A MARK OF THE CHRISTIAN
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. ~ 1 JOHN 1 : 9
The apostle John wrote his first epistle to define the difference between a Christian and an unbeliever. Our verse for today indicates that confession characterizes the former. The next verse says, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar” (v. 10). Unregenerate men deny their sin, but Christians take responsibility for it and confess it.
Confession of sin doesn’t take place only at salvation. It continues, as faith does, throughout the life of a believer. A willingness to confess sin is part of the pattern of life that characterizes every believer. That pattern also includes love (1 John 3:14), separation from the world (2:15), and instruction by the Holy Spirit (2:27). Of course there are varying degrees of confession—sometimes we don’t make as full a confession as we should—but a true believer eventually acknowledges his sin.