But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from everything we’ve done wrong. 1 John 1:9 (CEB)
The word “sin” simply means to miss the mark. So, when we sin we are missing the mark with actions or thoughts contrary to God’s instructions in the Bible. It’s refreshing to know that if we sin, God can forgive us for the sins we commit. We are not condemned forever for the mistakes that we make. The Bible is clear though that you must confess your sins (admit them to God), and He is faithful and just to forgive you. Let’s be clear – God already knows what you did. So, the confessing of your sins isn’t for God, it’s for you to become fully aware of what you’ve done so you can repent (turn from your previous actions and move toward God).
The Bible also tells us that God will not only forgive us if we confess our sin to Him, but He will cleanse us from everything we’ve done wrong. The word “cleanse” (in the dictionary by Merriam-Webster) means to rid of impurities by or as if by washing. As an example, imagine spilling soda on your new white shirt. You would probably toss it into the washing machine to get the stain out. Once the wash cycle is over, you remove the shirt and the spot is gone. This is exactly what God does. When we confess our sin and ask for forgiveness, God forgives us and cleanses us from our mistakes. The “stain” of that sin is removed from your life and you are made clean. God doesn’t hold that sin against you because it no longer exists – it was washed away when you were cleansed. If you know of an area in your life where you are missing the mark and doing things contrary to God’s Word, confess it to God, ask for forgiveness, then thank God for forgiving and cleansing you.