Tuesday, June 22, 2021
“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).
Lo, the chief proof-text of the “short-account system!” (And how to look at it afresh, without [!] denominational eyeglasses!)
Confession of sins first appears in Scripture in Leviticus 5:5,6: “And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing: And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.” We would do well to note the Law of Moses is in effect here. (Later, we will return to Moses and the Law.)
In addition to ripping 1 John 1:9 from its context, members of Christendom have also been trained to seize upon four other primary passages. The first two concern John the Baptist’s ministry. “And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins” (Matthew 3:6). “And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins” (Mark 1:5). This is where denominational people really get into trouble! They wrongly believe Christianity started here… and nothing could be further from the truth.
Moreover, we have been erroneously indoctrinated into searching the Book of Psalms for victorious Christian living. After all, did not King David write the following in Psalm 32:5? “I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.” Was it not King Solomon who penned this in Proverbs 28:13? “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
See, it is so easy to quote a verse here and quote a verse there, and seem to be correct. However, before (!) we claim verses as our own, we had better understand their dispensational setting, or we will surely wind up in spiritual darkness….