Creflo Dollar — Must I Confess My Sins To Be Forgiven?
The application of any Scripture is gonna be based on the context that that Scripture appears in. So, let's read verse 9, first of all, 1 John 1:9. He says: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
How many of you are aware of that Scripture? "If we confess our sins, then he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Now, if you just read that out of its context, what does it sound like? In order to get rid of your sins, you gotta confess 'em. And what it sounds like is, "If you confess your sins," condition, "if you confess your sins, then he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins."
Now, let me ask you a question. If you don't confess your sins, is he still faithful? Because his faithfulness is not gonna be based on whether or not I confess my sins or not. All right, "He's faithful and just to forgive us of our sins." Now, did he forgive our sins 2,000 years ago, or is he only gonna forgive 'em when you confess 'em today? "And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Haven't we read in Hebrews chapter 10 that he has already cleansed us once and for all of all unrighteousness?
All right, now, so the first thing we gotta figure out is, was this meant for sinners who have not made Jesus the Lord of their lives? Or was it meant for believers who have made Jesus the Lord of their lives? Now, I'll agree with this for sinners. Because I know, in order for me to get saved, for all of us to get saved, we've confessed our sins, right? And he was faithful and just to forgive us of all of our sins, and he cleansed us from all unrighteousness.
Every one of us have experienced that. But now, if you try to use this as a Scripture to define what it means to maintain fellowship with Jesus or to say that a Christian person has to do this all the time, that's where I'm having the problem. So, as far as my study is concerned, chapter 1 of 1 John, chapter 1, was written to agnostics. These were people who were not believers. They were unbelievers. And then, in chapter 2, you will see him talking about believers.
So, I wanna handle it in context first, and then I wanna deal with some obvious things that you have learned. You know, I feel like I'm talkin' to you right now, and you're like, "You ain't gotta preach this to us. We already know where this is gonna end up." But for the benefit of Mama and them, Pookie and them, and Shaquita and them, I wanna supply a teaching so that you can use and say, "Child, please, listen to this and call me tomorrow," okay?
Because I don't know if you realize it, but if you go to almost 80% of Christians right now, they believe they have to confess their sins every single day to get God to do somethin' about it every single day, and if they don't, they don't have fellowship with God, and they may die with unconfessed sins. And that's the thing we've got to settle. So, I thought to get you to help me to preach this particular gospel, why not go through it tonight and really lay hold of some things?
So, now, let's begin at verse 1. 1 John chapter 1, in verse 1: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life."
Who's he talkin' about here? These are the disciples here, who spent time with Jesus, who heard him speak, who had fellowship with him, and they're talkin'... and I want you to realize, in verse 1, he's gotta be talkin' to somebody about Jesus. Imagine if you were goin' and witnessin' to somebody and they came out and said, you know, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have looked upon, our hands have handled, of the Word of life."
Look at verse 2: "For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and we bear witness, and we show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us." Who's he talkin' about there? Can you see these people? They're sittin' up here talkin' about what they have experienced and what they witnessed.
Verse 3: "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you." Now, do you see that? "That which we have seen, which we have heard we are now declaring unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us." So, the assumption is, "You don't have fellowship with us because we gettin' ready to tell you somethin' about somethin' you didn't know about. But we know about it. We've seen it. We've experienced it. So that now we're declaring it to you. So, what we've experienced and seen, we're now declaring it to you."
So, it's obvious not declaring to someone who's had this same experience. So, obviously, this is someone who hadn't had this experience that they have had. "We're now declaring unto you that you also may have fellowship," or koinonia, or may participate, or have a part with this as well. "And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."
So, he says, "You don't have fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ like we do, so now we're declaring this to you so you can have the fellowship with the Son and the Father like we do. Sounds like somebody witnessin', right?
All right, look at verse 4: "And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." The implication is, "Like our joy is full."
Look at verse 5: "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and now we declare it unto you, that God is," what? "Light, and in him is no darkness at all." "God is light, and in him there's no darkness at all."
Verse 6: "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth."
Now, if I say that I have fellowship or I have a part with him, notice what happened when I got born again. I got in him. I got in the light. The light is not behavior. The light is your position in him. All right, so I am in him, and now I am walkin'. So, "If I say that I have fellowship with him, or if I say I'm in him, and then I walk in darkness, then we lie and do not the truth," 'cause I'm not him.
Notice he explains in verse 7: "But if we walk in the light," not in behavior, not in good behavior. "But if we walk in the light," he is the light, amen? "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, then we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Christ his Son cleanses us from all our sins." Sounds like the guy's witnessin', right?
Now, verse 8: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." If you say that there is no sin nature, okay, if you don't have one, then the truth ain't in you. And even in this case here, I'd have to double check it, but, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." Well, who's in us? We have Christ on the inside of us, right?
All right, now, watch this, verse 9: "If we confess our sins," he's witnessin'. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our ins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." You see, he's talkin' to somebody who's not a believer.
Verse 10: "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his Word is not in us." He's talkin' to these guys who may, for some reason, say that they don't have a sin nature and they've not sinned."
Verse 11: "My little children, these things," now, watch this very carefully. Now, I submit to you that chapter 1 was a declaration to unbelievers about how they can now have fellowship with the Christ that these disciples have. That's pretty clear to see, right?
Now, look at chapter 2, verse 1: "My little children," my little children, that's interesting. "My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not." He didn't call them, "Little children," up there in chapter 1. Now, we're talkin' about the children of God, "Thou little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."
He's addressing his little children now. And what he says is, "Little children, if you sin, we have a advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. Verse 2: "And he is the propitiation for our sins," or the substitute for our sins, "and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
So, now he's talkin' about a whole deal. He talks to these guys, "Dudes, you wanna get saved. We've seen him. We've beheld him. And if you confess your sins, he's faithful and just to forgive you of your sins so you can come and have fellowship with what we have fellowship. But now, my little children, if you sin, we have an advocate with the Father."
So, now there's a distinction between you confessing your sins if you sin as an unbeliever. As an unbeliever, he says, "Let's get your life straight. Confess your sins, confess Jesus, make him Lord of your life." But it says, "Now, as a child of God, you have somethin' greater. Jesus has already dealt with your sin."
Oh, Lord have mercy. Oh, my goodness. Also, for, you know, he's died for your sins. He's a propitiation. He's a substitute for your sin. He's taking care of your sins. And not only of your sins, here's an awesome thing, he said, "While he died, he took care of the sins of the whole world if they would just come to the point of recognizing it and receiving what he's done for them. Now, here's what I wanna show you. 1 John 1:9: "We do not confess our sins in order to be forgiven," as a believer, as a believer.
Now, I'm talkin' to believers. I'm talkin' tonight to believers. Now, what did we do to get born again? We confessed our sins and we believed on him, right? According to the book of Romans, right? "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe within your heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." We did that, right?
So, the rest of the night, I'm talkin' to you now that you're saved, now that you're born again, all right? And here's what I want you to hear. We confess or speak openly to our gracious Father because we have already been forgiven. I've already been forgiven. I've already been forgiven.
For me to say that I have to confess all of every sin... after I get saved, for me to say, "I've gotta confess my sins in order for God to forgive me," forgiveness is not dependent on what I do, but on what Jesus has already done. And if I have to confess my sins in order to be forgiven, then it is dependent upon me confessing my sins to get forgiveness and not dependent upon what Jesus has done for me to get forgiveness.