Posts Tagged ‘1 John 1:9’

Confession and the prayer of faith

May 6, 2018

The Verse of the Day for May 6, 2018 brings to mind the power of prayer recorded in James 5:16 in the New Living Translation:

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

In examining the context of the passage, we find another reference to forgiveness of sins and healing is found in the powerful prayer of faith expressed in James 5:13-16:

13 Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. 14 Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.
16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

Chapter 4 of Not Just a Survivor—More than a Conqueror, my forthcoming book, speaks of the power of prayer, and Chapter 5 discusses faith as a critical component in a believer’s life. This passage speaks of the power of the prayer of faith. When two believers are in agreement in their prayer requests, those petitions are answered, as Jesus Christ declared in Matthew 18:19:

Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

There is great power in agreement. Being in agreement goes beyond simply making the same request verbally, but those who are praying are first of all standing together in righteousness, being in right standing with God and with one another. This passage concludes in recognizing that those whom God has declared righteous offer prayers of great power that produce wonderful results.

Open confession is good . . . for the soul and more”

In response to the Scottish proverb “Open confession is good for the soul,” Jeffrey E. Miller indicates “. . . it is not merely therapeutic; it is God’s prerequisite for forgiveness.” The Psalmist illustrates the sinful nature of all humanity and God’s willingness to forgive:

Psalm 32:5:

I acknowledged my sin to you, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Miller identifies the bridge between our sin and God’s forgiveness as “confession.” We also note the same connection expressed in 1 John 1:9:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

The context for 1 John chapter 1 is fellowship with God and with fellow believers, involving communion or oneness, harmony. In Acts the believers of the early Church were said to be “of one heart and one mind.” Having this close fellowship with God and with one another is God’s desire for His people expressed in verses 6-10 beginning with the conditional clause “if we” followed by a verb: “If we say…, if we walk…, if we say…, if we confess…, if we say….” These expressions establish the conditions which if met on our part, will result in a corresponding action on God’s part. These two parts of the conditional sentences are especially noted in 1 John 1:9. If we do our part, which is confess our sins, our faithful and just God will do His part, which is “to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

What does it mean to confess our sins to him? The phrase is also translated . . .”to confess our trespasses . . . our offenses . . . our sins.” To confess is to say with one’s mouth. With our mouths we acknowledge our shortcomings, our misdeeds, our sins of omission and sins of commission. We acknowledge that in far too many instances we have missed the mark and fallen short.

God’s ultimate desire is for His creation to stand before Him in righteousness, in right standing before Him without any sense of sin, guilt, or condemnation. Correspondingly, within the human heart is a deep yearning to “get it right,” to be all right with God and with one another. Confessing with our mouths our sins to God and to one another positions us to be where God wants us to be and where we want to be.

In thinking about “confession” as a bridge between our unrighteousness and the righteousness of God, one particular confession also comes to mind.

Romans 10:9-10

9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.

This open, honest confession from the heart is not only good for the soul, but a person’s whole spirit and soul and body are eternally transformed by that confession.

The accompanying video features the scripture song “You Should Pray” based on James 5:13-16 (NLT):

If we confess, God is faithful to forgive

March 25, 2018

 

The Verse of the Day for March 25, 2018, is  taken from 1 John 1:9 (NIV):

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

The context for 1 John chapter 1 is fellowship with God and with fellow believers. Translated from the Greek word koinonia, fellowship involves communion or oneness, harmony. In Acts, the believers of the early Church were said to be “of one heart and one mind.” Having this close fellowship with God and with one another is God’s desire for His people expressed in 1 John 1:6-10:

6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

Verses 6-10 begin with the conditional clause “if we” followed by a verb: “If we say…, if we walk…, if we say…, if we confess…, if we say….” These expressions establish the conditions which if met on our part, will result in a corresponding action on God’s part. These two parts of the conditional sentences are especially noted in 1 John 1:9. If we do our part, which is to confess our sins, our faithful and just God will do His part, which is “to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

What does it mean to confess our sins to him?

Another translation uses this expression:  “. . . to confess our trespasses . . . our offenses . . . our sins.” To confess is to say with one’s mouth. With our mouths, we acknowledge our shortcomings, our misdeeds, our sins of omission and sins of commission. We acknowledge that in far too many instances we have missed the mark and fallen short. I John 1:9 in the Amplified Bible as9sures us that:

9 If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

What does it mean to forgive?

To forgive means: to send away, dismiss, set free; to acquit by a verdict; to give no punishment to the guilty person and to view the guilty person as if he is innocent. Another definition means to let loose or set at liberty (a debtor). Dr. Arch Hart has said, “I forgive when I give up my right to hurt you because you hurt me.” Simply put, to forgive is to love, and to love is to forgive. Remember, however, that “You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”

I learned this firsthand in a very graphic way when late one night after getting off from work, I was accosted by a man who demanded that I give him my wallet. As I reluctantly complied, do you think I loved giving him my wallet? Nonetheless, I complied with his demand that I “give.” As I recall, when I went to my car, hurt and humiliated, I prayed and asked God to forgive the man who was in such desperate straits that he resorted to robbery.

Literally to forgive means to “give for.” You give to those who choose not to give. These lines from John Oxenham express a profound truth about love and giving:

Love ever lives, outlives forgives,
And while it stands with open hands it lives,
For this is love’s prerogative:
To give and give and give.

You actually could keep adding “and give” to last line ad infinitum. For such love expresses endless giving.

During the week prior to the celebration of the Resurrection, our thoughts turn to the quintessential example of forgiveness: the Lord Jesus Christ. As he is dying on the cross, having been brutalized and humiliated beyond any atrocious behavior inflicted upon any mortal, among the last words spoken by the Lord are recorded in Luke 23:34:

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Some of the lyrics to this original song, “Please Forgive Me,” reinforce this truth:

God first gave to us so that we might live.
We give to others when we learn to forgive.
Jesus, our example so perfect and true,
Said, “Father, forgive them; they know not what they do.”

I forgive you. I forgive you.
I forgive you. I forgive you.
I forgive you this time. I forgive you each time.
I forgive you.

When we forgive, we also recall another expression of truth by Jesus who said, “It more blessed to give than to receive.” In a situation where one person offers forgiveness and another receives forgiveness. Who is most blessed? I often say, “When you choose to give, you cannot lose, but when you choose not to give you cannot win.” In his book Total Forgiveness, R. T. Kendall states,

“Forgiveness is not total forgiveness until we bless our enemies—and pray for them to be blessed. Forgiving them is a major step; totally forgiving them has fully been achieved when we set God free to bless them. But in this, we are the first to be blessed, and those who totally forgive are blessed the most.”

To sum up our discussion of forgiveness, Kevin Levar offers “A Heart that Forgives”:

If my people will. . . then I will.. .

May 4, 2017

2 Chronicles 7--14

The entry for the Verse of the Day for May 4, 2017, the National Day of Prayer, was posted a year ago and is re-posted here today.

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

This verse has been invoked countless times in conjunction with corporate prayer gatherings, and, indeed, has been the theme verse of the National Day of Prayer and other similar occasions.

While this verse often brings to mind people within a particular geographic location, the actual emphasis is on “my people” who could be the people of God in any place across the globe, wherever two or three or more are gathered. Certainly, this is the will of God for the people of God from around the world.

IF

2 Chronicles 7:14 is in reality an “if . . . then” conditional sentence which opens with a conditional clause, followed by a main clause that expresses the results from meeting the conditions set forth. God specifically sets the conditions for “His” people, those who call upon His name and those whom He designates as belonging to Him, those called by His name. If these individuals will perform certain actions, then God will respond accordingly. He sets the conditions with a series of verbs, each of which is connected to the others by “and.” All of these actions must be performed as part of the conditions:

. . . humble themselves

Followers of God should first of all “humble themselves.” This condition is reinforced with these exhortations

James 4:10 (NLT)

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.

and pray

In addition, believers should also “pray.”

Again, throughout the scriptures God’s people are exhorted to pray:

As the Lord Jesus Christ told his followers, “Men ought always to pray and not to faint,” even as Paul encouraged believers to “Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks. For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” We are also reminded in Philippians 4:6 (NLT):

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

and seek my face

To the three previous conditions, His people are to “seek His face.” Like David, we are to yearn to be in God’s presence:

Psalm 27:8 (AMP):

When You said, “Seek My face [in prayer, require My presence as your greatest need],” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I will seek [on the authority of Your word].”

and turn from their wicked ways

The final condition that must be met is to “turn from your wicked ways.” God expresses His desire for His people:

Ezekiel 18:23 (NLT):

“Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live.

Isaiah 55:7 also makes known this:

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

If these four conditions are fulfilled on our part, God will do His part, expressed with three distinct actions:

THEN

I will hear from heaven

God will hear from heaven, the place where the ears of God are open. The Verse of the Day is part of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple, where he goes on to say:

2 Chronicles 6:21

21 May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.

We are also reminded that

1 Peter 3:12

“The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”

and forgive their sins

In 1 John 1:9 we find another conditional sentence that relates to the results received: that God forgives our sins if we confess them:

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Psalm 103:3 reiterates this message, in that God “forgives all your iniquities and heals all your diseases.”

Ezekiel 6:33 also proclaims God’s ultimate desire to forgive Israel’s iniquities and restore their land

‘Thus says the Lord God: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.

and heal their land

This expression of God’s will is revealed in this portion of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple in 2 Chronicles 6:24-25

If Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy,
because they have sinned against You,
and they return to You and praise Your name,
and they pray and plead for mercy
before You in this temple,
25 may You hear in heaven
and forgive the sin of Your people Israel.:
May You restore them to the land
You gave them and their ancestors.

Isaiah 49:8 (AMP) reveals also God’s desire to bless the land of Israel:
Amplified Bible

This is what the Lord says, “In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep watch over You and give You for a covenant of the people, To restore the land [from its present state of ruin] and to apportion and give as inheritances the deserted hereditary lands,

The celebrated verse associated with corporate prayer reminds us once more that God is not a respecter of persons, but He is a respecter of conditions which must be met before God fulfills His terms of the agreement. God, however, is a respecter of conditions. Many times the terms of condition are expressed by the use of “if.” Throughout the Bible we find that God has set up “If . . . then” statements” that reveal promises that He will fulfill if we do our part.

We now close with a musical rendering of this familiar verse:

If we confess, God is faithful to forgive

March 25, 2017

Revised and re-posted is the Verse of the Day for March 25, 2017 which is taken from 1 John 1:9 (NIV):

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

The context for 1 John chapter 1 is fellowship with God and with fellow believers. Translated from the Greek word koinonia, fellowship involves communion or oneness, harmony. In Acts the believers of the early Church were said to be “of one heart and one mind.” Having this close fellowship with God and with one another is God’s desire for His people expressed in 1 John 1:3-10:

3 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.
5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

Verses 6-10 begin with the conditional clause “if we” followed by a verb: “If we say…, if we walk…, if we say…, if we confess…, if we say….” These expressions establish the conditions which if met on our part, will result in a corresponding action on God’s part. These two parts of the conditional sentences are especially noted in 1 John 1:9. If we do our part, which is confess our sins, our faithful and just God will do His part, which is “to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

What does it mean to confess our sins to him? The phrase is also translated . . .”to confess our trespasses . . . our offenses . . . our sins.” To confess is to say with one’s mouth. With our mouths we acknowledge our shortcomings, our misdeeds, our sins of omission and sins of commission. We acknowledge that in far too many instances we have missed the mark and fallen short. I John 1:9 in the Amplified Bible assures us that:

9 If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

If we confess, God will forgive. . . . To forgive means: to send away, dismiss, set free; to acquit by a verdict; to give no punishment to the guilty person and to view the guilty person as if he is innocent. Another definition means to let loose or set at liberty (a debtor).

Many times in thinking of confessing personal sins to God, my Father, the lyrics to this song come to mind:

Please Forgive Me

For each careless word and each thoughtless deed,
For each time I failed to follow your lead,
Each time I ignored you and went astray.
And let go your hand and walked my own way.

Please forgive me. Please forgive me.
Please forgive me. Please forgive me.
Please forgive me this time.
Please forgive me each time.
Please forgive me.

When we confess our sins, God forgives our sins, and in essence, God does more than wipe the slate clean. The words of the Psalmist reveal what really transpires

Psalm 103:12:

As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

The lyrics to the chorus of the familiar Gospel song also remind us:

My sins are blotted out, I know! (I know!)
My sins are blotted out, I know! (I know!)
They are buried in the depths of the deepest sea:
My sins are blotted out, I know! (I know!)

We conclude our discussion, as Morgan Cryar offers a musical rendering of 1 John 1:9 in “What Sin?”

So good, so ready, so full of love

January 31, 2017

Psalm 86-5

The Verse of the Day for January 31, 2017 offers a remarkable declaration of who God is and what He is willing to do:

Psalm 86:5 (NLT)

O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.

As we take a closer look at the verse, we see that God is “so good,” “so ready,” and “so full of love. . .”

O Lord, you are so good…

Book of Ezra notes that when the builders completed the foundation for the Temple, the priests and the people celebrated:

Ezra 6:11

11 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord:

“He is so good!
His faithful love for Israel endures forever!”

Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid.

So ready to forgive. . .

1 John 1:9 reminds us of this truth:

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

The Psalmist also declares:

Psalm 103:2-3

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,

So full of unfailing love. . .

Deuteronomy 7:9 (NLT) reveals the extent of God’s faithfulness and love:

Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.

John 3:16, one of the most often quoted verses in the Bible, makes known that God did not just love, but He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes on him should not perish but have everlasting life.

So

Used as an adverb three times in the Verse of the Day, “so” is a little word of great importance. It expresses the degree or the extent of the adjective that it modifies: “So” is also part of the expression “Amen.” The Hebrew word used for amen in the Old Testament is “ei men” and means “so be it, verily, true,” or “truly” (literally “truth”). In the New Testament the expression is transliterated from the Greek word “amen” and is said to be a declaration of affirmation of what was just spoken or written. “So it is” or “truly” and even “true” and “yes”; so be it—thus shall it most surely be, it is so.

Psalm 41:13 is says, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.” When repeated the statement spoken or written is established.

The last word used in the Bible, “Amen”, indicates that God has the last “say so”, for the Lord God Almighty, the creator of the ends of the Earth, affirms and confirms all that He has spoken—Amen—it is so!

We conclude with Casting Crowns offering this call to worship based on Psalm 86: The Voice of Truth:

If he shall hear

May 10, 2016

matthew-1815_3431_1600x1200The Verse of the Day for May 10, 2016 is found in Matthew 18:15 (KJV):

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

In any attempt to heal a broken relationship that may have been the result of an offense, whether deliberate or unknowingly committed, Jesus Christ encourages his followers to go the individual who caused the offense and confront the person and bring the offense to his or her attention. If the person hears you, then you have reconciled the relationship. The key to success lies in the conditional phrase, “If he shall hear. . .” indicating the possibility that the person will not hear.

Earlier in Matthew, the Disciples ask the Lord Jesus why he speaks in parables, and he responds:

Matthew 13:13

Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

His response indicates that people can hear and yet not hear, personalized and poetically put this way:

Those who have eyes to see will behold the real me.

Those who don’t, won’t.

Those with ears to hear will also hear me.

Without ears to hear, they will not hear me.

Today’s Verse of the Day also brings to mind the Verse of the Day for May 6, 2016 which centered on James 5:16 (KJV), a parallel verse related to confessing our faults one to another:

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

The previous blog post also discussed Matthew 18:15. Here is an excerpt from that entry:

In examining the Matthew 18:15, what does it mean to “tell him his fault”? A similar phrase used in James 5:16 is also translated . . .”to confess to one another your trespasses . . . your offenses . . . your sins.” To confess is to say with one’s mouth. . .

With our mouths we acknowledge our shortcomings, our misdeeds, our sins of omission and sins of commission. We acknowledge that in far too many instances we have missed the mark and fallen short. I John 1:9 in the Amplified Bible assures us that:

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

In a similar manner, as we learn to value and steward our relationships, first and foremost with God, as we confess our sins, we also acknowledge our faults one to another and seek to heal any broken relationships with our fellow believers.

Ephesians 4:29-32 (NLT) offer this exhortation

29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, [a] guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.

32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Matthew West expresses the essence of today’s comments in the song: “Forgiveness.”

If my people will. . . then will I

May 4, 2016

2 Chronicles 7--14

The Verse of the Day for May 4, 2016, the day before the National Day of Prayer, comes from 2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

This verse has been invoked countless times in conjunction with corporate prayer gatherings, and, indeed, has been the theme verse of the National Day of Prayer and other similar occasions.

While this verse often brings to mind people within a particular geographic location, the actual emphasis is on “my people” who could be the people of God in any place across the globe, wherever two or three or more are gathered. Certainly, this is the will of God for the people of God from around the world.

IF

2 Chronicles 7:14 is in reality an “if . . . then” conditional sentence which opens with a conditional clause, followed by a main clause that expresses the results from meeting the conditions set forth. God specifically sets the conditions for “His” people, those who call upon His name and those whom He designates as belonging to Him, those called by His name. If these individuals will perform certain actions, then God will respond accordingly. He sets the conditions with a series of verbs, each of which is connected to the others by “and.” All of these actions must be performed as part of the conditions:

. . . humble themselves

Followers of God should first of all “humble themselves.” This condition is reinforced with these exhortations

James 4:10 (NLT)

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.

and pray

In addition, believers should also “pray.”

Again, throughout the scriptures God’s people are exhorted to pray:

As the Lord Jesus Christ told his followers, “Men ought always to pray and not to faint,” even as Paul encouraged believers to “Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks. For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” We are also reminded in Philippians 4:6 (NLT):

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

and seek my face

To the three previous conditions, His people are to “seek His face.” Like David, we are to yearn to be in God’s presence:

Psalm 27:8 (AMP):

When You said, “Seek My face [in prayer, require My presence as your greatest need],” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I will seek [on the authority of Your word].”

and turn from their wicked ways

The final condition that must be met is to “turn from your wicked ways.” God expresses His desire for His people:

Ezekiel 18:23 (NLT):

“Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live.

Isaiah 55:7 also makes known this:

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

If these four conditions are fulfilled on our part, God will do His part, expressed with three distinct actions:

THEN

I will hear from heaven

God will hear from heaven, the place where the ears of God are open. The Verse of the Day is part of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple, where he goes on to say:

2 Chronicles 6:21

21 May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.

We are also reminded that

1 Peter 3:12

“The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”

and forgive their sins

In 1 John 1:9 we find another conditional sentence that relates to the results received: that God forgives our sins if we confess them:

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Psalm 103:3 reiterates this message, in that God “forgives all your iniquities and heals all your diseases.”

Ezekiel 6:33 also proclaims God’s ultimate desire to forgive Israel’s iniquities and restore their land

‘Thus says the Lord God: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.

and heal their land

This expression of God’s will is revealed in this portion of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple in 2 Chronicles 6:24-25

If Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy,
because they have sinned against You,
and they return to You and praise Your name,
and they pray and plead for mercy
before You in this temple,
25 may You hear in heaven
and forgive the sin of Your people Israel.:
May You restore them to the land
You gave them and their ancestors.

Isaiah 49:8 (AMP) reveals also God’s desire to bless the land of Israel:
Amplified Bible

This is what the Lord says, “In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep watch over You and give You for a covenant of the people, To restore the land [from its present state of ruin] and to apportion and give as inheritances the deserted hereditary lands,

The celebrated verse associated with corporate prayer reminds us once more that God is not a respecter of persons, but He is a respecter of conditions which must be met before God fulfills His terms of the agreement. God, however, is a respecter of conditions. Many times the terms of condition are expressed by the use of “if.” Throughout the Bible we find that God has set up “If . . . then” statements” that reveal promises that He will fulfill if we do our part.

We now close with a musical rendering of this familiar verse:

If we confess, He is faithful

March 25, 2015

1 John-1 8-10

Originally posted a year ago, the following blog entry has been modified and re-posted:

The Verse of the Day for March 25, 2015 is taken from 1 John 1:9 (NIV):

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

The context for 1 John chapter 1 is fellowship with God and with fellow believers. The term “fellowship” is translated from the Greek word, koinonia, whose root is derived from koinos (common). Such fellowship is said to be a place of having all things (in) common, a commonality or community (common unity). Note how the concept is used in verses three through ten:

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

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.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Verses 6-10 begin with the conditional clause “if we” followed by a verb: “If we say…, if we walk…, if we say…, if we confess…, if we say….” These expressions establish the conditions which if met on our part, will result in a corresponding action on God’s part. These two parts of the conditional sentences are especially noted in 1 John 1:9. If we do our part, which is confess our sins, our faithful and just God will do His part, which is “to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

We close this entry with Morgan Cryar offering a musical rendering of 1 John 1:9 in “What Sin?”

Confess your faults

May 10, 2014

Matthew-18 15

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. Matthew 18:15 KJV

The Verse of the Day for May 10, 2014 brings to mind the Verse of the Day for May 6, 2014 which centered on James 5:16, a parallel verse related to confessing our faults one to another:

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

In examining the Matthew 18:15, what does it mean to “tell him his fault”? A similar phrase used in James 5:16 is also translated  “. . .to confess to one another your trespasses . . . your offenses . . . your sins.” To confess is to say with one’s mouth.

With our mouths we acknowledge our shortcomings, our misdeeds, our sins of omission and sins of commission. We acknowledge that in far too many instances we have missed the mark and fallen short. I John 1:9 in the Amplified Bible assures us that:

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

In a similar manner, as we learn to value and steward our relationship first and foremost with God, as we confess our sins, we also acknowledge our faults one to another and seek to heal any broken relationships with our fellow believers.

Ephesians 4:29-32 offer this exhortation:

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Oscar Paris closes this blog entry with a beautiful musical reminder to “Forgive one another”:

I John 1:9: If we, then God

March 25, 2014

1 John-1 8-10

The Verse of the Day is taken from 1 John 1:9:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The context for 1 John chapter 1 is fellowship with God and with fellow believers, as verses three through ten reveal:

3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

7 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.

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Verses 6-10 begin with the conditional clause “if we” followed by a verb: “If we say…, if we walk…, if we say…, if we confess…, if we say….” These expressions establish the conditions which if met on our part, will result in a corresponding action on God’s part. These two parts of the conditional sentences are especially noted in 1 John 1:9. If we do our part, which is confess our sins, our faithful and just God will do His part, which is “to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Morgan Cryar offers a musical rendering of 1 John 1:9 in “What Sin?”