Confession – 1 John 1:9

1Jo 1:9  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The following is a note on 1 John 1:9 from the Life Application Study Bible:

Confession is supposed to free us to enjoy fellowship with Christ. It should ease our consciences and lighten our cares. But some Christians do not understand how it works. They feel so guilty that they confess the same sins over and over, and then they wonder if they might have forgotten something. Other Christians believe God forgives them when they confess, but if they died with unconfessed sins, they would be forever lost. These Christians do not understand that God wants to forgive us. He allowed his beloved Son to die just so he could pardon us. When we come to Christ, he forgives all the sins we have committed or will ever commit. We don’t need to fear that he will cast us out if we don’t keep our slate perfectly clean. Of course we want to continue to confess our sins, but not because we think failure to do so will make us lose our salvation. Our relationship with Christ is secure. Instead, we confess so we can enjoy maximum fellowship and joy with him.

True confession also involves a commitment not to continue in sin. We are not genuinely confessing our sins before God if we plan to commit the sin again and just want temporary forgiveness. We must pray for strength to defeat the temptation the next time it appears.

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Miraculous Bible Prophecy Fulfillments

This article from Dr. Norman L. Geisler’s Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, is titled Prophecy as Proof of the Bible. It documents many of the Bible’s miraculously predictive prophecies, and explains that the Bible is peerless in this regard:

 

Prophecy, as Proof of the Bible. One of the strongest evidences that the Bible is inspired by God (see Bible, Evidences for) is its predictive prophecy. Unlike any other book, the Bible offers a multitude of specific predictions—some hundreds of years in advance—that have been literally fulfilled or else point to a definite future time when they will come true. In his comprehensive catalogue of prophecies, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecies, J. Barton Payne lists 1817 predictions in the Bible, 1239 in the Old Testament and 578 in the New (674–75). Continue reading

Prophecy as Proof of the Bible

This except from Dr. Norman L. Geisler’s article Prophecy as Proof of the Bible, from his Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, documents a miraculous fulfillment of Bible prophecy by Jesus Christ:

While it wasn’t recognized until after the fact, one of the most precise predictions in Scripture gives the very year in which the Christ would die. Daniel was speaking of both the exile of Israel and the atonement for sin when he recorded a prayer of confession for the sins of his people (9:4–19) and a vision in response in which the angel Gabriel gave to Daniel the following foresight (9:24–26):

Seventy “sevens” are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One [Messiah], the ruler, comes, there will be seven “sevens,” and sixty-two “sevens.” . . . After the sixty-two “sevens,” the Anointed One will be cut off.

The context indicates that Daniel knew he was speaking of years, since he was meditating on the “number of years” that God had revealed to Jeremiah that Jerusalem would lay waste, namely, “seventy years” (vs. 2). God then told Daniel that it would be 7 x 70 (years) before the Messiah would come and be cut off (die).

Artaxerxes ordered Nehemiah “to restore and rebuild Jerusalem” (Dan. 9:25; cf. Nehemiah 2) in 445/444 b.c. From that year, rather than the earlier date when Cyrus approved only the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 1:3), Daniel predicted that it would be 483 years to the time of Christ’s death. Taking the widely accepted date of 33 for the crucifixion (see Hoehner), would be 483 years exactly:

Seven sevens plus sixty-two sevens is 69 x 7 = 483

444 + 33 = 477

Add six years to compensate for the five days in a solar year not in the lunar year followed by Israel (5 x 477 = 2385 days or 6+ years).

477 + 6 = 483 years

This assumes Daniel’s 490 (70 x 7) is not a round number, which is possible. The Bible frequently rounds its numbers (see Bible, Alleged Errors in; Chronology, Problems in the Bible). In either event, Daniel’s prediction takes us to the very time of Christ.

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[1]Geisler, Norman L.: Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics.Grand Rapids,Mich. : Baker Books, 1999 (Baker Reference Library), S. 612

Confusing General with Universal Statements

This except from Dr. Norman L. Geisler’s article BibleAlleged Errors in, from his Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, explains the difference between general and universal statements:

Confusing General with Universal Statements. Critics often jump to the conclusion that unqualified statements admit no exceptions. They seize upon verses that offer general truths and then point with glee to obvious exceptions. Such statements are only intended to be generalizations.

The Book of Proverbs has many of these. Proverbial sayings, by their very nature, offer general guidance, not universal assurance. They are rules for life, but rules that admit of exceptions. Proverbs 16:7 affirms that “when a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” This obviously was not intended to be a universal truth. Paul was pleasing to the Lord and his enemies stoned him (Acts 14:19). Jesus was pleasing the Lord, and his enemies crucified him. Nonetheless, it is a general truth that one who acts in a way pleasing to God can minimize his enemies’ antagonism.

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” However, other Scripture passages and experience show that this is not always true. Indeed, some godly persons in the Bible (including Job, Eli, and David) had wayward children. This proverb does not contradict experience because it is a general principle that applies in a general way, but allows for individual exceptions. Proverbs are not designed to be absolute guarantees. Rather, they express truths that provide helpful advice and guidance by which the individual should conduct his daily life.

Proverbs are wisdom (general guides), not law (universally binding imperatives). When the Bible declares “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Lev. 11:45), then there are no exceptions. Holiness, goodness, love, truth, and justice are rooted in the very nature of an unchanging God. But wisdom literature applies God’s universal truths to life’s changing circumstances. The results will not always be the same. Nonetheless, they are helpful guides.

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[1]Geisler, Norman L.: Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics.Grand Rapids,Mich. : Baker Books, 1999 (Baker Reference Library), S. 79