If a student of “The Word” would learn and receive God’s word accurately in the anointing of God’s Spirit (in which it was written); not only will he grow and mature as a believer, he will also gain mastery in every affair, place the devil (and his schemes) where he belongs and the church through him will come out triumphantly (same for a Bible teacher also)
If you don’t read the First epistle of John meticulously, you may think the writer is in a state of some confusion or contradicting himself especially when you read (CHAPTER 1) where He says “IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US OUR SINS”, then in (CHAPTER 2) He says “I WRITE UNTO YOU THAT YE SIN NOT, AND IF ANY MAN SIN, WE HAVE AN ADVOCATE”, (in CHAPTER 3) He says “WHATSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD DOTH NOT COMMIT SIN … AND HE CANNOT SIN and in (CHAPTER 5) he says “WE KNOW THAT WHATSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD SINNETH NOT.
The First epistle of John is written to different classes of people.
1 John Chapter 1 was written against Gnostics and their philosophy (they were unbelievers, they were heretics who permeated the early church, they held on to the opinion that Jesus only appeared in a body but he didn’t really have a physical body per se and they also do not believe in the existence of sin)
1 John Chapter 2, he writes to 3 different categories of believers (children, young men and fathers)
1 John Chapter 3, 4 and 5, he writes to all believers at large.
1 John 1: 1 started with no salutations (this is not applicable with other letters written to believers by John himself in 2 John and 3 John, and also letters by Peter and even Paul).
John writes to validate the life and ministry of Jesus as an eye witness, and as a testifier of his physical existence, He also extended a hand fellowship to the heretics to join the community of believers by acknowledging their sins, and that God is able to provide the forgiveness.
1John 1: 8 – 9 [KJV] – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we “confess” our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The word “CONFESS” used here is a verb from the Greek word “HOMOLOGEO”; it means “TO MAKE DECLARATION”. The most accurate synonym is “TO ACKNOWLEDGE OR ADMIT”.
1John 1: 9 [KJV] can be paraphrased as …
If we “ACKNOWLEDGE OR ADMIT” our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This place does not talk about a believer asking; It does not imply that a believer should ask for forgiveness, it is a strong message against the heretics to bring them to the realization that “all have sinned” and calling them to “acknowledge” their sins, and once that is done; God can be trusted (He is faithful); He is up to it to provide the forgiveness.
In this Chapter, John uses “we” and “us” not necessarily including him as one of them.
Then in the following chapter 1 John 2: 1 – 2, He addresses the community of believers.
“My little children, these things I write unto you, so that you “MAY” not sin. And “IF” any man sin “WE HAVE AN ADVOCATE WITH THE FATHER, JESUS CHRIST THE RIGHTEOUS. And Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
Here, John associates the children category with sin. They know the Father, they have recognized him but they are still ignorant of his dealings (because they haven’t known His word).
In this verse, for the children category, sin (or sinning) here is conditional; the believer does not have to sin; and peradventure if it happens; the solution is not to start confessing sins. John didn’t tell the children to confess their sins; rather he reminds them they have an advocate.
An advocate stands for the accused, a solicitor pleads on behalf of the offender. It is not the duty of the accused; the lawyer speaks on his behalf.
1John 2: 12 [KJV] – I write unto, little children because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.
Forgiveness of sins is for his name’s sake not for our sake.
Here, John is not trying to “okay” sin for the believer but assuring them that the issue of sin has been dealt with in the first place, and should not focus on sin, but looking on to the advocate who justifies the accused/offender.
CONFESSION – My eyes are open to my new creation realities in Christ Jesus. I am free indeed and I have passed from condemnation to commendation in Christ Jesus my Lord. All my sins have been forgiven.