1 John 1:8-10

1 John 1:8‑10  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 7
8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just 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. (1 John 1:8‑10)When speaking of sin, the apostle speaks in the present tense, "we have;" when speaking of sinning, he speaks in the past. He does not take for granted that we are going on doing it. It has been a question whether the apostle speaks of first coming to the Lord, or subsequent failures. I answer, he speaks in an abstract and absolute way: confession brings through grace forgiveness. If it is our first coming to God, it is forgiveness; it is the full and absolute sense—I am forgiven with God; He remembers my sin no more. If it is subsequent failure, honest of heart always confesses; then it is forgiveness as regards the government of God, and the present condition and relationship of my soul with Him. But the apostle, as everywhere, speaks absolutely, and of the principle.
J. N. Darby