Sin and Forgiveness

From today's daily thought subscription:

The proper Christian attitude to sin is not to deny it but to admit it, and then to receive the forgiveness which God has made possible and promises to us. *If we confess our sins*, acknowledging before God that we are sinners not only by nature (*sin*) but by practice also (*our sins*), God will both *forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness* (1 Jn. 1:9). In the first phrase sin is a debt which he remits and in the second a stain which he removes.

--From "The Letters of John" (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries: rev. edn. Leicester: IVP, 1988), p. 82.