By Prostock-studio

1 John 1:8–10 ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’ (v9)

Have you ever found yourself to be reading a verse one way only for someone to suggest an alternative? Our verse for today is a classic used for Christians who are conscious of messing up.

It may be quoted in churches with a liturgical tradition, where ‘confession’ is a part of a typical church service and especially at a communion service.

But who are people who claim to be ‘without sin’? Is it possible that these are unbelievers or people who have a view of ‘sinlessness’, perhaps part of the group that was influencing the church that John was writing to?

So, verses 8 and 10 are addressed to this same group of people who deny sin. He is saying to them: ‘Come clean with God; after all, He will forgive and purify you.’

devotional bible verse website square 9

That’s certainly possible, although it is of course also true for the Christian. God is two things: ‘faithful’ and ‘just’. ‘Faithful’ we probably get.

It’s part of God’s nature, and of course God is just too, but what does ‘just’ mean? ‘Just’ would be to condemn our sin, except that He promises that sin has been dealt with by the death of His Son.

If someone has paid a penalty, it is unjust to expect more. If a man pays his brother’s fine, the brother doesn’t have to pay it also, that would be unjust.

And so, God has set up a new set of scales of justice. All we, or indeed all anyone need do, is to ask for forgiveness.


A Prayer To Make:
Lord, thank You that we can walk with You and enjoy fellowship every day. Amen.

An Action To Take:
Thank You, Lord, that You promise that we can be purified from all unrighteousness. Thanks for the ‘clothes’ that You give me, Amen.

Scripture To Consider:
Neh. 1:4–11; Ps. 103:1–12; Mark 2:1–12; 1 John 2:18–29

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.