A distinctive of the Christian
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins.
1 John 1: 9
The apostle John wrote his first epistle to define the difference between a Christian and an unbeliever. Our verse for today indicates that confession characterizes the former. The next verse says, “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar” (v. 10). Unregenerate men deny their sin, but Christians accept responsibility for sin and confess it.
The confession of sin does not take place only in salvation. It continues, like faith, throughout the life of a believer. The willingness to confess sin is part of the pattern of life that characterizes all believers. That pattern also includes love (1 John 3:14), separation from the world (2:15), and teaching by the Holy Spirit (2:27). Of course there are varying degrees of confession, sometimes we don’t make as complete a confession as we should, but a true believer eventually acknowledges his sin.