“Faithful” is the adjective “pistos,” which tells us that God is faithful and consistent. He always does the same thing. It refers to God’s perfect consistency in providing forgiveness to every believer who acknowledges a sin to Him. “Righteous” is the adjective “dikaios,” which refers to the integrity of God as the source of forgiveness and restoration to fellowship. Therefore, while the word “faithful” deals with His consistency, the word “righteous” deals with His character. Because of the Cross, where God imputed our sins to the Lord Jesus Christ and judged them, God is free to forgive us. Because confession alone is required to be filled with the Spirit, the efficacy of the substitutionary atonement of Christ on the Cross is being emphasized. No matter how great our sins, God is faithful, God is just, and God is dependable. He always forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness, when the known sins are acknowledged, confessed, or admitted. Remember that no sin is too great for forgiveness, because all sin was judged on the Cross. Judgment at the Cross frees the justice of God from compromise in forgiving sin.
Next we have the conjunction “hina,” translated “to,” which introduces a result clause. Therefore, we can translate this verse, “If we acknowledge our sins, He is faithful and righteous with the result that He forgives.”
“Forgive” is the aorist active subjunctive verb “aphe,” which means to cancel, pardon, and forgive. The aorist tense refers to that point of time at which you confess your sins and are forgiven. In the active voice, God the Father produces the action of the verb. In the subjunctive mood, forgiveness is potential, depending upon whether a believer confesses his sins while adding nothing to it, or adds some kind of human works or penance. If you confess your sins and add something to confession, you are not forgiven.
1JO 1:9…He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse…
“Cleanse” is the aorist active subjunctive verb “katharise,” which means to cleanse and to purify. The aorist tense indicates that point in time when we name and cite our sins. The active voice means that God the Father does the cleansing. The subjunctive mood is the mood of potential, based upon previous factors we have noted. There never was a believer who named a known sin to God privately, without any system of human works and human power, who was not immediately forgiven and cleansed. The subjunctive mood is the mood of probability or potential, and the potential of being cleansed depends upon whether or not the believer follows instructions. The subjunctive mood is used to match the probability of the third class condition; “If we confess our sins (maybe we will, or maybe we will not).”
Now, we must address the issue of the sins we commit without realizing that they are sins. What about the sins of ignorance? What about the human good? What about the evil that enters our souls? The answer to this is found in the last phrase, “and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
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