Summary: We need forgiveness because we are all guilty of sin in our life. The Bible is very clear of his law, and it is equally clear that we have violated this law in many ways.
Confession and Forgiveness
A Sermon by CH(CPT) Keith J. Andrews
All scripture marker ESV: The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Eph 2:3). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
The Bible says in 1 John 1:9,
9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9, ESV)
We see in this verse the model verse of forgiveness from God.
We all need forgiveness. Forgiveness is the act of taking our dirty life-our lives that are full of sin and making them new again. Forgiveness, Harper’s Bible dictionary says is the "wiping clean" of our sin.
We need forgiveness because we are all guilty of sin in our life. The Bible is very clear of his law, and it is equally clear that we have violated this law in many ways.
Ephesians 2:3 says teaches that we are sinful by our very nature
Psalm 51:5 says teaches that we were born with sin
Ecclesiastes 9:3 teaches that we have sin in our hearts
We cannot enter heaven or be with the Father without forgiveness. We need to have forgiveness before we approach a Holy God.
So, then, we see in this verse that;
1. God is faithful and just.
When we see this verse, we are tempted to brush over this small descriptive phrase and say-ye, God is a very nice man. But this is not the picture that is painted at all. He is a Holy God and his faithfulness and his justice is demonstrated through the death of his son, Jesus Christ.
His faithfulness and his justice, first, is demonstrated by death itself.
How is that? Death is the punishment for our sin—the Bible says that wages or payment of sin is death (Rm 6:23). God’s justice is demonstrated through death itself.
All the way back to the first chapters of Genesis, when Adam and Eve sinned the punishment has been death. Satan knew it and used it against the people—he didn’t want Adam and Eve to accept that they would die because of our sin. This is a lie of the devil! We will all die because of our sin. Death, therefore, is a demonstration of god’s justice because he must obey that law and carry out the sentence.
We all have heard stories of the justice system in the US not carrying out the sentences that it is require to do—we let rapists loose on "good behavior", we let murders walk because we desire to be compassionate, and we let thieves be paroled because we simply don’t have the resources to keep them in jail. Each time this is done—it brings down the credibility and the effectiveness of the government. The people see that there is no justice.
All of us are sinners, we all deserve death—separation from God, and hell—separation from God for an eternity. This is God’s demonstration of justice on this world.
Then his faithfulness is demonstrated through his son.
The Bible says
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Ro 6:23, ESV)
Yes, there is a punishment for our death—this is justice. We deserve it because of our rebellion against a Holy God. However, because God is also faithful he provided his son to take our place—“that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (Jn 3:16). This is the example of the gospel.
Some of us have heard the story of the "whipping Boy". This is a young boy that took the whippings instead of the young prince who was the king’s son. As the story goes, the king did not want his son to be spanked, but he used one of the children of the servants to take all of the punishment for the young prince. The innocent whipping boy took the beatings for the unruly prince.
In an opposite manner Christ—the prince—take the punishment for each of us—the servants. God sent his son to die because God is faithful. And that faithfulness is demonstrated in God sending his son, to die in our place.
The Bible says God is “faithful and just” to forgive us of our sin. He is faithful by sending his son, but he is just because he continues to hold us to this standard, unless we confess. This the great teaching of the Bible—the Bible, Adrian Rogers used to say, is a Him book—it is all about Him, meaning Jesus. From the first word in Genesis, the Bible points toward the cross and after the resurrection the Bible looks back to the cross.
The cross where Jesus died is the perfect reflection of faithfulness and justice. A faithful God, sending his own son to free the world from the punishment of sin—on one hand. And a just God to actually allow His only son to be put to death—on the other.