“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” (I John 1:8,9).

The tiny little word, “if” is mentioned in the bible 1595 times in 1420 verses. For most parents, if we say something more than once, it must be important. If we’re in training–for anything–and we’re told something more than once, it must be important. So, when God uses those who were inspired to write what He said and He says something 1595 times, shouldn’t we pay attention?

Throughout the Word, we see these “if, then” premises–“if one thing happens, then it will lead to something else. Most of the “ifs” involve us doing something, then we see what God does or will do.

There are too many references for me to list them all, so I’ll just address these two. If anyone says they have no sin or have not sinned, God says they have deceived themselves. That’s right! All of those holier than Jesus folks need to really get a handle on this one. Paul reminds us in another passage of scripture that, “all have sinned and fallen short” at one time or another. None of us are perfect, which is why we need Jesus in our lives so we can continually per-fect what we do. For every person who dares to think they have never committed sin–no matter what the sin was or is–they lie–to themselves and others because, “the truth is not in them.”

But there is a remedy! If we confess what we have done that goes against God’s commandments, then God is faithful and just and He forgives us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. But we have to confess the sin, first–not to men or women, but to God. When we confess what we have done to God, it is so much easier to be compassionate towards those who are just like us–imperfect, fallible human beings, in need of a Savior.

When He cleanses us-thoroughly purges all that stuff that keeps us feeling and looking guilty–we should not want to go back into the filth in which we once were. Picture this! How much sense does it make to get out of a muddy, filthy, slimy pool of misery–get showered, and perfumed and glamorous–only to jump back into the filth?

Let’s confess and get it right–realizing we need the direction and guidance of Holy Spirit, every hour of our lives! Thank You, Lord for loving us so much, that we never without guidance!