1 John 1:9
Parallel Verses
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.

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.

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.

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.

1 John 1:9 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Confess (ὁμολογῶμεν)

From ὁμός, one and the same, and λέγω, to say. Hence, primarily, to say the same thing as another, and, therefore, to admit the truth of an accusation. Compare Psalm 51:4. The exact phrase, ὁμολογεῖν τὰς ἁμαρτίας confess the sins, does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. Compare ἐξομολογεῖσθαι ἁμαρτίας (παραπτώματα) Matthew 3:6; Mark 1:5; James 5:16. See on Matthew 3:6; see on Matthew 11:25; see on Luke 22:6; see on Acts 19:18; see on James 5:16.

Sins

Note the plural, as compared with the singular, sin, in the previous verse. See note. The plural indicates that the confession is to be specific as well as general. Augustine's words are exactly to the point, but his play upon pardon and confess cannot be reproduced in English. "Vis ut ille ignoscat? Tu agnosce." Do you wish Him to forgive? Do you confess.

Faithful (πιστός)

True to His own nature and promises; keeping faith with Himself and with man. The word is applied to God as fulfilling His own promises (Hebrews 10:23; Hebrews 11:11); as fulfilling the purpose for which He has called men (1 Thessalonians 5:24; 1 Corinthians 1:9); as responding with guardianship to the trust reposed in Him by men (1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Peter 4:19). "He abideth faithful. He cannot deny Himself" (2 Timothy 2:13). The same term is applied to Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:3; Hebrews 3:2; Hebrews 2:17). God's faithfulness is here spoken of not only as essential to His own being, but as faithfulness toward us; "fidelity to that nature of truth and light, related to His own essence, which rules in us as far as we confess our sins" (Ebrard). The essence of the message of life is fellowship with God and with His children (1 John 1:3). God is light (1 John 1:5). Walking in the light we have fellowship, and the blood of Jesus is constantly applied to cleanse us from sin, which is darkness and which interrupts fellowship. If we walk in darkness we do not the truth. If we deny our sin the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, "God, by whom we were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful" (1 Corinthians 1:9) to forgive our sins, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and thus to restore and maintain the interrupted fellowship.

Just (δίκαιος)

Rev., righteous. From δίκη right. The term is applied both to God and to Christ. See Revelation 16:5; John 17:25; 1 John 2:1; 1 John 3:7; 1 Peter 3:18. The two words, faithful and righteous, imply each other. They unite in a true conception of God's character. God, who is absolute rightness, must be faithful to His own nature, and His righteous dealing with men who partake of that nature and walk in fellowship with Him, is simply fidelity to Himself. "Righteousness is truth passing into action" (Westcott).

To forgive (ἵνα ἀφῇ)

See John 20:23; 1 John 2:12. Primarily the word means to send away, dismiss; hence of sins, to remit, as a debt. Cleansing (1 John 1:7) contemplates the personal character of the sinner; remission, his acts. See on Matthew 6:12; see on James 5:15. To forgive is, literally, that he may forgive. On John's use of ἵνα in order that, see on John 15:13; see on John 14:31. Forgiveness answers to the essential purpose of His faithful and righteous being.

Our sins (τὰς ἁμαρτίας)

Sin is defined by John as ἀνομία, lawlessness. Compare Romans 6:19. A.V., transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). It may be regarded either as condition or as act; either with reference to the normal, divine ideal of manhood, or to an external law imposed upon man by God. Any departure from the normal ideal of man as created in God's image puts man out of true relation and harmony with his true self, and therefore with God and with his fellowman. He thus comes into false, abnormal relation with right, love, truth, and light. He walks in darkness and forfeits fellowship with God. Lawlessness is darkness, lovelessness, selfishness. This false principle takes shape in act. He doeth (ποιεῖ) or committeth sin. He doeth lawlessness (τὴν ἀνομίαν ποιεῖ; 1 John 3:4, 1 John 3:8). He transgresses the words (ῥήματα, John 17:8) of God, and His commandments (ἐντολαί, 1 John 2:3) as included and expressed in His one word or message (λόγος, 1 John 2:7, 1 John 2:14). Similarly the verb ἁμαρτάνειν, to sin, may signify either to be sinful (1 John 3:6), or to commit sin (1 John 1:10). Sin, regarded both as principle and act, is designated by John by the term ἁμαρτία. The principle expressed in the specific acts is ἡ ἁμαρτία (John 1:29), which occurs in this sense in Paul, but not in the Synoptists, nor in Acts. Many of the terms used for sin by other New Testament writers are wanting in John; as ἀσέβεια ungodliness (see on Jde 1:14); ἀσεβεῖν to be ungodly (2 Peter 2:6); παραβαίνειν to transgress; παράβασις transgression; παραβάτης transgressor (see on Matthew 6:14; see on James 2:11); παρανομεῖν to act contrary to the law; παρανομία breach of law (see on Acts 23:3; see on 2 Peter 2:16); παράπτωμα trespass (see on Matthew 6:14).

To cleanse

See on 1 John 1:7.

continued...

1 John 1:9 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

we confess.

Leviticus 26:40-42 If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me...

1 Kings 8:47 Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land where they were carried captives, and repent...

2 Chronicles 6:37,38 Yet if they bethink themselves in the land where they are carried captive, and turn and pray to you in the land of their captivity...

Nehemiah 1:6 Let your ear now be attentive, and your eyes open, that you may hear the prayer of your servant, which I pray before you now...

Nehemiah 9:2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins...

*etc:

Job 33:27,28 He looks on men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not...

Psalm 32:5 I acknowledge my sin to you, and my iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the LORD...

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 and forsakes them shall have mercy.

Daniel 9:4-20 And I prayed to the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God...

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, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan...

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 Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Hebrews 11:11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age...

just.

Isaiah 45:21 Tell you, and bring them near; yes, let them take counsel together: who has declared this from ancient time?...

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes to you: he is just...

Romans 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus.

Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which you have showed toward his name...

Revelation 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are your works...

and to.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another...

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 sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities...

Ezekiel 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

Ezekiel 37:23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions...

1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus...

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, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Cross References
Exodus 34:7
keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation."

1 Kings 8:30
And listen to the plea of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen in heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.

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

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

Proverbs 28:13
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

Jeremiah 3:13
Only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against the LORD your God and scattered your favors among foreigners under every green tree, and that you have not obeyed my voice, declares the LORD.

John 17:25
O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.

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