1 John 1:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

New Living Translation
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

English Standard Version
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

New American Standard Bible
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

King James Bible
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

International Standard Version
If we make it our habit to confess our sins, in his faithful righteousness he forgives us for those sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

NET Bible
But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and he will purge us from all our evil.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we've done wrong.

Jubilee Bible 2000
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

King James 2000 Bible
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

American King James Version
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

American Standard Version
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity.

Darby Bible Translation
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us [our] sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

English Revised Version
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Webster's Bible Translation
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Weymouth New Testament
If we confess our sins, He is so faithful and just that He forgives us our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

World English Bible
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Young's Literal Translation
if we may confess our sins, stedfast He is and righteous that He may forgive us the sins, and may cleanse us from every unrighteousness;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:5-10 A message from the Lord Jesus, the Word of life, the eternal Word, we should all gladly receive. The great God should be represented to this dark world, as pure and perfect light. As this is the nature of God, his doctrines and precepts must be such. And as his perfect happiness cannot be separated from his perfect holiness, so our happiness will be in proportion to our being made holy. To walk in darkness, is to live and act against religion. God holds no heavenly fellowship or intercourse with unholy souls. There is no truth in their profession; their practice shows its folly and falsehood. The eternal Life, the eternal Son, put on flesh and blood, and died to wash us from our sins in his own blood, and procures for us the sacred influences by which sin is to be subdued more and more, till it is quite done away. While the necessity of a holy walk is insisted upon, as the effect and evidence of the knowledge of God in Christ Jesus, the opposite error of self-righteous pride is guarded against with equal care. All who walk near to God, in holiness and righteousness, are sensible that their best days and duties are mixed with sin. God has given testimony to the sinfulness of the world, by providing a sufficient, effectual Sacrifice for sin, needed in all ages; and the sinfulness of believers themselves is shown, by requiring them continually to confess their sins, and to apply by faith to the blood of that Sacrifice. Let us plead guilty before God, be humble, and willing to know the worst of our case. Let us honestly confess all our sins in their full extent, relying wholly on his mercy and truth through the righteousness of Christ, for a free and full forgiveness, and our deliverance from the power and practice of sin.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 9. - As in verse 7, we have the opposite hypothesis stated, and the thought advanced a stage. Not the exact opposite, "if we confess that we have sin;" but "if we confess our sins." It is easy to say, "I am a sinner;" but if confession is to have value it must state the definite acts of sin. The context ("deceive ourselves... he is faithful") shows that confession at the bar of the conscience and of God is meant. Circumstances must decide whether confession to man is required also, and this St. John neither forbids nor enjoins. Note the asyndeton; there is no δέ, as in verse 7. He is faithful and righteous, Δίκαιος must be rendered "righteous" rather than "just," to mark the contrast with unrighteousness ἀδικίτι, and the connexion with "Jesus Christ the Righteous" (1 John 2:1). To forgive... to cleanse. As explained in verse 7, the one refers to freeing us from the penalties of sin, justification; the other to freeing us from its contamination, sanctification. The sense of purpose is not wholly to be surrendered. No doubt ἵνα, like other particles, becomes weakened in later Greek; but even in later classical Greek the notion of purpose is mixed up with that of consequence. Much more is this the case in the New Testament, and especially in St. John, where what seems to us to be mere result is really design; and this higher aspect of the sequence of facts is indicated by ἵνα. It is God's nature to be faithful and righteous; but it is also his purpose to exhibit these attributes towards us; and this purpose is expressed in ἵνα ἀφῇ ἡμῖν.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

If we confess our sins,.... Not to one other; for though it is our duty to confess our faults to our fellow creatures and fellow Christians which are committed against them, yet are under no obligation to confess such as are more immediately against God, and which lie between him and ourselves; or at least it is sufficient to confess and acknowledge in general what sinful creatures we are, without entering into particulars; for confession of sin is to be made to God, against whom it is committed, and who only can pardon: and a man that truly confesses his sin is one that the Spirit of God has convinced of it, and has shown him its exceeding sinfulness, and filled him with a godly sorrow for it, and given him repentance unto salvation, that needeth not to be repented of; and who, under such a sight and sense of sin, and concern for it, comes and acknowledges it before the Lord, humbly imploring, for Christ's sake, his pardoning grace and mercy; and such obtain it:

he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins: forgiveness of sin here intends not the act of forgiveness, as in God, proceeding upon the bloodshed and sacrifice of Christ, which is done at once, and includes all sin, past, present, and to come; but an application of pardoning grace to a poor sensible sinner, humbled under a sense of sin, and confessing it before the Lord; and confession of sin is not the cause or condition of pardon, nor of the manifestation of it, but is descriptive of the person, and points him out, to whom God will and does make known his forgiving love; for to whomsoever he grants repentance, he gives the remission of sin; in doing of which he is faithful to his word of promise; such as in Proverbs 28:13; "and just"; in being "true", as the Arabic version adds, to his word; and showing a proper regard to the blood and sacrifice of his Son; for his blood being shed, and hereby satisfaction made to the law and justice of God, it is a righteous thing in him to justify from sin, and forgive the sinner for whom Christ has shed his blood, and not impute it to him, or punish him for it; though the word here used may answer to the Hebrew word which sometimes carries in it the notion and idea of mercy and beneficence; hence mercy to the poor is sometimes expressed by righteousness; and the righteous acts of God intend his mercies and benefits unto men; see Daniel 4:27; and so forgiveness of sin springs from the tender mercies of our God, and is both an act of justice and of mercy; of justice, with respect to the blood of Christ, and of pure grace and mercy to the pardoned sinner: the following clause,

and to cleanse us, from all unrighteousness, is but the same thing expressed in different words; for all unrighteousness is sin, and to cleanse from sin is to remove the guilt of it, by an application of the blood of Christ for pardon. The antecedent to the relative "he" in the text, is either God, who is light, and with whom the saints have fellowship; or his Son Jesus Christ, who is the nearest antecedent, and who, being truly God, has a power to forgive sin.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

9. confess—with the lips, speaking from a contrite heart; involving also confession to our fellow men of offenses committed against them.

he—God.

faithful—to His own promises; "true" to His word.

just—Not merely the mercy, but the justice or righteousness of God is set forth in the redemption of the penitent believer in Christ. God's promises of mercy, to which He is faithful, are in accordance with His justice.

to—Greek, "in order that." His forgiving us our sins and cleansing us, &c., is in furtherance of the ends of His eternal faithfulness and justice.

forgive—remitting the guilt.

cleanse—purify from all filthiness, so that henceforth we more and more become free from the presence of sin through the Spirit of sanctification (compare Heb 9:14; and above, see on [2638]1Jo 1:7).

unrighteousness—offensive to Him who "is just" or righteous; called "sin," 1Jo 1:7, because "sin is the transgression of the law," and the law is the expression of God's righteousness, so that sin is unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 Additional Commentaries
Context
Walking in the Light
8If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
Cross References
Exodus 34:7
maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation."

1 Kings 8:30
Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.

Psalm 32:5
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD." And you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Psalm 51:2
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

Proverbs 28:13
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

Jeremiah 3:13
Only acknowledge your guilt-- you have rebelled against the LORD your God, you have scattered your favors to foreign gods under every spreading tree, and have not obeyed me,'" declares the LORD.

John 17:25
"Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.

Titus 2:14
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Treasury of Scripture

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

we confess.

Leviticus 26:40-42 If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, …

1 Kings 8:47 Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land where they were …

2 Chronicles 6:37,38 Yet if they bethink themselves in the land where they are carried …

Nehemiah 1:6 Let your ear now be attentive, and your eyes open, that you may hear …

Nehemiah 9:2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and …

Job 33:27,28 He looks on men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that …

Psalm 32:5 I acknowledge my sin to you, and my iniquity have I not hid. I said, …

Psalm 51:2-5 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin…

Proverbs 28:13 He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses …

Daniel 9:4-20 And I prayed to the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, …

Matthew 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

Mark 1:5 And there went out to him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, …

Acts 19:18 And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds.

he is.

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God, he is God, the faithful God…

Lamentations 3:23 They are new every morning: great is your faithfulness.

1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom you were called to the fellowship of his …

1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ …

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for …

Hebrews 11:11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, …

just.

Isaiah 45:21 Tell you, and bring them near; yes, let them take counsel together: …

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: …

Romans 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might …

Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, …

Revelation 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song …

and to.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship …

Psalm 19:12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse you me from secret faults.

Psalm 51:2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

Jeremiah 33:8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have …

Ezekiel 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: …

Ezekiel 37:23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor …

1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, …

Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, …

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