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
The Lord Jesus Christ’s invitation to “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” is addressed to everyone. Before God all are guilty of leading their lives without inquiring after His will. Whoever is anxious because of this fact, acknowledges it and confesses his guilt receives the assurance, “The one who comes to me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). God then grants the forgiveness of all sins. We could call that God’s judicial forgiveness, for whoever receives it, is pronounced free from eternal punishment and need never fear God has his judge.
This forgiveness occurs once for all time and embraces all one’s sins. It is based on the atoning work of Christ’s shed blood, that every believer can fall back on. When Christ died 2,000 years ago, we were not alive, and none of our sins had been committed. However, God’s Word states for every believer: “He himself is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:2). “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1), whatever may happen in the believer’s life.
Unfortunately, sins are still committed during the life of a born again Christian. But they have been atoned for and therefore do not call for condemnation. However, the relationship of a child of God to his heavenly Father is disturbed by them. So today’s verse applies especially to us believers. If we confess our sins to God, we obtain His fatherly forgiveness. God forgives us as His children and restores our troubled relationship with Him. This form of forgiveness we need constantly.