“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”1 John 1:9
Perhaps more so than any other segment of society, prisoners like myself give much thought to guilt and innocence. And for good reason—a person’s freedom, even one’s very life (or at least lifestyle) are at stake. But what about the “slip ups” everybody has that are far from being considered criminal, and to most people are hardly even deemed “sinful”? Certainly God still sees those and does not simply overlook them. We all begin to see we are guilty sinners every moment of the day!
Because the Lord is infinitely holy, any and every violation of His law requires a penalty. So how can it be that by merely confessing my sins to Him, He is described as “just” in forgiving and cleansing me (1 John 1:9)? A few verses later we find the answer: “Jesus Christ… is the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (2:1-2). His crucifixion fully and forever satisfied the Law’s demands (see Romans 3:21-26 and 8:1). Without changing or violating His standards, God justly gives prodigal grace to every repentant sinner, whether prisoner or free.
The Lord Jesus became “obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8) to purchase our pardon.