gives also the lie to his Maker, who has declared the contrary, and thus shows that the word - the doctrine of God is not in him.

    Reader, it is the birthright of every child of God to be cleansed from all sin, to keep himself unspotted from the world, and so to live as never more to offend his Maker. All things are possible to him that believeth; because all things are possible to the infinitely meritorious blood and energetic Spirit of the Lord Jesus. See the notes on the parallel passages in the margin; and particularly in St. John's gospel, John 1 note.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 John 1:9

    If we confess our sins - Pardon in the Scriptures, always supposes that there is confession, and there is no promise that it will be imparted unless a full acknowledgment has been made. Compare Psalm 51; Psalm 32:1-11;; Luke 15:18 ff; Luke 7:41 ff; Proverbs 28:13.

    He is faithful - To his promises. He will do what he has assured us he will do in remitting them.

    And just to forgive us our sins - The word "just" here cannot be used in a strict and proper sense, since the forgiveness of sins is never an act of justice, but is an act of mercy. If it were an act of justice it could be demanded or enforced, and that is the same as to say that it is not forgiveness, for in that case there could have been no sin to be pardoned. But the word "just" is often used in a larger sense, as denoting upright, equitable, acting properly in the circumstances of the case, etc. Compare the notes at Matthew 1:19. Here the word may be used in one of the following senses:

    (1) Either as referring to his general excellence of character, or his disposition to do what is proper; that is, he is one who will act in every way as becomes God; or,

    (2) that he will be just in the sense that he will be true to his promises; or that, since he has promised to pardon sinners, he will be found faithfully to adhere to those engagements; or perhaps,

    (3) that he will be just to his Son in the covenant of redemption, since, now that an atonement has been made by him, and a way has been opened through his sufferings by which God can consistently pardon, and with a view and an understanding that he might and would pardon, it would be an act of injustice to him if he did not pardon those who believe on him.

    Viewed in either aspect, we may have the fullest assurance that God is ready to pardon us if we exercise true repentance and faith. No one can come to God without finding him ready to do all that is appropriate for a God to do in pardoning transgressors; no one who will not, in fact, receive forgiveness if he repents, and believes, and makes confession; no one who will not find that God is just to his Son in the covenant of redemption, in pardoning and saving all who put their trust in the merits of his sacrifice.

    And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness - By forgiving all that is past, treating us as if we were righteous, and ultimately by removing all the stains of guilt from the soul.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 John 1:9

    1:9 But if with a penitent and believing heart, we confess our sins, he is faithful - Because he had promised this blessing, by the unanimous voice of all his prophets. Just - Surely then he will punish: no; for this very reason he will pardon. This may seem strange; but upon the evangelical principle of atonement and redemption, it is undoubtedly true; because, when the debt is paid, or the purchase made, it is the part of equity to cancel the bond, and consign over the purchased possession. Both to forgive us our sins - To take away all the guilt of them. And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness - To purify our souls from every kind and every degree of it.

    Verses Related to 1 John 1:9

    Psalms 55:22 - Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
    Isaiah 1:18 - Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
    Mark 11:25 - And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.