By John Foll, written between 12/16/2016 to 12/17/2016.
“Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;” 1 John 3:21 NASB.
The real question is why should our heart condemn us? God has promised us that ‘if 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 KJV. It is impossible for God to lie. ‘So that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.’ Hebrews 6:18-20 NASB. Since Jesus greatly loves us, suffered and died for us on the cross for our sins, and is now in Heaven as our High Priest, we do have an anchor indeed for our soul! He will plead our case with His Father because He loves us, if we will confess them to God. We can trust that if we confess our sins, that God not only has forgiven us, but that He will also cleanse us from all unrighteousness, that is to make us more like Him, because it is impossible for Him to lie! So just believe it! So there is no reason for anyone who knows this to have any guilt in their heart!Why would you want to carry this heavy load of guilt? Jesus bore it for you, oh sinner on the cross for you, if you will accept it and believe. So confess your sins, and let Him take that load of guilt off of you now. There is no reason for you to carry it for a moment. Just confess and be free and cleansed and be happy!
Could this be the reason why many do not have the confidence in God that they should have? Could it be because their own heart condemns them, and they know that they stand guilty before God? You cannot have peace until you have confessed all of your sins, including not loving God with all of your heart, mind and soul – yes, that’s a sin! “Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.’” Matthew 22:37-38 KJV. This is the same thing as the First Commandment in Exodus 20:3. Of all of God’s commandments in the Bible, we believe that this is the most broken one! If you break any of God’s commandments, you are also sinning against Him by not loving Him more than anything else. So it appears that this could be the reason why many are not where they should be spiritually, even those who have been Christians for many years. Lack of full, specific confession to God may very well be indicated. This may also be the reason why many do not love Jesus or His Father enough to obey all of their commandments, because their heart is not clear with God. We must want to obey everything that God has told us to do, or revealed by His Holy Spirit to us personally, if we want to have full confidence before Him. (The Holy Spirit never contradicts the Bible.)
If we want to have confidence toward God, we must confess all of our sins and believe and want to obey Him. “But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:39 NASB. If we have confidence in God, then we will have confidence in our salvation that He is giving us, because it is impossible for God to lie. If we love God we should know that He loves us, and that our salvation is secure in Him, and no one can take it away from us but ourselves. Paul says, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 NASB. Are you in Christ Jesus? Then there is no more condemnation for you! But why would anyone want to walk away from the salvation that God is offering them?
If you know that you have not kept all of God’s commandments, the first step to fixing this (the first step), is to confess these sins to God, and let Him cleanse them from you, and He will. This is His work for you, not your own. If you wait until you are ‘good enough’, whatever that means, it will NEVER happen. Only God can produce this change in you, not yourself. All of our efforts to save ourselves are utterly useless. Only God can save. If you are tired of the guilt, and tired of the endless round of sinning, hurting yourself and others, then allow God to cleanse you and make you happy! It’s the only way you can be free and be happy!
Guilt may also be the reason why many do not love God as they should, for if they were free of this heavy load they would want to obey Him, or they do not fully appreciate this forgiveness. They have been forgiven little. Jesus said, “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins (Mary Magdalene), which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” Luke 7:47 KJV. Jesus was speaking this to a Pharisee named Simon, who had been healed of leprosy. See Matthew 26:6 for this other account that mentions that Simon was a leper, when Mary anointed Jesus’ feet, and Luke 7:36. While we don’t have proof that Jesus healed Simon, we have the fact that He and others were at his house, and that the Law of Moses forbids people from associating with lepers, Leviticus 13:45-46, because it says that the leper must cry ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ and must remain outside the camp, i.e. outside Israel, unless they are cured of leprosy. We also know that Jesus healed lepers (Luke 17:11-19), so it is natural to conclude that Jesus must have healed Simon of his leprosy, and that this man had invited Jesus to his home in gratitude. But apparently this man had some sins that hadn’t been forgiven, or maybe he had sins that he really didn’t want forgiven? Maybe he didn’t see all of his sins and his great need of forgiveness like Mary did? Whatever the case, he wasn’t truly grateful for his healing or for God’s forgiveness. (Yes, the fact that God was willing for him to be healed indicated that He had pardoned or wanted to pardon him, since He gave him a new lease on life by healing him of leprosy.) If he had truly believed that he was a sinner in great need of forgiveness and had been forgiven of all of his sins, he should have been as happy as Mary was, and even more so since Jesus had healed him from that living death of leprosy! Read the whole sad account in Luke 7:36-50 and in Matthew 26:6-13. Whenever someone sees their true guilt, and realizes that only God can pardon all of these sins, confesses and believes, then they will be so happy and be free! For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), so all must confess their sins to God if they want to be free and happy. Then they will love God greatly! So those who have been forgiven little, because they have confessed little, also love God little, and have little faith in Him. And they do not have confidence before Him that they would have if they had been forgiven much. It’s easy to love God, if you believe that you have been forgiven! It is the most natural thing in the world! You can’t help but love Him like Mary did when He removes that awful load of guilt from you and you are free! “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”John 8:36 KJV. There is no good reason why every Christian shouldn’t be free from the weight of sin, because Jesus has made all who believe in Him free by His death on the cross for our sins. John 3:16-17. Those that have been forgiven little, love God little, and have little faith, and their heart condemns them.
If you will confess all of your sins, God has promised to forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Then when you are free from guilt, you will be free to have confidence in Him. When you are free from all of your sins, then you can pray what John says next after our main text: “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” 1 John 3:22 KJV. This prayer is for all those who have confessed their sins to God, and are free and have confidence in Him. If we are free and love Him, He will help us to keep all of His commandments and do the things that are pleasing to Him, and He will hear our prayers. What a wonderful promise! You don’t have to worry on how you can be good, if you will just confess your sins, and allow God to cleanse you from all unrighteousness, He will do it for you! Amen!
John also says this in another way: “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7 KJV. So if we want to be cleansed from all sin, we must also walk in the light as God is light. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:” 1 John 1:6 KJV. If we say that we have fellowship with God, that is to say, if we say that we are a Christian, if we walk in darkness then we are a liar and the truth is not in us. To put this with what we quoted from in 1 John 3:21, earlier in this article: if we have confidence in God, then we are walking in the light, and have fellowship with one another, and then the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we walk not in the light, and do not have fellowship with one another, then we do not have confidence before God, and our sin remains.
If we have confessed all of our sins, we will believe that God has forgiven us, and cleansed us from all unrighteousness
, and we will be confident that He loves us, and we will walk in the light of His love, and we will have fellowship with one another, because the blood of Jesus has cleansed us from all sin! Therefore all who believe in Jesus should also have this confidence in God. So confess your sins and believe, and then your heart will not condemn you, and you will walk in the light of His love, because the blood of Jesus cleanses you from all sin!
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